Why MK Dons will not be taking the knee but making their own anti-discrimination gesture in the future

“I’m in full support of the group here, and we 100 per cent want to show we’re united against it, but what’s next?”

Friday, 24th September 2021, 2:20 pm

Andrew Fisher taking the knee earlier this season as part of the EFL’s anti-racism message. Dons will now stand arm-in-arm in the centre circle as part of their own anti-discrimination message, believing taking the knee is losing impact

MK Dons will not take the knee as part of the EFL’s anti-racism message on Saturday, but will make a stand of their own instead as they wait for proper repercussions and sanctions to be handed out.

Kneeling before kick-off has been a regular sight throughout the leagues, but last Saturday against Gillingham, Dons stood arm-in-arm in the centre circle instead.

Last season, both David Kasumu and Zak Jules said taking the knee had lost its impact because there were no follow-up punishments for incidents of racism and it became an empty gesture.

Talking about his side’s decision to stand rather than kneel, Liam Manning explained: “It was a collective decision. The players spoke to me about it.

“Let's be clear - we're all against discrimination and racism, I think everyone is on the same page at this football club.

“We've been doing it for quite a while now, but what it can't become is just being a part of the process at the start of the game.

“You can see a few players and clubs are starting to feel the frustration with it. I totally agree we need to show we stand against it but we can only stir up the interest and the amount of media coverage it had in the early days, but the next bit is now that there needs to be serious sanctions and repercussions when it does happen.

The frustration from some players, clubs and people in the sport is that we've raised a huge amount of coverage, but the next bit has to go above our heads to governing bodies and big companies. There has to be sanctions and the repercussions and everyone is waiting for that to happen.

“How long does it go on for before things change? That's what the group is speaking about. I'm in full support of the group here, and we 100 per cent want to show we're united against it, but what's next? What's going to happen?”