Millwall fans have been widely criticised for booing players who took a knee at kick-off during Saturday’s Championship clash against Derby County.
This was the first time supporters had been allowed inside The Den this season, and the boos from the home fans shocked many who saw the footage on social media.
Players, as well as officials and staff, at Premier League and Football League clubs have taken the knee at kick-off since June in order to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement for racial equality.
On Friday, Millwall’s first-team squad released a statement pledging to continue taking a knee in an effort to rid the game “of all forms of discrimination”.
The statement said: "The gesture of 'taking the knee' before matches provides an opportunity for us to do exactly that and continues to allow all those playing to publicly showcase their support - on behalf of the whole squad - for the fight against discrimination.
"We wish to make clear that taking the knee, for us, is in no way representative of any agreement with political messaging or ideology. It is purely about tackling discrimination, as has been the case throughout.
"We will continue to do this until the start of the new year when a new and comprehensive anti-discrimination strategy will be announced by the club."
But the statement seemed to fall out deaf ears.
Here’s how Millwall fans reacted to players taking a knee at kick-off…
Former England defender-turned-pundit Micah Richards expressed his disappointment after watching the footage.
Speaking on BBC Sport’s Final Score, Richards said: "It is just disheartening. How do these fans get allocated to the games?"
He added: "There are 2,000 so you can pinpoint the people going. There are no excuses. I am sick to death of talking about this situation.
"It is so disheartening because it is like we have come so far but we have so far to go. I don't even like talking about the matter. It feels like it falls on deaf ears. It is time and time and time again."
Per The Daily Star, Richards continued: "It’s just so disheartening because we’ve come so far but we’ve got so far to go. I don’t even like talking about it because it falls on deaf ears time and time and time again. If they’re going to mention it and put out a statement, let’s see some real punishment.
"I don’t want to see ‘Millwall slapped with a ten grand fine’ or ‘it was only certain parts’. Well these are the diehard fans because they’ve managed to get to the game!
"They know exactly who it is, they need to be punished, and I’m sick to deaf of talking about it. I come here to enjoy football and we’re talking about this. But we have to, because it’s in our game, which is a problem."
Dion Dublin, the former Coventry City and Aston Villa striker, added: "They don't agree with taking the knee, which means they are racist. They don't agree with Black Lives Matter; that says they are racist to me.
"It says to me that a minority of Millwall fans are spoiling it for a club that is going in the right direction with a tag they have had for years and years and they are trying to eradicate it."
Kick It Out, meanwhile, have released the following statement:
Millwall went on to lost the game 1-0, with Jason Knight scoring the only goal of the game in the second half for Wayne Rooney’s struggling side.News Now - Sport News