Doncaster Rovers players to take the knee before matches after change in stance

Doncaster Rovers’ players will resume taking the knee before every match this season.

Sunday, 7th August 2022, 6:00 am

Sports stars across the world began the anti-racism gesture to support the Black Lives Matter movement, which rose to prominence following the death of George Floyd in the United States in May 2020.

The gesture was inspired by NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s protest against racial oppression in the US.

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Doncaster's players take the knee before the opening home game of the season against Sutton United.

But several EFL clubs have since abandoned it.

Last season Doncaster’s players would link arms in the centre circle pre-match as a show of unity, rather than taking a knee.

Former manager Richie Wellens said: “I think taking the knee has run its course.”

The current group of players have decided on a change of approach for 2022/23, which was met with applause in their first home game of the 2022/23 season against Sutton United on Saturday.

Rovers midfielder Harrison Biggins, who joined the club this summer, said: “We did speak about it and we agreed as a team that we were all going to come together, take the knee and link on the halfway line to show a bit of togetherness.”

Premier League clubs this week announced the gesture would be limited to specific games this season.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters told BBC Sport: "For two years now taking the knee has become part of the pre-match ritual.

"The players fear it's losing power and momentum and we will see it take place in a different format."

A joint statement from the top flight’s 20 captains said: "We remain resolutely committed to eradicate racial prejudice, and to bring about an inclusive society with respect and equal opportunities for all."