‘Taking the knee’ – we support our players

News and Star column 12.08.21

It is hard to fathom why some Blues fans felt the need to boo their own team when they ‘took the knee’ before Saturday’s match with Colchester.

It must have been distressing for the players – some of them making their debut – and may even have detrimentally affected performances.

The club, through Chief Executive Nigel Clibbens, were quick to condemn the booing and have asked fans to stay silent in future if they cannot support the players’.

 CUOSC totally agrees with this stance and will be in active discussions with the club this week about the issue. Some fans have questioned why it is so important. Well, it matters to the players, and they are our players, so surely deserve our backing.

They have made it very clear ‘taking the knee’ is not a political or ideological gesture but a simple and short way of highlighting racism and discrimination.

It’s an action supported by the EFL and Professional Footballers Association.

This summer’s European Championships with black players being singled out for abuse on social media showed that racism is still a serious problem in the game.

 ‘Taking the Knee’ is the players’ way of saying they don’t want it – for themselves, their teammates or anyone.

It is a gesture backed by the vast majority of fans throughout the country. When a few supporters booed before the weekend’s Community Shield showpiece game between Manchester City and Leicester they were soon drowned out by fans that cheered and applauded.

The majority of fans did the same at Brunton Park. We hope they will continue in the same vein. The club and CUOSC want to silence the booers and are hoping supporters groups will work together to help do so.

Another disappointment on Saturday was that the Blues failed to get the goal their performance deserved. It was all that was missing and might have helped entice back some of the ‘floating supporters’ among the 6000 plus crowd.

Nevertheless, there were plenty of positives in the 0-0 draw. It says it all that Colchester’s star man was keeper Shamal George. He had an unhappy spell with the Blues a few years ago but now looks destined to have a ‘blinder’ every time he plays against us.

The Blues were also out of luck on Tuesday when a young and inexperienced side went down 1-0 at Sheffield United in the Carabao Cup. However, the 500-odd Blues fans that made the trip were happy to be enjoying an ‘away day’ again.