Burnley captain Ben Mee condemns minority of fans who booed taking of the knee

Clarets captain Ben Mee has said his piece after a minority of fans could be heard booing the taking of the knee at Turf Moor.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 11:56 am
Neal Maupay of Brighton and Hove Albion controls the ball whilst under pressure from Ben Mee of Burnley during the Premier League match between Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion at Turf Moor on August 14, 2021 in Burnley, England.

The derisive response to what has now become a symbolic stance against racism has bedevilled clubs across the country since the readmission of supporters inside stadiums.

A pocket of individuals aired their opposition to the gesture ahead of Burnley' s Premier League opener against Brighton and Hove Albion though, as the skipper alludes to, the reaction was largely a positive one.

"It's disappointing to hear that, but there was a lot of applause as well after it," he said.

Jakub Moder of Brighton is challenged by Charlie Taylor and Ben Mee of Burnley and Hove Albion during the Premier League match between Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion at Turf Moor on August 14, 2021 in Burnley, England.

"It was disappointing to hear the booing, I don't know how many times we have to re-iterate as players of the reasons why we're continuing to take the knee.

"It gets to a point where if you're booing, it doesn't look good on those individuals. I'm disappointed, but I would say there were a lot of positive [reactions] there as well.

"Continue to support us, it is important. Support us in what we're trying to achieve as a group of players and as a football community.

"We shouldn't have to keep reiterating the reasons behind why we're doing it. The support would be more than welcome."

The 31-year-old's viewpoints on the subject have always been well-articulated, eloquent and impassioned.

He's adopted the role of Burnley's envoy when sharing the message of unity, inclusion and anti-racism in football.

The centre back continues to stand alongside all club captains in the top flight to help eradicate racial prejudice while promoting respect and equal opportunities for all.

Mee, in his programme notes, had emphasised the fact the players do not see their actions as a political gesture, more a statement to show that there is no place for discrimination.

Asked if a study – which showed that nearly two-thirds of fans fear that they'll witness a player receiving racist abuse – surprised him at all, the defender said:

"It does surprise me; two-thirds is a lot.

"We're doing all we can to help that, get the numbers down and support the fight against racism.

"We want those numbers to be lower and we want supporters to feel comfortable whenever they enter a football stadium.

"It would be great for fans to support what we're trying to achieve. There was obviously a minority booing again."