Millwall, QPR players to link arms at The Den ‘in show of solidarity’


illwall and QPR players will link arms ahead of the two London teams’ Championship clash at The Den on Tuesday night “in a show of solidarity for football’s fight against discrimination”.

Millwall fans were back at The Den on Saturday for the first time since March following the government’s easing of coronavirus restrictions – but the match against Derby was overshadowed before the game kicked off.

About 2,000 supporters attended the game, and loud booing could be heard when players from both teams took the knee before kick-off.

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Environment Secretary George Eustice was accused of “providing shelter to racists” after he failed to condemn them and claimed that backing the Black Lives Matter movement was not the same as believing in racial equality.

But on Monday Foreign Office minister James Cleverly said: “Ultimately what those fans did was wrong.”

On Monday evening, Millwall confirmed that their players and those of QPR will link arms before kick-off on Tuesday, as well as holding an anti-discrimination banner.

A number of QPR players will still take the knee, while Millwall will have the Kick It Out logo on their shirts for the match instead of that of their principal partner Huski Chocolate.


Kazim-Richards of Derby raises his fist as other Millwall players take the knee

/ Getty Images )

In a statement on their official website, Millwall said: “The two teams will hold aloft a banner to show their collective commitment towards ongoing efforts to rid the game of racism in a positive move which has been supported by Kick It Out, Show Racism The Red Card, The PFA, The FA and The EFL following discussions with the club in recent days.

“Millwall believe that this gesture, which the club hopes to repeat with other visiting teams in the coming weeks and months, will help to unify people throughout society in the battle to root out all forms of discrimination.”

The statement continued: “QPR have informed Millwall that a selection of their players wish to take the knee as a way of showing their support for anti-discrimination efforts – a gesture which the club respects and it firmly asks all those in attendance to do likewise.

“Millwall have a zero-tolerance policy against racial and all other forms of discrimination and want to again make clear to anybody who holds such views that you are not welcome at this football club. Millwall’s stance, as always, is that anybody found guilty of racial abuse is banned for life.”

Millwall also said they had started an “audit of board members, staff, volunteers and participants as part of an ongoing commitment towards equality, diversity and inclusion in all areas of operations.”

The club added: “An internal survey has been sent to all appropriate stakeholders and its findings will allow the club to set necessary benchmarks as part of a new widespread and multi-faceted anti-discrimination strategy.

“Included within that will be the formation of an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Code of Practice to cover departments throughout the club’s activities and recruitment processes.”

Additional reporting by PA.

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