Rio Ferdinand has spoken out against Premier League team leaders’ decision to quit kneeling before every game.
The decision to stop taking a knee before the start of a match was made before the start of the current season, with the suggestion that the gesture against racism and abuse in football has lost some of its significance.
However, speaking on BT Sport before Aston Villa vs. Everton, Ferdinand argued against the change, arguing that the graphics are still’very compelling.’
‘I would have been in the opposing camp.’ The graphics are incredibly impressive, and this gesture has a strong impact on those who watch the game.
‘There are a lot of young people and kids watching this game across the world who will be questioning why they are kneeling, and that generates debate and is an opportunity to educate the next generation and educate ignorance.’
The knee was originally injured in a Premier League game in June 2020, when the league began following a Covid hiatus with Aston Villa against Sheffield United.
Players have maintained their position since then, but will only do so at particular moments this season.
‘Are we saying racism has been removed from the game now by taking a step back?’ Ferdinand said.
‘How do we decide which games we’ll do it at?’ These questions must be addressed.
‘You have to appreciate and respect the captains’ choice, but it’s not one I would have voted for.’
‘I think the more you see it, the better it is, and the more presence it has, the more people there are to talk about it.’ You have fewer opportunities without it.’
At the outset of the game, the players did not take the knee.