Players must keep taking a knee to highlight BLM, says ex-QPR defender Onuoha, Newsline

NEW YORK – Players kneeling before games in support of the Black Lives Matter movement will ensure that it remains a topic of conversation and help bring about change, said former Queens Park Rangers (QPR) defender Nedum Onuoha.

Former England striker Les Ferdinand said last week that taking a knee had become nothing short of a PR stunt and that the real message was being diluted.

Ferdinand, who is Black, is director of football at QPR. The club was criticised after neither they nor Coventry City knelt before their second-tier Championship match last week.

But Nigerian-born Onuoha told the BBC on Friday, “Les is perfectly entitled to his opinion, but even if 50% of people that kneel don’t believe in it, they’re still kneeling, and as a consequence it can still be a topic of conversation.”

“Even if it’s diluted, it’s still a message in itself,” said Onuoha, who plays for Major League Soccer side Real Salt Lake.

The Black Lives Matter cause was taken up by clubs in England’s Premier League when the 2019-20 season resumed after the Covid-19 hiatus.