Chris Wilder is right to hope anti-racism movement will not "peter out" when Sheffield United's season kicks off

Chris Wilder hopes that the Black Lives Matter movement will not "peter out" as Sheffield United prepare to kick-off their 2020/21 Premier League season on Monday night.

Friday, 11th September 2020, 11:46 am
Chris Wilder and his players and staff take a knee: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

United's striker David McGoldrick was instrumental in the decision for top-flight players to 'take the knee' before kick-off in games after Project Restart, echoing the silent but powerful gesture made by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to protest against unfair treatment of black Americans back in 2016.

It is understood that Premier League players will continue to take the knee when the new season begins tomorrow, while United and the other 19 teams in the division will wear 'No Room for Racism' badges on their shirts in 2020/21.

And Wilder, speaking at his pre-Wolves press conference, said: "Everyone wants it to not peter out.

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David McGoldrick insigated the 'taking the knee' gesture in support of Black Lives Matter (Photo by PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

"It was important in the summer and it'll be top of the agenda in terms of what everyone is concerned about.

"People need to focus on a lot of aspects of life at the minute, with everything that's going on, and the message that everyone put out in our industry and how we handled it was excellent and we need to keep that message out there.

"Things that have happened over a long period, highlighted in the summer, are unacceptable and I'm sure everyone in the game will be united to keep the message out there."

Ethan Ampadu, United's young loanee from Chelsea, echoed his manager's sentiments in his own press conference, and it's clear why they were needed. There is a growing section of football supporters who make no secret of the fact that they are either bored, offended or both of players taking the knee - it's tempting to wonder how bored or offended they would be of being on the end of hundreds of years of racism, if 22 blokes kneeling for eight seconds before a football game brings them out in swathes of fury - and there is clearly work to be done.

Opposing racism is not 'political', as many claim. It's basic human decency. So keep taking the knee, for as long as it takes for the message to hit home; that black lives matter.

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