Rio Ferdinand insists he DISAGREES with the decision to stop taking the knee before every Premier League game… claiming the gesture remains ‘very powerful’ and can help ‘educate ignorance’
- Rio Ferdinand has questioned the move to stop taking the knee before games
- Premier League club captains decided against performing the gesture regularly
- The knee will now be taken at selected points of the Premier League season
- Ferdinand argued it has not lost its meaning and is still very powerful
Rio Ferdinand has disagreed with Premier League club captains’ choice to stop taking the knee before every game.
The decision was made before the start of this season, with a suggestion that the gesture against racism and abuse in football has lost some of its meaning.
But Ferdinand, speaking on BT Sport before Aston Villa vs Everton, has argued against the move, claiming the visuals are still ‘very powerful’.
Rio Ferdinand has argued against the decision to stop taking the knee before top flight games
Premier League players and staff will now perform the gesture before selected games only
‘No [I don’t think less is more],’ said the former Manchester United defender.
‘I would definitely have been in the opposite camp. The visuals are very powerful and this gesture is very powerful to people that see the game.
‘There’s a lot of young people and kids who watch this game around the world who will be asking the question why are they taking the knee and that sparks conversation and is an opportunity to educate the next generation and educate ignorance.’
The knee was first taken in a Premier League game back in June 2020, when the Premier League resumed after a Covid break with Aston Villa vs Sheffield United.
Players have continued to take the stance since then, but will now select certain times to do so this season.
The gesture was taken before games for over two years, first performed in June of 2020
‘Are we saying racism has been eradicated from the game now by stepping away from it a little bit?’ asked Ferdinand.
‘How do we choose which games we are going to do it at? These questions need answering.
‘You have to appreciate and respect that the captains have made the decision but that’s not one I would have been voting for.
‘I think the more you see it the better it is and I think the more presence it has it gives people the opportunity to talk about it. Without that you have fewer opportunities.’
The players did not take the knee at the start of the game being covered.