Millwall have issued a statement on fans booing the taking of the knee before the Championship tie against Derby County on Saturday.
Statement From Millwall on Fans Booing Taking of the Knee
Players taking the knee before kick-off in football matches has become a normal sight. It has become a symbol for the Kick It Out campaign and has been widely welcomed.
Before the game at The New Den players took the knee. What followed was unsavoury. Sections of the two thousand Millwall fans allowed into the ground booed. There may not have been many fans but the booing was audible and has been met with widespread condemnation from the English Football League and Football Association.
Millwall have now issued a statement expressing ‘dismay’ at the events:
“Millwall Football Club was dismayed and saddened by events which marred Saturday’s game against Derby County at The Den,” the statement began.
“The impact of such incidents is felt not just by the players and management, but by those who work throughout the club and in its Academy and Community Trust, where so many staff and volunteers continue passionate endeavours to enhance Millwall’s reputation day after day, year after year.”
Club to Meet with Kick It Out Representatives Over Incident
The statement went on to say the club will be meeting with representatives of the Kick It Out campaign in the coming days.
It said: “Over the coming days, club, Academy and Community Trust staff will meet with Kick It Out and representatives from other appropriate bodies in an attempt to use Saturday’s events as a catalyst for more rapid solutions which have an impact both in the short and long-term.”
The full official club statement can be found here.
Millwall Player Mahlon Romeo ‘Lost for Words’
Mahlon Romeo, who has represented Antigua and Barbuda, told the South London Press of his reaction to the incident:
“Today’s game, to me now, has become irrelevant,” he said. “The fans have been let back in – which the whole team was looking forward to. But in society there is a problem – and that problem is racism.
“The fans who have been let in today have personally disrespected not just me but the football club. And what the football club and the community stand for. What they’ve done is booed and condemned a peaceful gesture which was put in place to highlight, combat and stop any discriminatory behavior and racism. That’s it – that’s all that gesture is.”
Romeo also said that the fans have highlighted further the need to stamp out racism and discrimination in sports and all walks of life
The impact of the incident will be felt for time to come and following the statement released by the football club, Millwall now have a mammoth task to try and restore an already brittle reputation.
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