Footballers are asked if they want to STOP taking the knee by PFA

Do you actually WANT to take the knee? The PFA send out survey to players at all clubs in Premier League, EFL and Women’s Super League asking if they want to STOP pre-kick off gesture after fans booed across football league grounds

  • The survey was issued to all male and female league clubs in England and Wales
  • It asks whether players would prefer to take the knee individually or as a squad 
  • The PFA have also queried what should be done if the gesture faces a backlash
  • The trade union offered the chance for players to suggest alternative methods

The PFA has issued a survey to professional male and female clubs in England asking them if they want to continue taking the knee.

The questionnaire sent out to all Premier League, EFL and Women’s Super League sides includes five questions on whether the pre-match gesture should be carried on in support of black lives and anti-racism.

The survey asks whether players from each club would prefer to take the knee as a squad or individually and what should be done if there is a backlash from fans following their return into stadiums earlier this month.

The PFA has issued a survey to all clubs asking them if they want to continue taking the knee

The questionnaire was sent out to all Premier League , EFL and Women’s Super League clubs

The final two questions ask the players if they wish to see an alternative gesture replace the current one, while also encouraging them to provide details of what they think would be more appropriate.

The news comes after two more football matches faced a backlash from supporters after players took the knee earlier this week.

An Exeter fan was thrown out for booing during his side’s home clash against Harrogate Town, while jeers were also heard at the Cambridge United ground during their game against Colchester United.

Fellow spectators at both grounds responded by applauding and cheering before the matches got underway, drowning out the boos.

It asks whether it should be done individually or as a squad and what to do with a backlash 

One supporter was ejected from Exeter City’s clash against Harrogate Town for booing it 

The incidents on Tuesday were the latest example of a backlash against taking the knee, which spread around the world following the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minnesota in the US.

Many see the act as a symbol of anti-racism, but some football fans have questioned its links to BLM, which in the UK has become associated with the toppling of statues – such as slave trader Edward Colston’s in Bristol – and far-left political beliefs. 

Millwall became the first club to boo the knee gesture at a home game against Derby at the Den on December 5, prompting the club to say they were ‘dismayed and saddened’ by what had happened.

In the wake of the backlash against the Millwall booing, Environment Secretary George Eustice called BLM a ‘political movement,’ that doesn’t reflect ‘what most of us believe’.

There were similar scenes at Abbey Stadium where Cambridge United hosted Colchester 

A similar incident took place before Millwall’s game against Derby earlier this month

The news also comes after Sportsmail exclusively revealed that Football League clubs are considering scrapping the gesture due to its link with the BLM political movement. 

Meetings between the League (EFL) and their clubs earlier this month discussed possible alternatives to the pre-match ritual to continue to show their support for the fight against racism such as anti-discrimination banners.

Unlike the Premier League, in which all clubs have continued to perform the gesture before games this season, there have been weekends when more than half of EFL matches have seen no clubs do so.

Football League clubs have held talks about scrapping taking the knee before matches 

Millwall and QPR players stand together in front of an anti-racism banner instead of kneeling

The new gesture could be similar to the one performed by Millwall and QPR on Tuesday night that saw both teams stand together in front of an anti-racism banner. Millwall and Middlesbrough did the same while Luton and Preston’s players linked arms on the centre circle.

Meanwhile, professionals in other sports such as Anthony Joshua have also chosen to forego the symbolic gesture.

Joshua took part in a Black Lives Matter march in June, but ahead of retaining his world heavyweight belts against Kubrat Pulev on Saturday he confirmed he would not take the knee because he wanted to do something more ‘tangible and positive’. 

Boxer Anthony Joshua also chose to forego the gesture before defeating Kubrat Pulev

He said: ‘No, I won’t take the knee. I won’t take the knee. I’m trying to do more tangible things. What we’re trying to do is create a union to support British culture. 

‘That’s important – to showcase people from the Afro-Caribbean community as valuable members of British society. I think that’s more important and that’s what we’re working on at the minute.

‘Taking a knee is important – 100 per cent. But for me, personally, I’m doing something different this time around.’

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