Rio Ferdinand explains why players take the knee
As the start of the new Premier League season draws ever closer, former-Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has voiced his support for players taking the knee in the new campaign.
“Why do players take the knee?” Rio asks, in a video released by the Premier League on Friday morning.
It comes after Manchester United’s players, in association with all other clubs in the division, announced that they will continue to take the knee this season.
Ferdinand tells us, in a video produced by the Premier League, PFA, LMA, Kick It Out and the FSA, that “racism isn’t a comfortable conversation; but racism never went away.”
Rio Ferdinand: Why players take the knee
Our six-time Premier League winning defender explains why Premier League players will take the knee this season...
“Racism is a real problem. It’s societal. It’s blatant prejudice. It’s more than social media abuse. It’s certainly bigger than football.”
The six-time Premier League champion rallies against the suggestion from some that taking the knee is merely a gesture.
“This here is much more than just a gesture,” he begins.
“It’s about recognising reality and demanding a change. It’s a symbol of pride; pride in identity, pride in using our platform for change. That’s why players take the knee.”
“So if you’re a supporter… support this.”
After the racial abuse suffered by numerous Manchester United players over the last year, we could not support Rio’s message more strongly.
At kick-off in Saturday’s game against Leeds United, both sets of players, coaching staff and officials will take the knee once again to reiterate the message that more must be done.
Players and match officials will also wear a ‘No Room For Racism’ sleeve badge on their shirts for the 2021/22 season. The Premier League say “this will act as a constant reminder of the commitment by the Premier League, its clubs, players and PGMOL to eradicate racism.”