QPR director Les Ferdinand defends decision not to take a knee saying ‘the message has been lost’

Queens Park Rangers director Les Ferdinand, a former England worldwide, claimed on Monday he feels the influence of gamers taking a knee “has now been diluted” and that the gesture was now “not dissimilar to a fancy hashtag or a nice pin badge.”

“The getting of the knee has attained a issue of ‘good PR’ but minor extra than that,” Ferdinand mentioned in a statement on the QPR internet site.

Ferdinand’s reviews arrive following QPR gamers, along with a variety of other English Football League (EFL) clubs, have been criticized for not kneeling all through their Championship match from Coventry Metropolis on Friday.

In the Premier League, all groups have continued to acquire a knee into the new time.

“No just one is much more passionate than me about this subject matter. I have spoken on the matter all over my footballing life,” said Ferdinand.

“I function for one of the most assorted soccer golf equipment in this nation. A large amount of people are being fooled out there.

“A short while ago, I took the final decision not to do any extra interviews on racism in soccer due to the fact the discussion was likely around in circles. Men and women want a pleasant soundbite when some thing comes about, but how lots of of the media who have criticized QPR around the earlier 48 hours truly want modify?”

Ferdinand (right) looks on during a Championship match between Ipswich and QPR in 2018.
Ferdinand, just one of the handful of Black men and women in a senior function at an English soccer club, has as a substitute identified as for far more tangible adjustments to be built within just the sport.

“What are our ideas with this?” he added. “Will folks be happy for gamers to acquire the knee for the next 10 decades but see no actual progress built?

“Having the knee will not bring about improve in the video game — steps will.”

‘Not currently or any day’

Athletes throughout the entire world have been getting a knee in the wake of George Floyd’s death previously this 12 months, a gesture that was started out by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick as a protest in opposition to police brutality and social injustice in the US.

Premier League players have continued to kneel this year, while some players in the EFL have stopped at the start off of the new year.

QPR reported the selection for players not to choose a knee was produced jointly with Coventry and that it did not show “a deficiency of assistance for the Black Life Matter motion.”

QPR players celebrates a goal in their 3-2 defeat by Coventry City.

The EFL, which governs the next, third and fourth tiers of English soccer, says it has specified constant direction to golf equipment this season and previous time that it is a player’s preference to take a knee or not and that it will assistance aid individuals who do.

Players are also sporting “Not now or any working day” logos on their jerseys all over the time, the EFL’s anti-discrimination marketing campaign.

“The complete debate all-around getting a knee is misdirection,” said CNN contributor Darren Lewis in relation to Ferdinand’s remarks.

“I consider that, alternatively than us inquiring thoughts about gamers using a knee, we ought to be inquiring the Leading League and the EFL what progress they have designed … we have not read something from those people businesses considering the fact that last time.

“The difficulties with football are obvious — racism, representation, a deficiency of possibility for gamers just after they complete playing, a further technology of players obtaining abuse and no one undertaking just about anything about it.

“Football’s got huge difficulties and we don’t have any resolution to them. Functioning all-around inquiring whether gamers should or should not get a knee continues the meaningless debate that football wishes us to have instead of hard authority.”

The Premier League was not instantly accessible for comment.

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