Millwall finally release statement on booing of anti racist protest before Derby County match
It only took them 19 hours
Millwall FC have finally released a statement addressing the scenes that marred their 1-0 loss to Derby County on Saturday afternoon.
Before kick-off, every player on the pitch - except Derby's Colin Kazim-Richards, who chose to stand tall with his fist held high - took a knee, as has become customary before football matches this year. The gesture is one of anti-racist protest.
A large proportion of the 2,000 fans in The Den were heard booing the players for making the gesture, objecting to the show of anti-racist solidarity.
In a statement issued 19 hours after the incident occurred, Millwall said: "Millwall Football Club was dismayed and saddened by events which marred Saturday’s game against Derby County at The Den.
"The club has worked tirelessly in recent months to prepare for the return of supporters and what should have been a positive and exciting occasion was completely overshadowed, much to the immense disappointment and upset of those who have contributed to those efforts.
"The impact of such incidents is felt not just by the players and management, but by those who work throughout the club and in its Academy and Community Trust, where so many staff and volunteers continue passionate endeavours to enhance Millwall’s reputation day after day, year after year.
"The players are continuing to use the biggest platform they have to support the drive for change, not just in football but in society generally.
"There is much work to be done and at Millwall everyone is committed to doing all that is possible, both individually and collectively, to be a force for good and to ensure that the club remains at the forefront of football’s anti-discrimination efforts.
"Over the coming days, club, Academy and Community Trust staff will meet with Kick It Out and representatives from other appropriate bodies in an attempt to use Saturday’s events as a catalyst for more rapid solutions which have an impact both in the short and long-term.
"Further comment will be made once those meetings and discussions are concluded."