Derby County’s players and staff have voted unanimously against taking a knee prior to all upcoming games.
The symbolic gesture became a feature of football matches all over the country following Project Restart in June last year, with the aim of raising awareness of the need to fight racial discrimination in the game and outside.
However, following a number of high-profile incidents in recent months, in which footballers have been abused via social media, some individuals and clubs have decided the time has come to stop taking a knee, with the gesture seemingly doing little to deter such attacks.
Derby have become the latest side to opt against taking a knee after Rams striker Colin Kazim-Richards was the subject of racial abuse following his side’s 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest, with the club taking to their official website to explain the decision.
The statement outlined Derby’s continued commitment to strive for equality in the game, with both first-team players and stuff agreeing that more needed to be done to tackle the matter.
“This decision has been made after discussions as a group, including first-team players and senior staff members, in recent days,” the statement read.
“It has been decided, as a collective group, to no longer take a knee. This decision has been made because the symbolic gesture of taking a knee is not enough; more needs to be done and we are committed to playing an important role in this.
“Derby County is proud to continue its work with many fantastic organisations and individuals, both nationally and in the local community, to strive for equality and diversity in not just football but society.
“We will support the fight against all forms of discrimination by delivering the unified message of standing together as one. No longer taking a knee does not change the club’s stance on all forms of discrimination. It will not be tolerated at Derby County; this is categorically clear.
“The club will, wholeheartedly, support players and staff at other clubs that still want to take a knee before games involving Derby County. We are all in this together.”