West Bromwich Albion boss Valerien Ismael has sent a message of thanks to the club’s fans via their official website after the applause that he and the player received as they took the knee before kick off.
A gesture that has been adopted in order to take the fight to racism, taking the knee has been used to spread the message that any form of discrimination is not to be tolerated in football or society as a whole.
Albion took the knee before their home game against Luton Town and it was met with an impeccable applause that set the tone for what was a good afternoon for the club as they ran out 3-2 winners at the Hawthorns.
Now Ismael has sent a message of thanks to the supporters as he reflected on what he saw before the game:
“If you asked me to pick one moment from today it would be the taking of the knee and the response from the fans.
“I am so proud to be manager of this club and it gave me the feeling that I am in the right place.
“I have to say that normally when the home team take the knee a lot of fans boo their own team – but our fans showed a brilliant reaction.
“This is us, this is Albion, and I’m very proud today to have the fans support the gesture and to support us.
“This club has a rich history of standing against racism and I have heard about this before, but today I felt it, and it gave me a great feeling.
“It gave us a lot of energy and showed that we are all together.”
West Brom fan? Bored? Try get 100% on this 22 question quiz all about Baggies transfer deals from over the years
An own goal by Kai Naismith sent the Baggies on their way to a first league victory of the campaign before Callum Robinson and Karlan Grant also struck to put the cap on a good team performance.
Albion are back in league action on Wednesday as they play host to Sheffield United at the Hawthorns.
It was fitting that Ismael’s first home game in front of fans saw a moment of real togetherness and it really bodes well for the fight against racism in the game and in this country.
Taking the knee is about a lot more than making a gesture and it is so important that it is championed by the governing bodies who look after English football.
There is certainly a feel good factor about West Brom right now and it appears that the fans are really buying into what Ismael is trying to do at the football club.
If they can maintain this togetherness for the entire season, there is no limit to what they can achieve.