Tavernier asks Rangers fans to support kneeling

Tavernier asks Rangers fans to support kneeling

Rangers captain James Tavernier has written a letter to the club’s fans asking for their support as the players take a knee in the continued fight against racism.

The Scottish champions get their Premiership campaign underway against Livingston at Ibrox on Saturday and Tavernier has confirmed they will take a knee prior to kick off.

He has asked the supporters to respect this gesture at each game this season, stating it is a “symbolic gesture against racism, nothing more and nothing less.”

In the letter, Tavernier said: “The last 16 months have been difficult, right across the world. Every single person has been impacted, with some losing their lives from Covid. We cannot forget that we must use this opportunity to create as much positivity and unity within our famous ground.

Glen Kamara (L) was allegedly subject to racist abuse during Rangers' Europa League exit on Thursday against Slavia Prague

Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela was found guilty of racially abusing Glen Kamara in last year’s Europa League

“We brought home [a 55th league title] last season, in almost record time. However, there were some dark and difficult moments along the way. Sadly, at some stage during the season, every one of our BAME players received racist abuse online.

“That is a sad indictment on society and shows just how much work still needs to be done to eradicate it. Add in the fact one of our players received sickening racist abuse on the pitch.

“Racism is a problem in football, that is an inarguable fact.

“As a team and as a club, we must not only stand up against racism, but fight against it every single day. Whenever our players were abused last season, the way in which our fanbase stood behind us was nothing short of amazing.

Rangers will have an extra 6,000 tickets for Saturday's Premiership opener against Livingston at Ibrox, making a total of 23,000 seats available for season ticket holders

Rangers will have an extra 6,000 tickets for Saturday’s Premiership opener against Livingston at Ibrox, making a total of 23,000 seats available for season ticket holders

“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 teammates or coaching staff. We will take the knee to stand against racism, nothing more, and nothing less.

“That is why we will take the knee prior to our games. This is a very simple, but we hope, effective gesture. It is a symbolic stance against racism, nothing more and nothing less.

“At the start of each game this season, and throughout the 90 minutes, please show the world exactly why you are a special fan base. Support every player who is proud to wear the badge of the famous RFC.

“We are as strong as strong can be. I cannot wait to hear you roar from the stands of Ibrox Park.”

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Kick It Out is football’s equality and inclusion organisation – working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.

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