Fans Boo Millwall, Derby Players for Taking Knee in Protest of Racism

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 5, 2020

FILE - In this Friday, June 12, 2015 file photo, the pitch appears to show the pattern of a swastika, following the Euro 2016 Group H qualifying soccer match between Croatia and Italy, in Split, Croatia. UEFA has rejected Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 Croatia’s appeal against the one-point deduction in its European Championship qualifying group after a swastika was painted on the field before a match against Italy. Croatia must also play its next two home qualifiers in an empty stadium. It hosts Bulgaria in October. The Croatian football federation must also pay a 100,000 euro ($110,000) fine. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)
Darko Bandic/Associated Press

Fans at Saturday's EFL Championship match between Millwall and Derby County booed as the players took a knee to protest against racism after the opening whistle.

The FA issued a statement:

According to The Athletic's Ryan ConwayColin Kazim-Richards and Andre Wisdom were among the Derby players who spoke to the team at halftime and "told them to make each other proud in the second half and to win the game."

Earlier this month, the United Kingdom government allowed clubs to welcome back a limited number of supporters amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Millwall were permitted to cap their attendance at 2,000 at The Den.

Speaking on BBC's Final Score, former England international Micah Richards addressed the situation.

"There are 2,000 so you can pinpoint the people going," he said. "There are no excuses. I am sick to death of talking about this situation."

"It is so disheartening because it is like we have come so far but we have so far to go. I don't even like talking about the matter. It feels like it falls on deaf ears. It is time and time and time again."

Footballers across Europe have been kneeling since action resumed following a mass lockdown amid the spread of COVID-19 to raise awareness of social justice issues and show support for the Black Lives Matter cause.

Millwall's players said Friday in a statement the act of kneeling "provides an opportunity for us to do exactly that and continues to allow all those playing to publicly showcase their support—on behalf of the whole squad—for the fight against discrimination."

Derby County were 1-0 winners Saturday thanks to a 69th-minute goal from Jason Knight.