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Queens Park Rangers players will take the knee at Millwall where fans booed gesture

QPR and Sheffield Wednesday players and the referee take a knee, while Rangers striker Lyndon Dykes stands before their Championship encounter
QPR have given players and staff an individual choice over whether to take the knee before games this season

Queens Park Rangers boss Mark Warburton says his side will take the knee ahead of Tuesday’s league game at Millwall.

However, Warburton says the club will “show solidarity” with the cause after some Millwall fans booed players taking a knee at The Den on Saturday.

“It is the right thing to do,” he said.

Millwall hosted 2,000 home fans for their Championship match against Derby County at the weekend after the second national lockdown was lifted, but the return of spectators was overshadowed by the pre-match incident.

The Lions have said they were “dismayed and saddened” by the actions of a section of their support.

The Millwall Supporters’ Club said the booing was not motivated by racism,external-link but instead in opposition to the political views held by the Black Lives Matter organisation.

Players, officials and staff at Premier League and English Football League games have been taking a knee before games since the 2019-20 season restarted in June in order to show their support for the movement for racial equality.

However, QPR did not take the knee ahead of their game at Coventry in September – with former England striker Ferdinand saying the message of the gesture had been lost, and that actions were needed to bring about change in football.

Rangers have given individuals at the club a choice over whether to participate in the pre-match gesture since then, but Warburton says all his players have agreed to take the knee when they travel to The Den to face the Lions.

“In light of certain events, we will stand solidly behind the cause and our players will take the knee,” Warburton said.

“We will show solidarity because we will not tolerate any form of discrimination. But we are a club that take positive action and do not get involved in token gestures. Les’ words were succinct and very clear.

“Moving forward, people will do what they think is the right thing.”

Meanwhile, Football’s Black Coalition (FBC) has called on club owners to take an active stance against racism.

The body, launched by black coaches along with former and current players, said the “disgraceful and disheartening” scenes at The Den show how far the game has to go in dealing with racial discrimination.

“Closed stadiums were both a shelter and a sanctuary for players on the pitch from the continuous hostility to black players and racial justice,” a statement from the FBC said.

“Re-opening sparsely attended stadiums should be seen as a green light to identify these so-called fans and educate them if possible – but if they’re not willing to listen, to kick them out of the game for good.

“It’s now time for owners to step up. They need to get officials together and deliver an inclusive plan to take an active stance against racism.”

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