Les Ferdinand believes the meaning of "kneeling" has been lost after QPR players avoided the gesture over the weekend.
QPR players didn't bend their knees ahead of their 3-2 loss to Coventry on Friday night, a sight that has become commonplace since the return of football as a gesture of support for the anti-racism movement and Black Lives Matter in particular after the game is the shocking death of George Floyd in the US in May.
The championship club was criticized for failing to hit the knee, but defended its actions with Ferdinand, the only black football director in English professional football, arguing that it was now little more than "good PR".
QPR soccer director Les Ferdinand believes the message to cut the knee has been lost
Ferdinand argues that the gesture before kick-off turned out to be little more than "good PR".
& # 39; This shouldn't be about QPR. Many clubs did not take their knees on the opening weekend, but this was not reported, ”he said in a club statement on their website.
“Taking the knee was very powerful, but we feel like the impact has now been watered down.
'Just as "Clap For Carers" was very emotional for all of us, it reached a point where it had taken its natural course and the decision was rightly made to stop.
“Does that mean we as a nation don't care or value our NHS staff? Of course not.
“Nobody is more passionate about this subject than I am. I've talked about it all my football life.
& # 39; I work for one of the most diverse football clubs in this country. Lots of people get cheated out there.
“I recently decided not to do any more interviews on racism in football because the debate was going in circles. People want a nice soundbite when something happens, but how many media outlets who have criticized QPR in the past 48 hours really want to change something?
Mark Warburton defended his QPR team after failing to get on their knees over the weekend
& # 39; The taking of the knee has a point & # 39; good PR & # 39; achieved, but hardly more. The message has been lost. Now it's not dissimilar to a fancy hashtag or a nice lapel pin.
& # 39; What are we going to do with it? Will players be happy if the players take their knee in the next 10 years but don't make actual progress?
'Taking the knee won't make a change in the game – actions will.
“The media that were quick to question us should look inward. Our under 18s had to abandon a game against AD Nervion FC in August 2019 because of racist abuse.
& # 39; More than 12 months later, UEFA refused to look into the situation and the Spanish association took no action.
& # 39; What media coverage was given? Not nearly as much as what QPR was granted without a knee.
“Don't judge us. Simple research and evidence will show you that we do more than most. If you want to change something, judge for yourself. & # 39;
QPR and Coventry players failed to make the gesture ahead of their Friday night game
Sportsmail reported over the weekend that English football is divided over whether kneeling down before matches is still relevant. On Saturday in 16 of 37 games in the four best divisions, the players did not kneel before kick-off.
It went ahead in all four Premier League games and every game of the championship except Norwich versus Preston. In the first and second division, however, the picture was less clear as the majority did not take a knee. Out of 23 games in the bottom two leagues, players did not take their knees in 15.
QPR reiterated its commitment to fighting racism and social injustice after their players and Coventry refused to take the knee. Both teams agreed with the referee that they wouldn't get on their knees before the game and manager Mark Warburton said, & # 39; We have absolute respect for such an important cause and all of our players, a man and staff, followed the lead [last season] and took the knee.
& # 39; Some teams said at the end of the lockdown we did it now. So we say there should be guidance from the EFL.
When I left the square last night and realized that some were saying that QPR's behavior was inappropriate, I was appalled.
There was a disagreement over whether clubs should continue to take a knee before the start of the game
"We had our first game against Nottingham Forest last week and both clubs said:" We did it. We have full respect for the cause, but we don't want it to be a symbolic gesture. "Our players say, 'Do we do this every game?"
& # 39; As with caregivers clapping, it tends to lose its strength over time. But when the clapping stops for carers, there is no less respect for carers. & # 39;
CEO Lee Hoos added, "People who say 'All Lives Matter' just don't get it and suggest QPR supports this kind of thinking that would be perverse."