MillwallMillwall0DerbyDerby County1

Millwall 0-1 Derby: Game overshadowed by fans booing players taking a knee before kick-off

Derby County's Colin Kazim-Richards raises his fist as Millwall players take a knee before kick-off
Derby County's Colin Kazim-Richards raises his fist as players take a knee before kick-off

Some Millwall fans booed players taking a knee at the start of the Championship match against Derby County on Saturday.

It is the first time supporters have been allowed into The Den this season, following the lifting of the second national lockdown on 2 December.

The boos rang out as the two teams took a knee before kick-off in a game which Wayne Rooney's Rams won 1-0.

"It is just disheartening. How do these fans get allocated to the games?" said former England defender Micah Richards.

Players, officials and staff at Premier League and English Football League games have been taking a knee pre-match since football restarted in June in order to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement for racial equality.

Richards told BBC TV's Final Score: "There are 2,000 so you can pinpoint the people going. There are no excuses. I am sick to death of talking about this situation.

"It is so disheartening because it is like we have come so far but we have so far to go. I don't even like talking about the matter. It feels like it falls on deaf ears. It is time and time and time again."

'Minority of fans spoiling club's image'

Former Coventry and Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin, who had a loan spell at Millwall in 2002, added: "They don't agree with taking the knee, which means they are racist. They don't agree with Black Lives Matter; that says they are racist to me.

"It says to me that a minority of Millwall fans are spoiling it for a club that is going in the right direction with a tag they have had for years and years and they are trying to eradicate it."

A Football Association spokesperson said: "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."

The match itself saw Derby end a 12-match winless streak with Jason Knight netting the winning goal midway through the second half after Millwall keeper Bartosz Bialkowski had saved from Martyn Waghorn.

The result lifted Derby off the bottom off the Championship table and was a first victory for caretaker-boss Rooney, who has expressed an interest in taking the job on a permanent basis.

Millwall had arguably the better of the chances, with Jed Wallace forcing Derby keeper David Marshall into a fine save in the first half, and Jake Cooper glancing wide from a corner just before Knight's goal.

The Rams could have doubled the margin of victory but Matt Clarke's header was gathered by Bialkowski.

Derby County interim manager Wayne Rooney
Derby had not won any of their four previous games under Rooney and three members of the coaching staff since former boss Phillip Cocu was sacked

Millwall preparing 'anti-discrimination strategy'

On Friday, Millwall's first-team squad issued a statement supporting efforts to rid the game "of all forms of discrimination".

The statement added: "The gesture of 'taking the knee' before matches provides an opportunity for us to do exactly that and continues to allow all those playing to publicly showcase their support - on behalf of the whole squad - for the fight against discrimination.

"We wish to make clear that taking the knee, for us, is in no way representative of any agreement with political messaging or ideology. It is purely about tackling discrimination, as has been the case throughout.

"We will continue to do this until the start of the new year when a new and comprehensive anti-discrimination strategy will be announced by the club."

Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari said he was "saddened" by the booing and praised the teams for "defying the hate" shown by some members of the crowd.

"What this demonstrates is that players are right to continue standing up to discrimination, whether that is through taking the knee or speaking out," he added.

"The fight for racial equality continues and we will continue to work closely with clubs across the country to tackle discrimination in all its forms.

"We urge the players to continue using their platforms and their voices to support this fight."

American football player Colin Kaepernick started kneeling symbolically during the pre-game national anthem in the NFL in 2016, in protest at police violence against African-Americans in the United States.

The Black Lives Matter movement and taking a knee has grown in prominence in the United Kingdom following the death of George Floyd in the US in May, which sparked protests around the world.

The 46-year-old, an unarmed black man, died after a white police officer held a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes.



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 33Bialkowski
  • 12Romeo
  • 4Hutchinson
  • 5Cooper
  • 3M Wallace
  • 18LeonardSubstituted forWilliamsat 90'minutes
  • 19Woods
  • 7J Wallace
  • 8ThompsonSubstituted forParrottat 58'minutes
  • 11FergusonSubstituted forBureyat 76'minutes
  • 10SmithSubstituted forBödvarssonat 76'minutes


  • 1Fielding
  • 6Williams
  • 15Pearce
  • 22Bödvarsson
  • 25Parrott
  • 26Skalak
  • 29Alexander
  • 32Burey
  • 35Muller


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Marshall
  • 12ByrneBooked at 87mins
  • 33Davies
  • 16Clarke
  • 3Forsyth
  • 5BielikBooked at 58mins
  • 4ShinnieBooked at 34minsSubstituted forBirdat 64'minutes
  • 25HolmesSubstituted forWaghornat 64'minutesBooked at 85mins
  • 38Knight
  • 7JozwiakSubstituted forWisdomat 90+2'minutes
  • 13Kazim-RichardsBooked at 86minsSubstituted forBuchananat 86'minutes


  • 2Wisdom
  • 8Bird
  • 9Waghorn
  • 10Lawrence
  • 11Ibe
  • 17Sibley
  • 21Roos
  • 26Buchanan
  • 39Stretton
Darren England

Match Stats

Home TeamMillwallAway TeamDerby
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Millwall 0, Derby County 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Millwall 0, Derby County 1.

  3. Post update

    Lee Buchanan (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Woods (Millwall).

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Derby County. Andre Wisdom replaces Kamil Jozwiak.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Mahlon Romeo.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Mahlon Romeo.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Jake Cooper.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Millwall. Shaun Williams replaces Ryan Leonard.

  10. Booking

    Nathan Byrne (Derby County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Nathan Byrne (Derby County).

  12. Post update

    Tyler Burey (Millwall) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Derby County. Lee Buchanan replaces Colin Kazim-Richards.

  14. Booking

    Colin Kazim-Richards (Derby County) is shown the yellow card.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mahlon Romeo (Millwall) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Ryan Leonard.

  16. Booking

    Martyn Waghorn (Derby County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Martyn Waghorn (Derby County).

  18. Post update

    Tyler Burey (Millwall) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Matthew Clarke (Derby County) header from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Max Bird with a cross.

  20. Post update

    Kamil Jozwiak (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.