• Fri. Jan 27th, 2023

Dec 7, 2020

Watford captain Troy Deeney has promised to walk off the pitch if racially abused.
The return of 2,000 fans at Milwall on Saturday was marred by loud jeers which rang around The Den as players from the home side and opponents Derby continued to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement by taking a knee before the match.
Millwall released a statement saying they are dismayed and saddened by events
It sparked anger among the footballing world, not least from Millwall right-back Mahlon Romeo, who admitted he felt disrespected and offended by the actions of his own supporters.
Watford travel to Millwall later this month, and Deeney already expects to hear booing when he takes the knee before kick-off.
While the 32-year-old intends to play on if that happens, he insists him and his teammates would draw the line at explicit racial abuse.
“When they boo, I’ll still be there,” he added. “But if it gets to that line of racial things being said to me or my players, we’ve already had a conversation about what happens. We walk, simple.
“We’re not here to be racially abused, we’re here to play football and entertain.
“There’s a lot of things you can call me. You can call me a big head and say I’ve got teeth like a shark but if you racially abuse me, I’m not going to stand there and take it.
“If I turn around and get physical with that person, I get in trouble and the club gets in trouble, so the only thing I can do in that moment is report it and leave.
“That’s all I can do, so that’s what we will do.”
Deeney sent a strong message to the Millwall fans who booed
talkSPORT host and Lions legend Tony Cascarino was embarrassed by Saturday’s events, which have been defended in some quarters as political opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement.
For Deeney, though, it’s clear that the protests had nothing to with politics.
The Watford striker, who was part of the Premier League meetings which saw anti-racism campaigning introduced in April, believes the behaviour of some Millwall fans shows why these initiatives must continue.
“I’m not massively shocked,” he told talkSPORT. “I don’t want to put this on all the Millwall fans or the club. There’s a certain amount of people who found a reason to boo, which I don’t really want to get into because I think we’re giving them too much energy.
It shows that those advocating for equality must keep going. This is the reason why.
“In the Premier League meeting, we said it has to be done when fans are back, because it’s easy to take the knee when no-one’s there.
“It’s easy to put the badge on when there’s no-one there. When fans are there, it sparks conversation, rightly or wrongly.
“The Premier League issued a statement saying it has nothing to do with politics.
“People are saying it’s all about the Black Lives Matter movement, but it’s nothing to do with that.
“I want to make it clear, it’s not all Millwall fans. They’ve got black players playing for them.
“If the right-back Romeo scored, would they want that goal chalked off?
“It’s so frustrating to read some of the stuff that’s coming in here. It’s mind-boggling and stupid the way that people think. I don’t like calling people names, but it’s stupid the way they go on like this.”
Anton Ferdinand opens up about infamous John Terry incident and gets emotional when revealing how brother Rio felt ‘powerless’ during situation
Asked if Millwall should face punishment from the Football Association for their fans’ behaviour, Deeney replied: “Is booing racist? No, it isn’t. It is part of football. So can you punish them for booing? I don’t think you can.
“It is a difficult place for the FA to be in, but we have to understand this is all about finding equality for injustices.
“I’m getting bored of repeating myself for the same people who don’t want to hear it. It is a case of understanding that conversations need to be had.
“We don’t have to agree on everything – it is part and parcel of it – but we can’t sit and keep saying ‘what’s the next step’. The next step is to keep pushing, to keep having these conversations, to understand both sides of the fence.”