Millwall manager responds to fans booing players who took the knee
"I'm disappointed that we’re not talking about the game today."
Millwall fans booed their own players for taking the knee before their game against Derby County kicked off on Saturday.
Their actions were condemned by the FA, Kick It Out, and every level headed fan in the country.
Millwall manager, Gary Rowett, spoke about what he saw and heard after the match, saying he was disappointed that he wasn't talking about the game.
“I’m sat here as a manager disappointed that we’re not talking about the game today," Rowett said, as per the South London Press.
“The club have done so many positive things in the community – anti-discrimination. They have done so many brilliant initiatives and it’s a club that works incredibly hard to enact change and do something about the situations we all feel we need to be more pro-active on.
“We’re all disappointed that we’re having to come in and talk about it.
“The players have released a statement together. It’s a mixture – is it a political message, is it about anti-discrimination and equality? I think we all 100 per cent support that. The players have spoken about it and said they don’t support it as a political message. They support anti-discrimination and that’s why they’ve done it.
“Moving forward, like a lot of clubs have done, they’d prefer not to take the knee and enact change – do something positively about it. Be proactive about it rather than something which is a gesture and that a lot of clubs are saying now is perhaps empty. That’s not my consideration, but they feel that gesture has been empty and not doing something about it.”
Kick It Out issued their own statement. It said: “We are saddened by the behaviour of fans booing the players taking the knee today at Millwall.
“What this demonstrates is that players are right to continue standing up to discrimination, whether that is through take the knee or speaking out.
“The fight for racial equality continues and we will continue to work closely with clubs across the country to tackle discrimination in all its forms.
“We applaud the players for taking a stand and defying the hate shown today.”
An FA statement said: “The FA supports all players and staff that wish to take a stand against discrimination in a respectful manner, which includes taking of the knee, and strongly condemns the behaviours of any spectators that actively voice their opposition to such activities.”