'Footballers should stop play and take the knee if fans are racist,' says James O'Brien caller

4 August 2022, 12:24 | Updated: 4 August 2022, 12:27

'Footballers should stop play and take the knee if fans shout racist abuse,' says James O'Brien caller
'Footballers should stop play and take the knee if fans shout racist abuse,' says James O'Brien caller. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By Fiona Jones

This James O'Brien caller told LBC that if fans shout racist abuse, matches should pause and footballers should take the knee "for at least a minute."

The conversation came after it was announced the Premier League's players won't take the knee before every match but will make anti-racist gestures at specific high-profile moments in the season.

Caller Kieran, who described himself as mixed heritage, told James he "didn't really care" whether players wanted to take the knee before a match as he feels "desensitised" after seeing it happen for so long.

What he suggested instead was taking firm action in the moment should any racist incidents occur during a match.

The caller said: "If there was a stadium announcement that says there's been reports of racism within the stadium, I think they should stop the game and get down on their knee.

"I think they should get down on their knee for at least a minute."

James agreed that battling actual incidents of racism would be a strong replacement in protesting racism.

He suggested that as taking the knee has become "part of the rigmarole", halting a match to protest racism in real time could be a great improvement.

Club captains met last week to discuss the practice which was introduced to support the Black Lives Matter movement, which came to prominence following the filmed death of George Floyd in the US.

While captains did not initially reach a consensus, clubs will now take the knee at important moments throughout the season with the aim for this gesture to have a greater impact.

The league said the gesture would be performed during the first and last rounds of fixtures, the dedicated No Room for Racism rounds in October and March, the Boxing Day games and the Carabao and FA Cup finals.

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