Premier League clubs’ shirts will not carry the Black Lives Matter slogan in the coming season, the league has announced.
Shirts will instead feature a patch promoting the league’s own anti-discrimination campaign No Room For Racism.
The BLM slogan was adopted during the restarted 2019-20 campaign over the summer, following on from global protests in support of the movement sparked by the death of George Floyd in the United States while in police custody in May.
At today’s #PL club captains’ meeting, it was agreed that players and match officials will wear a ‘No Room For Racism’ sleeve badge on their shirts for the 2020/21 season— Premier League (@premierleague) September 10, 2020
Premier League captains were consulted over the change during a conference call on Thursday.
The league’s chief executive Richard Masters said: “We, our clubs, players and match officials have a long-standing commitment to tackling discrimination.
“Players rightly have a strong voice on this matter, which we saw last season. We have continued to talk and listen to players on this issue and will support them as well as continuing to emphasise the Premier League’s position against racism.
“Discrimination in any form, anywhere, is wholly unacceptable and No Room For Racism makes our zero-tolerance stance clear. We will not stand still on this important issue and we will continue to work with our clubs, players and partners to address all prejudiced behaviour.”
The BLM movement in the UK has been criticised over accusations of anti-Semitism and calls to defund the police.
The league released a statement on June 30 saying it did “not endorse any political organisation or movement, nor support any group that calls for violence or condones illegal activity”.
It added: “We are aware of the risk posed by groups that seek to hijack popular causes and campaigns to promote their own political views. These actions are entirely unwelcome and are rejected by the Premier League and all other professional football bodies, and they underline the importance of our sport coming together to declare a very clear position against prejudice.”
The league said it will continue to support players will still take the knee before matches in solidarity with the BLM movement, and the Football Association will continue its ‘common sense’ approach to how it treats any other on-field shows of support.
The Premier League has launched a dedicated service to allow players, coaches and their family members to report discriminatory abuse they encounter online.
These incidents will be reviewed, reported to the social media site and further legal action taken where appropriate.
It is also working in conjunction with the Professional Footballers’ Association and the EFL on a coach placement scheme with a view to improving diversity in the game.
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