FA takes no action over Colchester or Millwall boos but will act in future

The Football Association is to take no action against Millwall or Colchester over fans who booed players taking a knee but is ready to act in future, arguing there is now “no doubt” taking a knee is an anti-racist gesture.

After investigations into the incidents and “careful consideration”, the FA said it had chosen not to pursue disciplinary measures.

In an intervention that will carry weight in the debate over players’ protests against racism, the governing body said it defined the taking of a knee as an attempt to “highlight the inequality and injustice experienced by the Black community”.

This is understood to have been a response to the argument, made after the Millwall incident, that supporters had not been booing the anti-racism but the “Marxist” policies of a group that has tried to register the name Black Lives Matter as a UK political party.

The gesture, brought to prominence by the NFL star Colin Kapaernick in 2016 during the playing of the US national anthem in protest against racist discrimination by police, has been incorporated into a number of different anti-racist protests. The EFL had agreed that players could take a knee under the banner of its own anti-racist campaign, “not today, or any day”.

Sources suggest the FA intends its clarification to act as a line in the sand. The FA said it would continue to monitor and investigate should “similar crowd-related incidents occur” in future. Any incidents of booing around the taking of the knee will no longer be afforded the benefit of the doubt. Cambridge fans booed the gesture this week.

“The FA would like to further clarify that anyone who chooses to take the knee will continue to receive our support as they highlight the inequality and injustice experienced by the Black community,” the governing body said in a statement. “To be clear, we do not see taking the knee as a political symbol, and would contend that there can now be no doubt as to what the gesture means in a footballing context.

“Therefore, going forward, the FA will continue to monitor and investigate should similar crowd-related incidents occur. The FA continues to support all players and clubs that wish to take a stand against any form of discrimination, and will always condemn the behaviours of anyone that chooses to actively oppose these values.”

source: theguardian.com