Marvin Bartley calls for taking a knee to continue until October

Livingston captain wants clubs in Championship, League 1 and League 2 to take part

St Mirren and Livingston players take a knee ahead of Saturday's match. Picture: Alan Harvey / SNS
St Mirren and Livingston players take a knee ahead of Saturday's match. Picture: Alan Harvey / SNS

Scottish Premiership players took a stand against racism by taking a knee at the start of last week’s matches and the hope is that it will not prove a one-off.

Just as it has in various other sports and in several other leagues, the unified on-field demonstrations sent a powerful message, according to Livingston captain Marvin Bartley. “It was brilliant. And, again, I thank the PFA and Show Racism The Red Card because they really did push it,” he said.

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With no firm instruction from the SPFL, PFA Scotland surveyed every Premiership squad and reported unanimous backing, Along with pressure from Show Racism The Red Card, that nudged the league into rubber-stamping the protest and, while the opening weekend served as a strong statement Bartley believes backing for the protocols to remain in place is fierce.

“We managed to do it for the first games of the season – and it was brilliant to see.

“We’ve spoken to the PFA and we’re hoping it is allowed to continue on to the weekend the Championship, League 1 and League 2 games start, so they have the opportunity to take part. Whether that happens or not, I’m not sure,” he said, admitting that the clubs had not even been told if they will be permitted to take the knee again this weekend. “We’re at Thursday now so it will probably be midnight Friday when we find out! But we’re definitely hoping it will continue until October. Hopefully it won’t be a one-off. It shouldn’t be.

“The players are extremely engaged. And we made sure here that we weren’t just taking a knee for the sake of it, that there was a reason behind it and the boys went away, fair play to them, and educated themselves on it.

“I didn’t want us taking the knee just because the boys in England were taking the knee. And we gave people the option.

“You see some comments from people saying they’re getting bored of players taking a knee. Well, racism has been going on for a long, long time – and I’m bored of that. If racism only lasted for a week or a month, I’d have been delighted. But it hasn’t. It’s been going on for hundreds of years.”


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