Following reports of the abhorrent racist abuse aimed at members of the England national team following Sunday’s EURO 2021 final defeat, Rotherham United skipper Richard Wood has once again reiterated the club's condemnation of all forms of discrimination and the message of equality carried by the ‘taking of the knee’.
The Millers players and staff were unified in their desire to outwardly display the need to end all forms of discrimination and social injustice by raising awareness of the fight being far from over, by taking a knee before each and every fixture throughout the season.
Sunday’s events and the reports that have followed are another stark reminder to us all that racism and discrimination sadly still exists in our society and that education on the matter is needed to stop events like those over the weekend happening again.
Having discussed the issue internally, Wood and his teammates are keen to continue taking action ahead of matches until the attitude of the offending parties changes or are brought to justice.
The Millers captain has always led by example both on and off the pitch and is keen to ensure that he and his teammates are able to continue to use their position as role models in our community to highlight the need to end all forms of discrimination, once and for all.
“The abuse aimed at members of the England team after Sunday’s final is totally unacceptable and another very sad reminder that we still have a lot of work to do to eradicate racism and discrimination from our society,” Wood told www.themillers.co.uk.
“I think we have all enjoyed watching the football this summer and despite all the challenges that the pandemic has presented us with, it really felt as though the nation had found something to join together to get behind.
“I also appreciate that we are talking about a minority of people but they are the reason that actions like taking the knee are so important. It is about educating people."
“As I’ve said before, none of what we do is politically motivated and never will be, we are footballers who want to use our platform for good – which in this case is tackling the issue of racism and discrimination.
“We will of course continue to fully get behind campaigns such as Kick It Out and Show Racism the Red Card, who do so much great work on the same issue.
“While ever the team taking the knee provides a talking point, it means that the issue of racism is being discussed and therefore kept at the forefront of people’s mind.
“I speak on behalf of everyone here at Rotherham United when I say that everyone is welcome here at our football club and I would like to reiterate that we all condemn the abhorrent abuse aimed at our national team, who have done us so immensely proud this summer.”
READ | “They are the reason that actions like taking the knee are so important. It is about educating people."— Rotherham United (@OfficialRUFC) July 15, 2021
The skipper speaks out following abuse aimed at @England players over the weekend.
Read in full. ⬇️#rufc | #ForeverTogetherForeverProudhttps://t.co/E5Rd89rFyx pic.twitter.com/jmBM3AWmyP
The online abuse is further proof of the society we still find ourselves in & why we as individuals & a squad took the knee again on Saturday. To hear booing was disheartening and frankly embarrassing and I urge those who did to open their eyes, ears and hearts.— Matt Crooks (@mdrcrooks) July 14, 2021