Why are Premier League players taking the knee again? Dates when clubs will take anti-racism stance

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Premier League players are set to take the knee once more this weekened, in games including Arsenal versus Liverpool.

Premier League players are set to take the knee before kick-off over the next two weekends.

England’s top-flight clubs began taking the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 and continued showing their support until the end of last season.

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Club captains agreed ahead of the 2022-23 campaign that they would stop taking the knee before every match and would instead choose significant moments to demostrate the anti-racism gesture.

These events include Boxing Day fixtures after the World Cup, No Room for Racism matchdays, the final day of the season and both the FA and EFL Cup finals.

Following clubs’ decision over the summer, the chief executive of the Premier League, Richard Masters, said: “We support the decision made by players to take the knee at specific moments during the season and we will use these matches to further promote anti-discrimination and educate fans.

“We continue to work hard to address discrimination and improve opportunities within the game, in line with our No Room for Racism action plan.

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“We know more can be done to remove barriers to make football more inclusive and that football will benefit from greater diversity across all areas of the sport.”

When and why are Premier League players taking the knee again?

Premier League clubs will be dedicating matches between the 8th and 16th October to the No Room for Racism campaign - highlighting the ongoing commitment to tackling discrimnation and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.

All Premier League matches will display ‘No Room For Racism’ messaging in support of the movement.

Chair of the Premier League’s Black Participants’ Advisory Group (BPAG) Darren Moore said: “In my time as Chair of BPAG, I have seen a lot of significant changes and progress in tackling discrimination and creating more opportunities across the game.

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“I think it is fantastic players are continuing to take the knee to show a united front against racism. The BPAG fully supports the players as they take the knee at selected matches to continue to send this powerful message.

“I am proud of the work being done to increase the number of coaches from underrepresented groups going into full-time professional roles.

“The coaching initiatives are excellent and well received by candidates. There has been really good work in opening doors and creating pathways - the challenge now is to ensure we continue to work together to maintain progress and enhance these opportunities for even more coaches.

“We already have a brilliant game and bringing more diversity into all areas of football will only continue to make it even better.”

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Where does taking the knee come from?

American footballer Colin Kaepernick first took the knee during the national anthem before a match in 2016.

The San Francisco 49ers star argued he could not stand to show pride in the flag of a country that oppressed black people.

The anti-racism gesture has become a prominent symbol in sport and became a key feature of the Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd.

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