Ivan Toney explains why he will continue to stand before matches August 6, 2021 – Posted in: Soccer
Premier League new boys Brentford have reversed their decision not take a knee before matches this season – but Ivan Toney has told talkSPORT that he will continue to stand.
The Bees followed in QPR’s footsteps by releasing a statement in February revealing they would stop taking the knee before matches, insisting the gesture was ‘no longer having an impact’ in the fight against racism.
They have since performed a u-turn and confirmed they will continue with the gesture as it highlights the ongoing issue of discrimination in football, and indeed wider society.
“Brentford FC can confirm that our players will take the knee before all first-team matches in the coming season,” a club statement said.
“Our players and staff held meetings to discuss whether or not to take the knee at kick-off, having not done so since February.
“We believe that in the upcoming season the collective cause of tackling discrimination and racism will be best served by acting in unison and solidarity with all our fellow Premier League teams, as was outlined in a statement from the Premier League yesterday.
“Taking the knee will not on its own solve the problem of racism but it will continue to draw attention to the discrimination that exists within football, as well as society generally. We all saw the support that the act of taking the knee received from fans before matches during Euro 2020.
Like Toney, Crystal Palace ace Wilfried Zaha also stopped taking the knee last season, instead urging players to ‘stand tall’ in the shape of adversity.
And Toney will continue that stance, as revealed in a club statement earlier this week, underlining his reasons in an interview with talkSPORT.
“The club made a decision, it was a tough one for them to make, but I feel like if you strongly agree with something and you stand by it then do what you think is best,” the former Newcastle and Peterborough striker said.
“Personally on my behalf I’m obviously going to remain standing because my beliefs don’t change, whether it’s the Championship, Premier League or the Conference.
“I still believe in what I believe in and I will continue to do so. In terms of making a difference I’ll do what I think I need to do in the background.
“Whether the players are going to remain to do what they want to do as well, which I stand by. I’m sure the club and my family are backing me all the way.”
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Former Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford is in full support of Toney’s continued stance.
He told talkSPORT: “I completely stand by Ivan Toney and Wilfried Zaha because when you see the reaction that’s coming off the back of it it’s almost helping to fuel the flames in some aspects.
“The reason the players are doing it is to draw attention to the fact discrimination still happens, whether it be race, whether it be sex, whether it be preference.
“This is something we’re all trying to get rid of. We don’t care how, we just want to eradicate it here and now, so we’re trying to draw attention to it.”