Liverpool have announced that both men and women’s senior squads will continue to take the knee throughout 2021-22 season.
First initiated in June 2020 throughout English Football at both national and club level just ahead of kick-off as a symbolic gesture in the fight against racism, the knee has proven controversial amongst fans and politicians.
After discussions over the summer and throughout pre-season, Liverpool have decided to continue this gesture throughout the new season in order to reinforce ‘a clear message: prejudice of any kind is simply unacceptable, in football or in society.’
Speaking on behalf of Liverpool’s men squad – captain, Jordan Henderson iterated that the team will “restate our commitment to taking the knee” whilst welcoming the Premier League’s decision to allow the gesture to continue.
Henderson also acknowledged the debate around this gesture which led to Aston Villa star, Tyrone Mings blasting UK Home Secretary – Priti Patel for fake disgust upon racial abuse of footballers, after describing the knee pre Euro 2020 as ‘gesture politics’ and warning her that she doesn’t ‘get to stoke the fire…’
Speaking about the debate of the knee, Henderson said: “There has been unfounded debate about why footballers are continuing to demonstrate in this way but there should be none. It is very simple – we are protesting against racism.
“The question should no longer be why are we doing it, it should be why wouldn’t we? This is a necessary response to a problem that we know exists and which we also know should not be happening.”
Henderson concluded by admitting that he is “proud” of his team for taking the knee and described this move as “… doing what is right and coming together that we can achieve positive change and it is in this spirit that we will carry on taking the knee.”
Liverpool Women Captain, Niamh Fahey added that she and her teammates are “pleased that the football authorities will once again support squads who wish to take the knee.”
Fahey also acknowledged the racial abuse on display around this summer’s Euros, commenting: “We saw even this summer around the Euros that the scourge of racism remains not just in football but in society. It shows, sadly, that the reason we took the knee last season remains every bit as relevant this season.”
The 33 year-old added that the knee gesture represents football’s way “of saying there is no place for racism or other forms of discrimination in our game, and that things must change.”
Fahey concluded by adding that Liverpool Women will sport ‘Take A Stand’ badges on their playing shirts throughout 2021-22 FA Women’s Championship season with support from fans.