Millwall and Derby players booed by fans as they take knee for Black Lives Matter at the Den

Alex Young
·4-min read
<p>Fans on Saturday returned to the Den for the first time since March</p> (Getty Images)

Fans on Saturday returned to the Den for the first time since March

(Getty Images)

Millwall and Derby players were met with boos when taking a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement as fans returned to the Den on Saturday.

For the first time since March, as many as 2,000 supporters were allowed to attend stadiums based in tier two locations, which included London.

Teams across the country have, since competitive football restarted in June, been showing their support for the anti-racism movement ahead of kick-off.

In addition, EFL clubs have the message 'Not Today or Any Day' on their shirts for awareness of the ongoing campaign against all forms of discrimination.

With Millwall opening their doors for the first time since the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, both teams were met with boos from the 2,000-strong support and shouts of "get up" as they took a knee.

The FA condemned the incident, releasing a statement which read: "The FA supports all players and staff that wish to take a stand against discrimination in a respectful manner, which includes taking of the knee, and strongly condemns the behaviours of any spectators that actively voice their opposition to such activities."

Derby forward Colin Kazim-Richards, who stood in solidarity with the BLM message as others took a knee, wrote on Twitter: "First of all so proud of my team @dcfcofficial the guys all of us stuck together and grinded out a massive result!! Everyone at the club has bought in and I’m sure we going to see the results!!

But having to say this is a pain but I’ll say it every single damn time this is why I STAND and STAND PROUD and I have to say every single person involved with @dcfcofficial did too made me proud to wear this shirt with the boys today!!! Absolute disgrace.."

Kick It Out's head of development Troy Townsend retweeted footage of the incident, adding: "I was hoping that maybe the commentator might just highlight the fact because it’s clear for everyone to hear amongst other comments."

"Kick It Out released a statement saying that the incident showed why “… players are right to continue standing up to discrimination… we applaud the players for taking a stand and defying the hate shown today.”

Former player Trevor Sinclair added: “Reality is Millwall fans booing players taking a knee doesn’t surprise many!!!”

Adrian Durham, who was reporting on the game live for talkSPORT, said on air: "It's customary now up and down the land that respect is paid, the players take the knee … and there’s an adverse reaction from the Millwall fans – wow.

"That is not good at all, questions will be asked about that for sure, that is a shocker."

He added: "I can’t really believe what I’ve just heard. it was all joy, it was all love, it was all laughter, everybody was happy, fans are back in at the new den to support their team and then the players take the knee and there’s booing all round from the 2000.

“I just wonder what someone like Mahlon Romeo, who is playing at right-back for Millwall today, I wonder what he felt when he heard that noise when he took the knee?"

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