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Swansea and Bristol City players will not take the knee before games this season after feeling ‘let down’ by handling of alleged racist abuse

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Swansea and Bristol City players will not take the knee before games this season after feeling

English clubs, Swansea and Bristol City have announced they will no longer take the knee before games this season.

The Championship sides, who have adopted the anti-racism gesture since it came into the game in June 2020, stressed they remain committed to fighting discrimination.

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The Swansea squad and coaching staff, who visit Rotherham in their season opener on Saturday, said in a statement: “Following discussions as a group, we have collectively decided to no longer take the knee prior to fixtures during the 2022-23 season.

“This is not a decision that has been taken lightly, and in no way reflects any diminishing of our belief that discrimination of any nature is abhorrent and has no place in football or society. We remain firmly in support of what taking the knee stands for and represents.

 

“Taking the knee has undoubtedly helped to raise awareness and encourage conversations about how to remove racism from the game we all love.

 

“Should any opposition side take the knee before a game this season, then we will line up and applaud them, because we absolutely support the sentiment behind it.

“But we feel we want to take responsibility as a group and find alternative ways to show our commitment to inclusion and diversity, and we feel that needs to run deeper than taking the knee each time we play.

“We want to work to be a force for positive, substantive change.”

Bristol City, who head to Hull, said: “We have taken the knee at every game we have played since June 2020 as an important stance of solidarity in the fight against all forms of discrimination.

 

“That battle must continue every day in how we all behave and contribute to society and we will applaud opposition teams who take the knee and raise awareness while ensuring that we have a zero-tolerance approach to hate and abuse.

 

“Everyone can make a difference, from individuals through to governing bodies and social media companies, whom we urge to use the power of their global systems to help bring online abuse to an end.

“We are blessed with diversity and difference within our squad and within the great city of Bristol and we will continue to celebrate that rich mixture of race and culture.”

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