Motherwell and Dundee Utd join clubs no longer taking the knee

Players changed their stance after Rangers player Glen Kamara was subjected to alleged racist abuse.

United and Motherwell players stood before kick-off in their games. Craig Foy via SNS Group
United and Motherwell players stood before kick-off in their games.

Motherwell and Dundee United players decided against taking the knee before their games on Saturday with the Lanarkshire club’s players calling for meaningful action against racism rather than “empty gestures”.

The players’ decisions came 24 hours after PFA Scotland announced the routine, which has taken place before every game in Scotland’s top flight this season, would continue until October at least.

Derby announced two weeks ago that they would end the practice, which has been standard throughout English football, following in the footsteps of fellow Championship clubs Brentford and Bournemouth.

The changes in Scotland came after Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara was subjected to alleged racist abuse by Slavia Prague player Ondrej Kudela on Thursday in an incident which is being investigated by UEFA.

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A statement from the Motherwell players, released as their game at Kilmarnock was kicking off, read: “When we started taking the knee at the start of the season, it had an impact. For the first few weeks, the message was loud and clear. Now it has been lost.

“Taking a knee has become something someone does now for the sake of it. It has completely lost its meaning.

“As a squad, we spoke and asked ourselves ‘why are we doing this any more? Is it having any impact at all?’. The answer was a clear no.

“Taking a knee has become an empty gesture. Instead, we want those in power to take real and immediate action on racism.

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“Apathy and complacency have set into the routine. We want our actions to cause a realisation and a reaction.

“Racism is apparent everywhere in the day-to-day life of society. People need to realise change is required.

“Players, clubs, authorities and society now need to unite, and fight for a level playing field for all.”

The club fully endorsed their players’ actions and statement, adding: “It is time for action on racism, not empty gestures.”

United players stood before their Scottish Premiership game against Aberdeen.

The club released a short statement which read: “We stand today with Glen Kamara, and others who suffer at the hands of racism.

“Today’s decision to stand rather than take the knee is a show of solidarity by our players to enhance the message that racism in any form is unacceptable and has no place anywhere in society.”

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Derby players stood on the touchline as a collective while opponents Stoke took the knee ahead of their Sky Bet Championship meeting on Saturday.

PFA Scotland announced on Friday that players in all four Scottish divisions would continue taking the knee to keep the issues of social injustice and racial inequality in the forefront of society’s minds.

PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart said: “Following last weekend’s Show Racism the Red Card activity, we were approached by our members who felt strongly that the action of taking a knee shouldn’t be a one-off gesture.

“Our management committee felt the same way and proposed the players be allowed to continue the action until October when the annual fortnight of action takes place.

“It is about making people question, and hopefully change, their own behaviours.

“If a young child asks its parent why the players are taking a knee and the reason is explained then they are being educated about social injustice and racial inequality.

“That can only be a good thing as we look to spread the anti-racism message across the world.”


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