At a time when it appears that Thierry Henry may be about to take over as Bournemouth manager, the south coast side have released a statement regarding the taking of the knee before matches.
Originally seen as an attempt to support Black Lives Matter and a show of strength in order to rid the game of racism, some months after the protest began it’s beginning to lose its lustre.
Brentford were the first club to announce that their players would no longer take a knee, and now Bournemouth have followed suit, suggesting that the gesture had simply run its course.
“Following discussions between the squad and with senior staff members, we have decided to no longer take the knee before games, starting this weekend against Queens Park Rangers,” a club statement read.
“At all levels, this club prides itself on its work around equality, diversity and inclusion and as a group of players we fully embrace this.
“We all strive to ensure that AFC Bournemouth is a club which welcomes anyone, regardless of their race, gender, sexuality or religion.
“Fighting all forms of discrimination and creating an equal, inclusive society is something that we feel very passionately about.
“But that is defined by much more than a gesture, which we feel has run its course and is no longer having the effect it first did eight months ago.
“Since football restarted last June we have taken the knee before every fixture. Instead, we will now stand before games; just as we stand together with our team mates who have suffered racial abuse and as we stand with anyone who is subjected to any form of discrimination.”
Bournemouth’s decision will surely disappoint those campaigners that have fought long and hard to try and ensure that the protest remains front and centre.
With social media messages becoming more vile and toxic, it’s clear that there is still so much more work to do.
By taking themselves away from any protests, Bournemouth and Brentford are effectively losing their voice, and that only gives the perpetrators fuel for their fire.
We can only hope that other clubs decide not to follow suit.