Brentford players refuse to take knee before 2-0 defeat vs Barnsley

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Brentford players refused to take a knee before their 2-0 defeat against Barnsley on Sunday.

The Championship side released a statement earlier in the weekend explaining their reasons for no longer taking part in the pre-match kneel.

They feel the gesture against discrimination no longer has the required impact.

"As a group of players, we have decided we will no longer take a knee before the start of matches. This will begin when we face Barnsley tomorrow, Sunday 14 February," Brentford's statement read.

"This decision has come after lengthy discussions as a group. We have been taking a knee before games since June but, like many of our fellow players at other clubs, no longer believe that this is having an impact. We believe we can use our time and energies to promote racial equality in other ways.”

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Brentford say they will continue to support colleagues at other clubs who want to continue kneeling before matches.

"As a group we are fully behind and proud of Brentford’s desire to become the most inclusive club in the country and the drive towards equality under the #BeeTogether banner,” the statement continued.

"We have experienced racist abuse first hand and have also seen some appalling comments made to other players past and present.

"There is a clear need to continue to push for an end to all discrimination and, as players, we will be part of that at Brentford FC, in football in general and in the wider community.

"Togetherness is one of our key values as a group and plays an important role in helping us move towards reaching our goals.

"Racism is the opposite of what we stand for. As players we will show our commitment to Togetherness and racial equality on and off the pitch between now and the end of the season, and beyond. We will also support our colleagues at other clubs that still want to take a knee before games."

True to their word, Brentford’s players stood as their opponents and the match officials all took a knee.

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Brentford’s decision came shortly after Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha had described the act of taking a knee every week as “degrading”.

"The whole kneeling down - why must I kneel down for you to show that we matter?" Zaha said on the On The Judy YouTube podcast.

"Why must I even wear Black Lives Matter on the back of my top to show you that we matter? This is all degrading stuff.

"When people constantly want to get me to do Black Lives Matter talks and racial talks and I'm like, I'm not doing it just so you can put 'Zaha spoke for us'. Like a tick box, basically.

"I'm not doing any more, unless things change. I'm not coming to chat to you just for the sake of it, like all the interviews I've done.

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"All these platforms - you see what's happening, you see people making fake accounts to abuse black people constantly, but you don't change it.

"So don't tell me to come and chat about stuff that's not going to change. Change it.

"All that stuff that you lot are doing, all these charades mean nothing."

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