Why Doncaster Rovers no longer take the knee before matches

Richie Wellens said there was a collective belief at Doncaster Rovers that the gesture of taking the knee had run its course in the bid to rid football of racism and discrimination.

By Liam Hoden
Monday, 23rd August 2021, 12:44 pm

Rather than taking the knee prior to kick-off in their matches at the Keepmoat, as they did throughout last season, the Rovers players link arms on the centre circle.

During this, an anti-racism message recorded by the squad is played on the big screen.

Explaining why Rovers no longer take the knee, Wellens said he feels the new gesture hammers home the intended point more

Doncaster Rovers

“I think taking the knee has run its course,” he told the Free Press.

“We put a video on the big screen and I think that has more of an impact - our players talking about it rather than taking the knee.

“I don’t think it’s a massive problem within football but it should not be a problem at all.

“There’s no room for it at all.

“I think it’s important that we speak about it rather than taking the knee and showing respect that way.

“I think it’s important we get the message across on the screen where it’s people actually speaking about it.

“There’s no room in football or life for any forms of racism or discrimination, especially at Doncaster Rovers Football Club.

“As a club, we’re very good on that and we’ll continue to show the video, which hopefully fans can relate to.”

The two sides to visit the Keepmoat so far this season, AFC Wimbledon and Portsmouth, both opted to take the knee prior to kick-off.

The video message from the Rovers squad reads as follows:

“Rovers for all is simple - if you are Rovers, you are welcome.

“Football is everyone’s game, no matter who you love, who you are, where you’re from, your race or your faith.

“Discrimination based on any of these characteristics is against the law and is not welcome at our football club.

“We don’t accept it in our stadium and we don’t accept it online.

“If you see discriminatory language being used in the stadium, notify your nearest steward. If you see it online, report it to Kick It Out.

“Together, we can kick it out of football.”


In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.