Applause drowns out boos as Cambridge and Colchester take knee

Boos were drowned out by applause as players took a knee at the start of Cambridge United’s League Two match at home to Colchester United on Tuesday night.

When players from both teams took a knee in support of the fight against racial injustice and discrimination at the Abbey Stadium, boos were clearly audible.

However, fellow spectators quickly responded by applauding before the match got under way.

The incident followed similar occurrences at Millwall and Colchester this month.

Championship side Millwall said they were “dismayed and saddened” by events at The Den ahead of the visit of Derby on December 5, when the long-awaited return of supporters was overshadowed by booing when players took the knee.

A section of the Millwall crowd booed as players took a knee prior to kick-off in the game against Derby on December 5

Colchester’s League Two game with Grimsby on the same day was preceded by fans booing the players’ anti-racism gesture before kick-off.

The Essex club’s owner Robbie Cowling said afterwards that fans who want to boo players taking the knee should not attend matches.

Cowling said: “Those taking the knee, and supporting the taking of the knee, not only show their willingness to support the drive to eradicate racial oppression but force it to be a talking point even when it’s uncomfortable.

“Maybe those that booed on Saturday might now understand what this gesture means to our club and will at the very least remain silent during future games whilst the players continue to take the knee before each kick-off.

Colchester United 1:17
Sport England board member Chris Grant praises Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling for his response after a small minority of the club’s fans booed their own players for taking the knee last weekend.

“Alternatively, they should just stay away from our club because anyone that still wants to boo now that I have explained the purpose and importance of the taking of the knee is not welcome at our club.

“I will be happy to refund anyone for the remaining value of their season permit if that is the reason they feel they can no longer attend our games.”

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