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Why we stood united ahead of kick-off

Head Coach on standing united against discrimination...

25 September 2021

Liam Manning has addressed MK Dons’ decision to stand together on the centre circle prior to last Saturday’s Sky Bet League One clash with Gillingham.

Clubs across the EFL having been taking the knee since the 2019/20 play-off campaign in protest against racism and discrimination.

“It was a collective decision,” Manning said in his pre-match press conference, when asked about the Dons players’ decision not to take the knee last weekend.

“Let’s be clear, we are all united against discrimination and racism – everybody is on the same page. But, what (taking the knee) can’t become is just another part of the process before the game.

“We totally agree that we have to show that we stand against it but we, as sportsmen, can only raise the profile – the next bit has to be above our heads in terms of governing bodies, and big companies that provide platforms for people to do things, ensuring there are serious sanctions and reproductions when it does happen.

“We had a conversation around it and that’s the frustration at the moment. We’ve managed to raise the profile of what we’re trying to do but there now has to be sanctions and reproductions and I think that’s what everybody is now waiting to happen - how long does it go on for before things change?”

Manning added: “I am in full support of the players in terms of them showing we are 100% united against it but it’s now a case of wanting change to actually happen.”

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