Premier League: Players from all 20 clubs will continue to take the knee

Premier League players kneeling in Black Lives Matter solidarity

Players from all 20 Premier League clubs say they will continue to take the knee as a symbol of their "unity against all forms of racism".

The Premier League "wholeheartedly support" the decision that has been made.

A 'No Room For Racism' sleeve badge will also be worn by players and match officials on their shirts.

The opening game of the season sees newly promoted Brentford host Arsenal on Friday, 13 August.

In February, Brentford announced they would no longer be participating in the gesture as the west London club felt it had lost the required impact.

However, it is understood Brentford players have agreed to take part.

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha also said earlier this year that players "should stand tall", and reiterated his view that taking the knee was "degrading".

In a joint statement on Wednesday, the Football Association, Premier League, English Football League, FA Women's Super League, FA Women's Championship, Professional Footballers' Association, League Managers' Association, Football Supporters' Association, Professional Game Match Officials Board and Kick It Out said they would collectively support all players, managers and individuals who wished to take the knee before matches this season.

"We will support any players who wish to take a stand against racism and discrimination by taking a knee," said Mark Bullingham, chief executive of the FA.

"We are very clear on what this symbolic gesture originally stood for 200 years ago and what it continues to stand for today - that is a fight against injustice, inequality and discrimination."

Players began taking the knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement after the Premier League's 100-day hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic in June 2020.

In a statement, the players said: "We feel now, more than ever, it is important for us to continue to take the knee as a symbol of our unity against all forms of racism.

"We remain resolutely committed to our singular objective of eradicating racial prejudice wherever it exists, to bring about a global society of inclusion, respect and equal opportunities for all."

Richard Masters, Premier League chief executive, said they would continue to work with clubs, players and football partners to bring about "tangible change" and remove "inequality" from the game.

Following England's penalty shootout defeat by Italy in the Euro 2020 final, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were racially abused online after missing penalties.

There was also booing as England players took the knee in the run-up to the tournament this summer.

Around the BBC iPlayer bannerAround the BBC iPlayer footer