Andros Townsend says ‘Crystal Palace will keep taking the knee as long as possible’ and explains why after Les

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Andros Townsend has explained the importance of football clubs continuing to take the knee before games, after Queens Park Rangers’ change of stance. The Championship club has decided to no longer kneel before games, with director of football Les Ferdinand saying it’s now akin to a ‘fancy hashtag or a nice pin badge’. QPR have faced criticism over their decision, although Ferdinand has the support of former West Ham and Chelsea striker Carlton Cole, who told talkSPORT the the message of taking a knee ‘has worn off’ and the gesture has ‘become a PR stunt’. Sky Sports QPR and Coventry did not take the knee with the match kicking off as normal But Townsend disagrees and insists it’s more than just a token gesture. The Crystal Palace winger spent years playing under Tottenham legend ‘Sir Les’ Ferdinand, who was a youth team boss at Spurs while he was coming through the ranks. The 29-year-old says he respects his former coach’s view and agrees with his statement ‘word-for-word’. But, speaking on Wednesday’s talkSPORT Breakfast, Townsend insists taking the knee is a valuable tool to educate people on the fight against racism, and says the message is especially important for children. And Crystal Palace have no plans to stop doing it any time soon. getty Andros Townsend insists Crystal Palace will keep taking the knee as it sends out an important message to fans “It’s something we all continue to do because it’s something we believe in,” said the Eagles star. “I worked with Les for many yeas in my Spurs days and I know nobody works more for equality in the UK and to combat racism. “I agree with his statement word-for-word, but I think the one thing Les didn’t take into account was the affect on kids. “Kids are like sponges, they worship the ground footballers walk on. “A quick story – one of my teammates was in his garden about to play football with his son, and just before they started his son takes the knee and says, ‘that’s what you do before a match, isn’t it?’ “So then the dad has to spend a good five or ten minutes having a really honest and brutal conversation with his son to try and educate him about why we take the knee. “So even something like a five second gesture, getting down on the knee, if it can help kids understand more about racism and social equality from a young age then we’re doing our job. When taking the knee first happened I loved it… but it’s become a PR stunt – Carlton Cole “Yes, for many it is a token gesture, but for kids that don’t really understand it can be massive for them. “Then it’s down to us as adults, parents, aunties and uncles to have these tough conversations, so when these young kids grow up to be adults they’re not doing the same things some adults are doing something now, and they’re not as uneducated as some of us were when we were kids, because we didn’t have these tough conversations. “I think that’s the big thing, it’s educating the kids from a young age. “I know for a fact taking the knee has helped one young boy understand more about racism around the world, so for that reason alone it’s doing a good job and so we’ll continue to do it. “At Palace we’ll continue to do it for as long as possible.”,

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