Every word Darren Moore said on Sheffield Wednesday fans booing the taking of the knee

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Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore has implored a section of the club’s fans who booed during Shrewsbury Town's gesture of anti-racism last weekend to not do so again.

The Shrews players joined at the edge of the centre circle before the start of Wednesday’s 1-0 win on Saturday to ‘take the knee’, a universally-renowned ant-racism gesture that started in the NFL and was unilaterally adopted throughout the EFL for at least part of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons.

Wednesday players chose to stop taking the knee ahead of last season, with Moore explaining: “We support everything that taking the knee is for - what we’re saying at this football club is that enough is enough.

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“The talking, the gestures, I think everyone wants to see action now. There’s a unified support right across the nation, and worldwide, and I think enough talking has been done on the topic - I don’t think anybody can say anything more.”

Owls boss Darren Moore   Pic Steve EllisOwls boss Darren Moore   Pic Steve Ellis
Owls boss Darren Moore Pic Steve Ellis

Shrewsbury’s act on Saturday seemed to spark confusion at pitch level as well as in the stands. It delayed kick-off and loud boos were heard throughout the gesture.

The Star has spoken to a handful of supporters who have made clear they did boo – but at the delay to proceedings, not the taking of the knee. One supporter said he felt ‘horrified’ to have realised he had booed during Shrewsbury’s gesture and ‘certainly would not have booed’ had the situation been made clear.

That said, a number of teams have been booed by a vocal minority of spectators at Hillsborough while taking the knee in previous matches and The Star has also heard from concerned supporters who reported hearing racist comments in the moments during and after the taking of the knee.

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Speaking to the media ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup tie with Mansfield Town, Moore spoke passionately about his view on how things unfolded before the match on Saturday – and asked any Wednesday fans who had deliberately booed the gesture to not do so again.

He said the reputation of the club was at stake in many ways.

A transcript of everything Moore said on the matter is below..

“I do remember the incident last week and while I do appreciate there was a bit of confusion about how it happened, the players lining up and what looked like a delayed taking of the knee. I can understand the confusion in that and how some of the fans may have seen it.

“This isn’t from me alone. We’ve had a lot of Sheffield Wednesday fans call and write in to the club to express their disappointment. Obviously it was disappointing to hear that at the time because what we have to remember is that the taking of the knee is a stance for everybody.

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“It’s an equality purpose driven message worldwide. It’s not something that was dreamt up by the Shrewsbury players, it’s something that’s been done world wide and is continuing.

“Our players have chosen not to do it this season, but it’s been an approach by the players as one. But that’s not to stop the Shrewsbury players doing it, they wanted to take the knee.

“What I would say is that we have to use last week for an educational purpose. I’m not patronising anybody in any shape or means, what I want to do is to say that the taking of the knee is a stance from clubs like Shrewsbury, we didn’t.

“I’m not saying for all fans to agree with it or to sit and applaud it, but what we don;t want as a club is to have boos showing a disapproval of it.

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“What that does is it paints a picture against Sheffield Wednesday. That’s not us. We’re an wonderful, historic club and a community club that is recognised for its wonderful fan base and its tremendous support. We’re a historic football club in the football pyramid. Lots of people look at Sheffield Wednesday as a fabulous football club.

“We are a fantastic football club and we want to be remembered for the positive things we are. We don’t want to be remembered for a section of our fans booing taking the knee for five or six seconds, whatever it is.

“We want to be spoken about for being a huge club, the wonderful fan base that we have and all the magical memories we have had and continue to have at Hillsborough.

“Tonight, England players will be taking the knee and we’ll be supporting them in that.

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“What we want to do is have Hillsborough as a respected place and no matter what teams come, whether they take the knee, stand in a circle or drop a knee in their individual places before kick-off, I think to boo them paints the club in the wrong way.

“We have a fantastic fan base that is part of a community and along with other fans we take a unified stance on it.

“Equality is for all, you and I, anyone listening to this, It’s right across the board; skin colour, nationality, religion, it’s for everybody.

“I want to clear up that message and put that message out. We are a wonderful football club and we want to remain to be seen as that fantastic football club and not to be painted with negative connotations.

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“I don’t stand alone with that because we have a lot of Sheffield Wednesday supporters ring and write in to express their disappointment at those boss.

“Let’s turn it around, let’s stick together. We have targets and aims and to get those we need to be together.

“Hopefully last week was just minor confusion.”