QPR explain decision not to take the knee

22 Sep 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

Championship outfit Queens Park Rangers has moved to reaffirm its position on the fight against racism, after it decided not to take a knee ahead of its 3-2 loss to Coventry.

Following the murder of George Floyd, kneeling has become customary ahead of sporting fixtures across the globe as a show of solidarity for the black lives matter movement, and a number of fans and media questioned QPR’s decision not to do so.

However, the club has now confirmed that the decision ‘was not made to suggest a lack of support for the movement’, but that it believes the ‘impact has now been diluted’.

“Taking the knee was very powerful, but we feel that impact has now been diluted,” said QPR Director of Football Les Ferdinand in the statement.

“In the same way ‘Clap For Carers’ was very emotional for us all, it got to a stage where it had run its natural course and the decision was rightly made to stop it. Does that mean we, as a nation, don’t care or appreciate our NHS workers? Of course it doesn’t.”

Ferdinand continued: “The taking of the knee has reached a point of ‘good PR’ but little more than that. The message has been lost. It is now not dissimilar to a fancy hashtag or a nice pin badge.

“What are our plans with this? Will people be happy for players to take the knee for the next ten years but see no actual progress made?

“Taking the knee will not bring about change in the game - actions will.”

The club have moved to reiterate that it will continue to fight racism through action rather than gestures, and comes as it continues to appeal to UEFA and the Spanish FA after its U18 side was forced to abandon a fixture against AD Nervion FC in 2019 due to racist abuse.