Championship: QPR to take a knee at Millwall in show of support after booing

QPR and Millwall said players would “stand arm-in-arm with each other in a show of solidarity for football's fight against discrimination” before the game kicks off.

Millwall

Millwall players kneeling in support of 'Black Lives Matter' during a Championship match against Derby County at The Den on Saturday in London.   -  Getty Images

Players from Queens Park Rangers will take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement ahead of Tuesday's Championship game at Millwall, manager Mark Warburton said on Monday.

Both clubs also said that players would “stand arm-in-arm with each other in a show of solidarity for football's fight against discrimination” before the game kicks off at The Den.

In a statement posted on their respective websites, QPR and Millwall added that the two sides would “hold aloft a banner to show their collective commitment towards ongoing efforts to rid the game of racism in a positive move”.

Millwall asked its fans to respect the QPR players taking a knee, insisting that “anybody found guilty of racial abuse is banned for life”.

The club added that the logo of anti-discrimination body 'Kick It Out' would replace that of the regular shirt sponsor for the London derby.

It appeared that Millwall players would not take a knee. QPR said that “on top of (players standing arm-in-arm), some of our players wish to take the knee and we fully support this action”, while Millwall did not mention its players making the gesture.

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Millwall's home game against Derby County last week, one of the first to see a return of supporters to stadiums since the start of Britain's COVID restrictions in March, was marred by loud booing from 2,000 fans as players took a knee.

QPR's players had stopped kneeling after director of football Les Ferdinand said the action had become a PR stunt but Warburton said it was important to show solidarity in the wake of last week's incident.

“In light of certain events, we'll stand solidly behind the cause and our players will take a knee,” Warburton said. “Tomorrow night, we will show solidarity because we will not tolerate any form of discrimination.

“It's the right thing to do. Everyone can see that. The players have come to me and told me their thoughts and I absolutely agree with them. Going forward, this club is so proactive in this area and this is one of the most diverse clubs in the country.”

Warburton said his players would not walk off in protest if they were met by a chorus of boos.

“We'll show solidarity by taking the knee and then we'll concentrate on 90 minutes of football against a very tough opponent,” he said.

Fans of Millwall were condemned by the Football Association, Kick It Out and many others, with the FA launching an investigation into the incident.

Millwall said it was dismayed by the booing while its official fan club said supporters were not motivated by racism and that the boos were aimed at the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organisation, which it said held “extreme political views”.