Rangers captain urges fans to support players in taking the knee

Rangers players will continue to take the knee as the new season gets under way

By Rory Murphy

Captain James Tavernier has urged Rangers supporters to back the players’ “symbolic stance against racism” of taking the knee this season.

Midfielder Glen Kamara was racially abused by Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela last term, with the Czech given a 10-game ban by Uefa, while Rangers players were also targeted online.

Rangers opened their title defence at home to Livingston on Saturday, a game which they won 3-0.

Tavernier feels “much work still needs to be done” to fight racial inequality.

In an open letter to season-ticket holders, 29-year-old Tavernier wrote: “Whenever our players were abused last season, the way in which our fanbase stood behind us was nothing short of amazing.

“Many people have given arguments for and against certain political organisations. Arguments against their actions, and what they purport to stand for.

“I’ve no interest in all that, neither do my team-mates or coaching staff. We will take the knee to stand against racism, nothing more, and nothing less.”

Players took the knee before the majority of Scottish football matches last season to highlight racial discrimination. The gesture has been widely used across sport following the murder of American George Floyd by white policeman Derek Chauvin in May 2020.

Some fans booed players taking a knee at Euro 2020 this summer, including England when they faced Croatia at Wembley.

Tavernier added: “At the start of each game this season, and throughout the 90 minutes, please show the world exactly why you are a special fanbase.

“Support every player who is proud to wear the badge of the famous RFC. We are as strong as strong can be.”

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