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Brentford to stop taking a knee but reiterate support of anti-discrimination projects

Brentford players believe taking a knee has lost its impact

Brentford will no longer take a knee before games because they feel the gesture against discrimination no longer has the required impact.

Sunday’s game against Barnsley will be the first in which they have not taken part in the pre-match kneel.

In a statementexternal-link, the Championship side’s squad said racism was “the opposite of what we stand for”.

“There is a clear need to continue to push for an end to all discrimination,” the statement added.

“We believe we can use our time and energies to promote racial equality in other ways.”

They also reiterated support for the club’s #BeeTogether inclusivity drive, and would continue to support clubs who did wish to take a knee at games.

West London neighbours Queens Park Rangers had already stopped taking the knee as the club felt the effect was “diluted”, although they did join Millwall in doing so in a fixture after players had been booed in the Lions’ previous match.

Middlesbrough stopped doing so for similar reasons as captain Britt Assombalonga said change was now required after the initial success of the gesture, while Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha said the knee gesture was “degrading” in a recent newspaper interview.

The taking a knee gesture was inspired by NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who decided on the silent protest against racial oppression by kneeling during the national anthem.

“Taking a knee is just one way our players have been showing their commitment,” Brentford chief executive Jon Varney said.

“We supported their desire to do it and we now support their desire to focus on other ways to show this commitment. We have been very clear in our ambition to be the most inclusive club in the country and our players want to and will play a big part on this journey.”

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