A sad day
Saturday 5th December was supposed to be a day of celebration. The first English football league weekend fixtures whereby a privileged group of fans would be allowed to return to grounds despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Thursday night had witnessed Arsenal fans return to watch their Europa League tie against Rapid Vienna and there was an emotional feeling of relief and romanticism to see supporters once again make their weekly pilgrimage.
However, scenes at Millwall and other grounds, such as Colchester, were anything but positive. As the players took the field and then descended to a single knee in support of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement and collective fight against racism, boos rang out from The Den.
Derby boss Wayne Rooney said it was “disappointing and upsetting” to hear some Millwall fans boo players taking a knee.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 6, 2020
It sparked an immediate response from commentators on BBC Radio 5 Live and soon comments across social media in both criticism and support erupted across the platforms. Clubs and senior figures within clubs and society have rightly condemned those which decided to boo the taking of the knee.
Former Aston Villa and England forward Gabby Agbonlahor has said were he a Millwall player that he would have asked to leave the club in the subsequent window.
“You want to keep playing because it’s not the whole of the Millwall fanbase, it’s a certain group of them that are doing it,” he told Sky Sports News.
“I feel as though I would probably have played on but I’d be thinking to myself, ‘after the game, that’s me done. I’m going to see out December and in January I’m going to ask my agent for a move’.”
The booing fans return
The Athletic understands that many of the fans who were present in the stands for Millwall’s match against Derby County will be returning for the match against QPR.
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
Football Live streaming: Featured matches on March 8
|How to Watch|
|Belenenses SAD vs SL Benfica||85'||0-2||0-3|