Premier League won’t be taking the knee before the start of every match in the upcoming 2022-23 season but will do it on important days and “significant moments.”

All the Premier League captains issued a joint statement where they agreed that their respective teams would be taking the knee ahead of their opening match. Apart from that, there will be dedicated “No Room for Racism” matches in October and March.

Boxing Day, the final round of the season and the FA Cup and League Cup finals are some of the other important days when teams would be expected to take the knee before the start of the match. 

How did the gesture start?

The gesture started in June 2020 when teams began showing support for the Black Lives Matter campaign, which gained traction in the United States of America following George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

The League decided to continue with the gesture ahead of the 2021-22 season. “We feel now, more than ever, it is important for us to continue to take the knee as a symbol of our unity against all forms of racism,” an EPL statement read.

“We remain resolutely committed to our singular objective of eradicating racial prejudice wherever it exists, to bring about a global society of inclusion, respect and equal opportunities for all.” 

Players who stopped taking the knee

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha was the first Premier League footballer who stopped taking the knee, saying he did not believe the gesture was sufficient. 

“I think the meaning behind the whole thing is becoming something that we just do now. That’s not enough. I’m not going to take the knee, ” Zaha said. 

Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso too opted out, stating that the movement was “losing a bit of strength”. Instead, he pointed to an anti-racism badge on his jersey sleeve. 

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