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16 Dec, 2020 12:51

‘Madness’: Fan thrown out of match and football club chief vows to ban people who boo players taking a knee for Black Lives Matter

‘Madness’: Fan thrown out of match and football club chief vows to ban people who boo players taking a knee for Black Lives Matter

The escalating row over players taking the knee for Black Lives Matter (BLM) in the UK has stooped to another low after a fan was thrown out for booing during the gesture, while a CEO has pledged to identify and target dissenters.

League Two side Exeter ejected a fan from their home stadium after booing was heard when players took a knee before kick-off ahead of a match on Tuesday, warning that they would take "appropriate action" in the most high-profile example to date of a fan being punished for opposing the pre-match gesture.

Jeers also rang out when Colchester, whose chairman offered fans who did not agree with kneeling a refund on their season tickets last week, played at Cambridge's Abbey Stadium, infuriating the hosts' chief executive, Ian Mather.

"There are terms of entry into the Abbey Stadium, as with any other stadium," Mather told Sky Sports News after the match, describing himself as "angry" and "incredibly frustrated". "We can determine what behaviour's acceptable and not.

Also on rt.com English football boss tells fans to ‘stay away’ if they boo players taking a knee – but supporters decry hypocritical intolerance

"Identifying them is actually quite easy. Somebody actually sent me a direct message on Twitter last night explaining his views, and others have been identified in other seats. So finding them is actually not very hard."

Cambridge coach Mark Bonner echoed Mather's views by calling the scenes "unacceptable."

"I'm disgusted, to be honest," he said after his side's 2-1 win. "It shines a light on our club for all the wrong reasons.

"What was a really good game for us on the pitch was overshadowed by a really small minority who decided to boo in a moment when we're reflecting the values that everyone at our club believes in.

"What was most encouraging is the vast majority drowned them out quite quickly with applause and reflected the values of our club much better.

"We work incredibly hard in the community and there's massive work that goes on to highlight all these issues.

"We've clearly got some work to do because some people have embarrassed our club and embarrassed themselves, to be honest."

Many fans clearly did not agree with that viewpoint. "Good," said one, responding to the show of disapproval by the supporters.

"[Kneeling] once was enough - doing it every single match is ridiculous. Keep politics - BLM on this occasion - out of sport."

Another warned: "Politics and sports don't mix. It only went on this long because fans have not been able to attend."

Also on rt.com ‘Bottled it’: Football club accused of appeasing racists after ditching Black Lives Matter kneeling in favor of stars linking arms