An Exeter City fan gets ejected out of the St James Park stadium for booing at players taking the knee on Tuesday night’s fixture.
It took place during the Grecians’ 2-1 defeat at the hands of newcomers Harrogate Town, yet before the game, Exeter had scored 11 goals in their last two home games.
The game had few chances, the Sulphurites went in front after 31 minutes when Brendan Kiernan shushed fans inside the ground after finding himself through on goal and hit the ball past Jonny Maxted to break the goalless deadlock.
Harrogate goalkeeper James Belshaw made a superb save to prevent Matt Jay’s header from going into the back of the net, but it was one of just a few chances that Exeter created.
The home side did managed to find their goalscoring selves again, equalising within 15 seconds of the restart as captain Jake Taylor put the ball past Belshaw from a lay off by Matt Jay.
Because of their record at home, it was expected that the Grecians would get themselves more than just the one goal, however they struggled to break Harrogate down.
They were hit on the counter on the 75th minute mark with Jack Muldoon holding off Pierce Sweeney, before curling his effort into the far corner, giving Maxted no chance in the Exeter goal to earn a first win in five for Harrogate.
Exeter City V Harrogate Town – a fan has been escorted out of the ground for booing
The message is clear from the clubs – they fear trial by media should they not bow down to BLM. Fans should send a message back by staying away
— The doctor (@slinkescouse) December 16, 2020
The booing Exeter City fan in the IP Office Ltd Stand was quickly drowned out by applause from the rest of the stand and ten minutes into the game gets ejected out of the stadium by stewards.
It was clearly stated over the tannoy that it was to raise ‘anti-racism awareness’ & NOT to support the BLM movement/organisation.
Matt Taylor on the booing of taking the knee said: “If there is booing then I hope the club deals with it. We had the incident last week and disappointed with that We were requested to do it and we obliged with it. we can’t affect if someone booed.
“We are a respectable club and I hope our fans would back the message that us players and staff back to. It is really disappointing and not an Exeter City thing to do.
“Both teams spoke about uit before the game and we are fully onboard with it.
“Hopefully when it happens in the future it gets a better reaction than it did this evening.”
Eexter currently sit 5th in the League Two table, taking 30 points from 18 games, whilst Harrogate are 17th with 22 points from the same amount of games.
Jeers were also heard at the Cambridge United ground during their game against Colchester United.
Fans took angrily to social media to vent their anger at seeing yet more booing from supporters towards footballers before the other League Two clash.
Not every fan inside Abbey Stadium was booing however, as others tried to do their best, clapping to drown out the boos.
Cambridge United chief executive Ian Mather has vowed to take action against those that booed players against Colchester on Tuesday night.
“[I’m] incredibly frustrated, angry,” Mather told Sky Sports News. “There were only a few people booing, but one was too many.
“We worked really hard to get the fans in and it’s behaviour we don’t want here.
“The message to our fans is: that behaviour is totally unacceptable. We don’t want it here. We will decide on the appropriate sanctions, we will identify the right people and we will take action.
“There are terms of entry into the Abbey Stadium, as with any other stadium. We can determine what behaviour’s acceptable and not.
“Identifying them is actually quite easy. Somebody actually sent me a direct message on Twitter last night explaining his views, and others have been identified in other seats. So finding them is actually not very hard.”
Speaking after his side’s game, Cambridge head coach Mark Bonner said: “I’m disgusted, to be honest. It shines a light on our club for all the wrong reasons.
“What was a really good game for us on the pitch was overshadowed by a really small minority that decided to boo in a moment when we’re reflecting the values that everyone at our club believes in.
“It is just behaviour which is unacceptable and at our club, we don’t want that at all.
“What was most encouraging is the vast majority drowned them out quite quickly with applause and reflected the values of our club much better.
“We work incredibly hard in the community and there’s massive work that goes on to highlight all these issues.
“We’ve clearly got some work to do because some people have embarrassed our club and embarrassed themselves, to be honest.”
There was plenty of reaction as an Exeter City fan gets EJECTED out of stadium for booing at players…
@thfcollie03: Well done @OfficialECFC
@GamGam89: Bring politics into football and people have a right to boo
@GAZZASMITH8027: Did they get their ticket money back? Refs get booed all the time and so do player’s plus the occasional manager but no evictions! Pampering to peer pressure, following not settling examples! Stand and have a quick clap to end racism then get on with the bloody football.. Please!
@john_jb6368093: Cancel any football subscriptions & don’t attend, see how the player melts like that for a statement
@IGoodwyn: Nice touch of karma Exeter lost
@AndrewP92494752: Fans are RIGHT to boo football’s Shameful worship of BLM. Equality is NOT shown by Kneeling fgs! When WILL football get the message??
@mrgiddz: To all the people moaning about BLM. Just stop giving the clubs your money. Tough I know but you mean nothing to your club apart from cash. STOP GOING!
@teresadg0: Stop giving them your money!
@Psashaper: And cancel sky sports etc.
@Dawsvader: Instead of booing they should turn their backs on them while they kneel
@Katie23626427: No fans, no money, no overpaid footballers end of knee taking its easy
@m4rkymrk: I can’t see how that’s legal? You go to a football match to boo and cheer?
@IGoodwyn: Club should be ashamed
@stevesball: Poor move Exeter, so now you can only go football if you agree with everything the club say
Shame the nice people just didn’t pile in. But nice people don’t do that and that’s why tits do what tits do….
— paul pledger (@pkrpmusic) December 15, 2020
I’m sure the dynamics will change as more fans go back 👍 If not, something else will change 🇬🇧
— Ivan (@ivanwh1961) December 15, 2020
Always one idiot!
— Tom (@tomsbrooks) December 15, 2020
A solitary bellend in the IP who was clearly very much looking forward to booing and didn’t waste a second sounding off. Video here. https://t.co/AuseVyMzYm
— Colin Harvey (@ColinHarvey01) December 16, 2020
— steven (@tom_elephant) December 16, 2020
So a fan was kicked out for booing the players taking the knee then after 10 mins into the game ! #ecfc don’t even know what to make of it to be honest . 🤷♂️ is he just airing his opinion ? and is that really a bad enough to be kick out ! Or is he a racist because he booed ? 🤷♂️
— Anthony Beveridge (@anth_ecfc) December 15, 2020
Club media said it was because of the booing that he was ejected when I asked what the reason was. Although not wearing a mask probably is also a reason
— Daniel Clark (@HEDanielClark) December 15, 2020
Booing doesn’t make you a racist !!
— Shaun Stockley (@ShaunStockley) December 15, 2020