Former EFL player, now a prominent Sky Sports expert, believes pre-game symbol against racial inequality is no longer as powerful as it once was
Prutton assesses the chances of success for West Brom, Fulham and Sheff Utd
Longtime Sky Sports expert Don Goodman believes the fact that players kneel down has “lost its power.”
Aiming as a manifestation of solidarity in the fight for racial equality, it has been a familiar pre-match symbol since its first achievement after the project restarted in June 2020.
Premier League and EFL players were involved in the move, but there were examples of booing acts – in a handful of EFL matches with supporters last season and also by some English fans before the national championship. team matches this summer Euros.
Addressed exclusively to Sport mirror , Goodman believes the once powerful message is now starting to be watered down.
He said: “I think it’s obvious that every club, player, coach – all of us involved in the game – supports the position against discrimination and racism.
“My personal opinion of the knee is that I feel like it has lost some of its power, slowly but surely.
“He just lost some of what he had.
“I’ll never forget the first Project Restart game when Aston Villa played at Sheffield United. All the players had ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the back of their shirts and there was a big record and it was like ‘wow, it is a statement ‘.
“But I just think football, clubs and Kick It Out have really missed a trick by not coming up with something just different at the end of the season.
“Whether it’s a different symbol or whatever.
“Because of the controversy that this caused (the knee), we could have developed a symbol or a different way of protesting and supporting the fight against discrimination.
“I understand and am with all the players who still do it, and I am wholeheartedly behind it, but I also understand those who say it has lost its meaning a bit.”
This weekend marks the return of not only EFL’s three divisions, but full crowds as well.
Since March 2020, it is no longer possible for the supporters of the 72 clubs to go and observe their team in the flesh.
Goodman, 55, admits the majority of the games he called up last season were still entertaining despite being behind closed doors – but he’s desperately awaiting the return of the punters.
“Football without fans is soulless,” he added.
“That didn’t stop me from enjoying it, because the action has always sparked some great stories. The playoffs, in particular, have never let you down.
“But when the fans were allowed to come back for these games, my God, it was remarkable.
“I just hope now, after what everyone has gone through, that people understand how important football fans are to the great game.”
Goodman’s first mission of the 2021-22 campaign comes on Friday night’s championship curtain-raiser, with Bournemouth hosting one of its former clubs, West Brom.
And he thinks that brings together two of the favorites for promotion – along with Fulham and Sheffield United – in what will undoubtedly be another season of thrills and excesses.
He added: “I think before last season only around 30% of the clubs that were relegated ended up coming back straight up.
“That’s how difficult it can be. But I think Watford and Norwich really benefited from it last year, in an unusual season.
“Having said that, I think the three relegated clubs, as well as Bournemouth, will be the favorites this time around.
“But I also envision that we will have another surprise like the one we had with Barnsley last season.
“I think there is an opportunity, below the four clubs I just mentioned, for any of the other clubs to more or less get a top six spot.
“It’s going to be fascinating.”
* Sky Sports is the birthplace of national football and will broadcast 138 matches live from the EFL this season
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