“That is defined by much more than a gesture, which we feel has run its course and is no longer having the effect it first did eight months ago.”
Bournemouth players joined their Brentford counterparts in not taking the knee before games as they feel the message is getting lost due to a lack of action.
Jack Wilshere and Shane Long are among the Bournemouth squad that released a statement on Friday night via club captain Steve Cook.
Bournemouth sent out Steve Cook’s statement on Twitter last night.
“Following discussions between the squad and with senior staff members, we have decided to no longer take the knee before games, starting this weekend against Queens Park Rangers,” Cook said.
“At all levels, this club prides itself on its work around equality, diversity and inclusion and as a group of players we fully embrace this.
“We all strive to ensure that AFC Bournemouth is a club which welcomes anyone, regardless of their race, gender, sexuality or religion.
“Fighting all forms of discrimination and creating an equal, inclusive society is something that we feel very passionately about.”
— AFC Bournemouth 🍒 (@afcbournemouth) February 19, 2021
Cook and the Bournemouth players feel taking the knee is no longer having an effect and want to see more action to tackle racial injustice.
“But that is defined by much more than a gesture, which we feel has run its course and is no longer having the effect it first did eight months ago,” Cook continued.
“Since football restarted last June we have taken the knee before every fixture. Instead, we will now stand before games; just as we stand together with our team mates who have suffered racial abuse and as we stand with anyone who is subjected to any form of discrimination.
“As footballers and role models we want to continue affecting change in a positive way but we also need support – from governing bodies and social media platforms, in particular – and want to see action rather than words or gestures.”
Black lives matter
In the wake of George Floyd’s death in America last May, the Premier League and Football League decided players would take the knee before kick-offs in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter campaign.
Notably, the Premier League – having initially used ‘Black Lives Matter’ as their slogan – now adopts the ‘No Room for Racism’ campaign.
“We will continue to use our positions within the local community and alongside the club’s Community Sports Trust to promote equality and the message that football is for everyone,” Cook added.
“The Community Sports Trust delivers more than 100 workshops every year to school children around equality, diversity and inclusion.
“This coming week, as an ambassador of the Respect workshop, I will be helping reinforce those messages, and my team mates will continue to do so, too.
“We have to do more to create an equal society and we will do more.”