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Swansea City issue statement on their ‘taking the knee’ stance

Swansea City have took to issue a statement on their ‘taking the knee’ stance prior football matches ahead of the 2022/23 season.

The Championship outfit’s players will no longer take the knee before games this season and have been applauded by supporters for this on social media.

The practice of taking the knee before matches became widespread in 2020 as a statement against racism after the murder of George Floyd in the United States.

Swansea have taken the knee before every game since and said the decision to stop was “not taken lightly”.


Issued on behalf of Swansea City’s first-team squad and coaching staff:

Following discussions as a group, we have collectively decided to no longer take the knee prior to fixtures during the 2022-23 season.

We have taken the knee before every game since football resumed in June 2020, following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is not a decision that has been taken lightly, and in no way reflects any diminishing of our belief that discrimination of any nature is abhorrent and has no place in football or society. We remain firmly in support of what taking the knee stands for and represents.

Taking the knee has undoubtedly helped to raise awareness and encourage conversations about how to remove racism from the game we all love.

Should any opposition side take the knee before a game this season, then we will line-up and applaud them, because we absolutely support the sentiment behind it.

But we feel we want to take responsibility as a group and find alternative ways to show our commitment to inclusion and diversity, and we feel that needs to run deeper than taking the knee each time we play.

We want to work to be a force for positive, substantive change.

As a club, Swansea City is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, and we will seek to keep working alongside the Swansea City AFC Foundation, who do so much good in promoting the message that football, and sport in general, is for everyone.

We have had first-hand experience of the devastating impact discriminatory abuse can have, with several of us having been on the receiving end of disgusting verbal and social media abuse over the last two seasons. You will recall a number of those instances led to the club holding a boycott of social media in April 2021.

The experiences those individuals who were targeted, and us as a group, went through have not been forgotten, nor will they be forgotten in the future.

Substantive change is needed, and we – and all victims of discrimination – require the support of the relevant authorities, social media companies and governing bodies in order to ensure a brighter future and a more equal, empathetic society.

We are a family, and we will always stand shoulder to shoulder with each other, whether that’s on the pitch or helping to fight injustice and raise awareness off it.


Swansea mentioned that they had “first-hand experience of the devastating impact discriminatory abuse” can have with several of their players being targeted for racial abuse on social media.

Ben Cabango along with former Swansea players Jamal Lowe and Yan Dhanda were racially abused on social media, while Bedfordshire Police investigated after Rhys Williams – who had been on loan from Liverpool – was allegedly racially abused by a Luton Town fan in September 2021.

In April 2021, the Swans announced a week-long social media boycott on all platforms to combat abuse and discrimination, which was followed by a number of other clubs and organisations.

Swansea head coach Russell Martin said the club’s players had been left frustrated by the Williams incident: “We have a group of players that really care and a captain who cares a huge amount about this and about the things that have happened to the players here over a period of time..

“They felt really let down about how the Rhys Williams situation was dealt with. They feel they take a knee, they take a stand, they make a statement. They feel it has very little meaning because the Rhys thing just fizzled out into nothing. We didn’t hear anything.

“They think it’s lost its impact, taking the knee. It’s not them saying they don’t believe in it.

“They are working together with the club to find their own way of making an impact.

“They feel taking the knee doesn’t really have the impact that it did, two years down the line. They feel it’s become a bit of a token gesture. We support them in that.”

Cardiff City and Newport County have told BBC Sport Wales their players will continue to take the knee this season.

Fans gave their thoughts as Swansea City issue a statement on their ‘taking the knee’ stance…

@spelanalysen: About time. Good decision.

@JimNo1871: Dub swans best club in wales

@leedavies80: About time too 👏👏👏

@mtwainet: Support the decision whatever it may have been. The club is now and has always been supportive of inclusion and always pushes back on any form of discrimination and that makes me proud to be a supporter. I’m sure you’ll continue to push for Swansea to be inclusive of all.

@Swanseajack71: About time 👌👏👏👏

@mikebevs: I think it’s run it course tbh.

@LynehamTaid: I applaud #Swans decision not to take the knee this coming season. It was initially effective but I felt had run its course and was being seen as ‘the norm’. That said, by not taking the knee shouldn’t undo or diminish the work being done in promoting the #Respect message.

@Josh69123200: Wonder if the club could do anything to highlight class based discrimination, which to my mind is the primary driver of inequality and discrimination in this country

@C69987868: About time this was dropped

@Cudey1: Excellent statement to be fair. Sad to see the usual suspects already claiming it as a victory for them. They clearly didn’t read the whole statement or, more likely, completely ignored the sentient expressed therein for their own twisted reasons.

@GoddenSA2: Difficult one for the club I feel. TTK couldn’t continue forever, and given other clubs had already moved away it probably feels the right time, but this will please the wronguns. Either way, the problems haven’t gone away, and need calling out by all of us when we see them.

@buddyforengland: About time should have happened months ago

@NL_Mitchell: Let’s see how many racists this brings out 👀

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