Millwall fans applaud as players hold anti-racism banner before kick-off
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Millwall and QPR players held an anti-racism banner before the game

Millwall fans applauded as their team and QPR players came together to hold an anti-racism banner before Tuesday’s Championship match at The Den, days after booing them for taking a knee.

Players were booed as they took a knee before Saturday’s defeat by Derby.

Millwall players did not take a knee before kick-off on Tuesday but QPR players did, despite stopping the gesture earlier this season.

Millwall said it was “one of the most important days in the club’s history”.

In a letter handed to fans in attendance, they added: “The eyes of the world are on this football club tonight – your club – and they want us to fail.

“Together as one, we will not let that happen.”

Millwall defender Mahlon Romeo, who said Saturday’s booing had “personally disrespected” and “offended” him, led the team out in front of captain Alex Pearce.

Players from both clubs stood arm-in-arm behind a banner with the same ‘Inequality. United for change’ message displayed on the big screen at The Den.

Millwall’s regular shirt sponsor has been replaced with the logo of anti-discrimination body Kick It Out.

The decision to hold up the banner came after a meeting on Monday between both clubs, Kick It Out, Show Racism The Red Card, the Professional Footballers’ Association, the Football Association and the English Football League (EFL).

Players, officials and staff at Premier League and EFL games have been taking a knee pre-match since football restarted in June in order to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement for racial equality.

Ilias Chair (right) opened the scoring for QPR before he and team-mate Bright Osayi-Samuel took a knee and raised a fist in front of Millwall fans near the corner flag

Analysis

Natalie Pirks, BBC Sport at The Den

The famous Millwall chant goes “no-one likes us, we don’t care”. But Tuesday night was different – there were nerves in the air in this corner of south London.

A taxi driver shouted at our camera crew, telling us we should be focusing on far bigger issues than “a few boos”. Some fans told us their club needed to do more to tackle societal issues of racism.

Those among the 2,000 heading into The Den were handed a statement claiming all eyes of the world were on them. It added, bizarrely, that they “want us to fail”.

It was claimed the statement was written without the backing of the club’s chief executive, but the siege mentality clearly worked.

As the players linked arms and displayed an anti-racism banner, they were loudly clapped and cheered. It continued as some chose to take the knee. The club breathed a sigh of relief.

QPR players took a knee before kick-off while Millwall players remained standing
While Millwall players did not take a knee, defender Mahlon Romeo raised a clenched fist before kick-off
Millwall and QPR players held an anti-racism banner before kick-off, with the same message shown on the video screen

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