Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

14.26 21 Sep 2020


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QPR Director of Football Les Ferdinand feels footballers taking a knee at the start of games has become a piece of 'good PR', and has called for genuine action instead.

Rangers say their players did not take a knee prior to Friday's Championship game with Coventry City, as the gesture has lost its impact.

Taking a knee has become commonplace since football's resumption around Europe in the summer, with games in England almost always beginning with players and officials making the gesture.

Eyebrows were raised when QPR didn't do so ahead of their 3-2 defeat at St. Andrew's.

The West London club say the decision - which was made jointly with Coventry City and the match referee ahead of the fixture – was not made to suggest a lack of support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Ferdinand is England's only black director of football/technical director, and feels more needs to be done beyond the symbolism of taking a knee.

"In the same way ‘Clap For Carers’ was very emotional for us all, it got to a stage where it had run its natural course and the decision was rightly made to stop it," the former England striker said in a statement.

“Does that mean we, as a nation, don’t care or appreciate our NHS workers? Of course it doesn’t.

“No one is more passionate than me about this topic. I have spoken on the matter throughout my footballing life.

“I work for one of the most diverse football clubs in this country. A lot of people are being fooled out there."

Ferdinand added, "Recently, I took the decision not to do any more interviews on racism in football because the debate was going around in circles.

"People want a nice soundbite when something happens, but how many of the media who have criticised QPR over the past 48 hours genuinely want change?

“The taking of the knee has reached a point of ‘good PR’ but little more than that. The message has been lost. It is now not dissimilar to a fancy hashtag or a nice pin badge.

"What are our plans with this? Will people be happy for players to take the knee for the next ten years but see no actual progress made?

"Taking the knee will not bring about change in the game - actions will.

"Those media that have been quick to question us should be looking more inwardly. Our Under 18s were forced to abandon a game in August 2019 against AD Nervion FC due to racist abuse.

"More than 12 months on, UEFA refused to deal with the situation and the Spanish FA did nothing.

"What media coverage has been given to that? Not nearly as much as what has been granted to QPR not taking a knee."

"Don’t judge us. Simple research and evidence will show you we are doing more than most. If you want change, judge yourselves."


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#BlackLivesMatter Black Lives Matter Coventry Coventry City Ferdinand Les Ferdinand QPR Queens Park Rangers Racism

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