Great Britain

Troy Deeney: We’ll keep taking the knee until change comes and when change comes, that’s when we’ll stop

NOT long after George Floyd was murdered and the world was in uproar, the 20 captains in the Premier League and five or six officials had a final Zoom meeting about Project Restart.

There were six items on the agenda and the sixth was ‘Race and our stance on it moving forwards’.

I texted Wes Morgan, the Leicester captain, and said it would be interesting to see how the league approached that. Then about a week before we went back, there was this one last Zoom call.

Wes and I texted as the meeting was happening. The final point on the agenda was racism.

But as we got to it, it felt like the meeting was being wrapped up.

I texted Wes: “Are these guys serious?”

So I unmuted myself and went off on my rant.

I said we had a big platform and a big opportunity.

I thought this was a time, especially when racial abuse of our own footballers was on the rise, when we needed to make a stand.


FREE BETS: GET OVER £2,000 IN NEW CUSTOMER DEALS

I said I felt ashamed we weren’t even talking about it. Some of the officials got a bit jumpy.

I spoke for about eight minutes and then I took a deep breath and muted myself. There were an awkward few seconds where I thought, ‘F***, I wonder how that’s going to go down’.

Then Seamus Coleman jumped in and said he thought it was something we needed to do and Everton would support it.

Kevin De Bruyne said: “I’m with Troy.” Jordan Henderson said: “I’m with Troy.” Everyone joined in.

I went from nervousness to being proud. All these guys had been thinking it, but I had articulated it.

I managed to get a couple of tickets for the Euro 2020 final.

I noticed a change in atmosphere long before we parked the car.

All the excitement and the fun of this wonderful tournament, all that post-lockdown sense of release and the, ‘Yay, it’s coming home’ stuff had curdled into something much more aggressive.

GET BOOK HALF PRICE

WE’VE been bringing you a series of gripping extracts from Troy Deeney’s brutally honest new book, Redemption.

Now you can enjoy an exclusive 50 per cent off when you order a copy – thanks to WHSmith.

To pre-order your copy of Redemption for just £10 (RRP £20), all you need to do is go online to whsmith.co.uk, add the book to your basket then enter the promo code DEENEY in the promo box at the checkout.

TERMS & CONDITIONS: Offer valid online only from Saturday, September 25, 2021, until 23:59pm on Friday, October 1, 2021. UK residents only, excludes ROI. To receive your discount, add  the qualifying product (Redemption: My Story 9781788402767) to your basket and enter promotion code DEENEY.

The discount will show in your basket only on qualifying products. Offer excludes signed editions. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion codes. No cash alternative. Offer subject to availability. Offer excludes delivery costs.

The atmosphere outside the stadium was feral. Bottles were flying.

People were being drenched in beer. There were flares and smoke.

One of the things that I found interesting was how many people were using drugs openly, snorting cocaine off whatever surface they could find.

All of them, as far as I could see, were either young or middle-aged white men but when I looked for the horror and the outrage about that the next day, I couldn’t find it.

I’m sorry if this offends you, and I’m sorry if you think it’s a marginal point, but I think the reason why the issue was not highlighted was because the people doing it were white.

If they had been young and middle-aged black men, it would have been presented as more  evidence of the decay of black society.

The aftermath was predictable.

I had expected Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka to be racially abused on social media.

Racism was suppressed for a while, but it was only hiding underground.

Now racists are brave enough to come out into the daylight again.

We’ll keep taking the knee until change comes and when change comes, that’s when we’ll stop.

Read our Football news live blog for the very latest rumours, gossip and done deals

Troy Deeney posts emotional message to Watford fans after 11-year stay ends

Football news:

Ferdinand on Manchester United: Sulscher should be more demanding of the players. This is his squad, Ole will be evaluated by wins
Ancelotti on Hazard's injuries: Eden is the most upset. He is tired of these problems
Mourinho showed three fingers again during the Juve match. Perhaps he hinted to the fans about the treble with Inter
Virgil van Dijk: It's difficult to come back after a knee injury. The only thing I can do is try my best to help the team
Modric on the World Cup once every 2 years: Meaningless. The event is special because 4 years are waiting for it. Players are not asked about anything
Jurgen Klopp: I have no idea how to win the Golden Ball. In my opinion, Salah has a chance
I like my hand better without a ring. Wanda Nara about parting with Icardi