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Cambridge United fans boo players prior to kick off against Colchester

Cambridge United fans decided to boo players prior to kick off against Colchester United ahead of their Tuesday night fixture.

Fans took angrily to social media to vent their anger at seeing yet more booing from supporters towards footballers before the League Two clash.

It wasn’t just the fans that went straight on Twitter to voice their concerns, with Sky Sports reporter Jeff Stelling also slamming the culprits.

He said “shame on the Cambridge fans for booing the kneeling” as the game was set to kick off, with players making a gesture for the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Not every fan inside Abbey Stadium was booing however, as others tried to do their best, clapping to drown out the boos.

The sour note moved on and Cambridge United soon went into a 2-0 lead, Paul Mullin getting two goals in the second half.

Michael Folivi got Colchester back in the game with around 20 minutes remaining, making it 2-1 from the penalty spot, however the U’s couldn’t get an equaliser.

Colchester owner and chairman Robbie Cowling recently hit back at fans who booed players taking the knee against Grimsby Town.

He demands in a recently published statement that fans are not welcome if they boo players taking the knee at future matches.

A minority of the 1,000 in attendance booed when players took the knee before Saturday’s win against Grimsby Town, taking them to 9th in the League Two table.

Just like at Millwall’s game against Derby County, before the game kicked off, players took the knee in a show of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, or as football’s governing bodies would prefer to say, the No Room For Racism campaign.

Colchester United owner and Chairman Robbie Cowling has issued the following statement:

It was so good to welcome our fans back into our stadium on Saturday for our League Two game against Grimsby and so much about the day was perfect.

My journey into the stadium felt so much more exciting knowing other fans were making their way there too.

The amazing efforts of the staff to ensure the stadium was Covid-19 secure were finally tested and because of the brilliant compliance with the code of conduct by the fans who attended, the months of hard work and preparation worked extremely well.

Junior Tchamadeu at just 16 years and 348 days old became the youngest player to ever start a game for Colchester United and marked his debut with an excellent performance that belied his tender age and his lack of first team experience. Well done Junior and well done Steve and Hayden for being brave enough to start a young player like Junior in such an important game.

Those in attendance may have been low in numbers but that was not obvious because those that did attend got right behind the team and made plenty of noise.

Winning the game means we have gained seventeen points from our last nine league games. Considering the financial cut backs we were forced to make this season, I think that’s amazing. Dare I say it’s punching?

However, the game is not being talked about for all of the things I mentioned above but because of the ridiculous actions of a few who decided to boo our players whilst they took the knee before kick- off.

Our club supports the players and their choice to take the knee for a few seconds before every game.

Callum Harriot described the purpose of the gesture perfectly to me explaining that taking the knee dates back to early civil rights movements as a way of silently showing solidarity in support of political inequalities suffered by oppressed communities.

Those that take the knee want to highlight that all lives should be valued and should not be treated inhumanely or inferior to others just because of their race.

It is undeniable that black and other ethnic minority people are still the victims of racism, and the black footballers and staff at Colchester United feel that they are in a position of privilege that has been fought for through the blood and sweat of their ancestors.

A position that in 2020 the average black person is still not afforded.

Those taking the knee, and supporting the taking of the knee, not only shows their willingness to support the drive to eradicate racial oppression but force it to be a talking point even when it’s uncomfortable.

Undeniably, taking the knee is a fundamental catalyst in pushing the conversation and thus the necessary changes forward.

I’m sure the vast majority of Colchester United fans are supportive and want to play their part in showing they back the actions of our players.

Maybe those that booed on Saturday might now understand what this gesture means to our club and will at the very least remain silent during future games whilst the players continue to take the knee before each kick-off.

Alternatively, they should just stay away from our club because anyone that still wants to boo now that I have explained the purpose and importance of the taking of the knee is not welcome at our club.

I will be happy to refund anyone for the remaining value of their season permit if that is the reason they feel they can no longer attend our games.

It would be very disappointing if anyone does decide to boo again. Therefore, going forward I would like to make the actions of those fans who do boo the taking of the knee completely irrelevant.

For every game where the players choose to take the knee, I would like all of our fans to join me in applauding this gesture to ensure our players know we fully support them.

The winger said as the Colchester owner hit out at fans who booed players: “Absolutely Disappointed today! Before kick off taking the kneel in support of Black Lives Matter and hearing our crowd is BOOING. Ridiculous.”

U’s defender Tommy Smith also tweeted: “Good 3 points from the lads, enjoyed scoring my first goal for the club and to have fans back is amazing although a select few let themselves down during the kneel.”

Meanwhile, EFL clubs are reportedly discussing making big changes to taking the knee before matches amid concerns about the gesture and it’s connotations.

Teams have held talks with the league in the last week about scrapping taking the knee before matches to distance themselves political ‘ties’ of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Being discussed were possible alternatives to the pre-match ritual to continue to show their support for the fight against racism such as anti-discrimination banners.

Millwall are also planning to block Sky Sports from broadcasting their home fixture against Coventry City late December, read more on that HERE.

Fans reacted as Cambridge fans boo players prior to kick off against Colchester…

@notjonnyagain: Just get on with the football.

@C99Cody1: What’s wrong with people

@BenfieldTim (Replying to @SkySportsNews): You lot going to bang on about Cambridge fans as much as you did about Millwall???
Very much doubt you will as doesn’t quite fit your agenda!!

@MrRAWhite: It needs to stop. The message is being lost.

@Browny_90: Imagine being angry over players taking a knee for a few seconds

@odb1912: Embarrassing whoever is apart of this

@robbo_131181: This still going on ffs ?

@cknnr: The minority who booed tonight aren’t true fans, they do not represent us. They don’t belong at the Abbey and we don’t want them here #CamUtd

Jason Lee: Now Cambridge fans have decided to boo players prior to kick off against Colchester

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