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'There's pressure on media and players to keep it going' | Deeney on BLM


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Troy Deeney has been encouraged by football's demonstrations of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement but feels more needs to be done.

The Watford captain and all of his fellow Premier League players have been wearing Black Lives Matter badges on their team shirts and before kick-off at all of last weekend's matches, they took a knee at kick-off time.

Deeney hopes that these kinds of demonstrations will help lead to lasting change with regard to the issue of racial inequality.

"We've had for years now, a lot of people talking, a lot of signs of solidarity but it's never gone that extra step and impacted change," Deeney told Sky Sports News.

"In light of recent events I think you can that there's a real determination across the board from people to have change and see that this social injustice is certainly not welcome in 2020.

"I think [the reaction to the BLM movement] has been very good. I think it's been very positive. I think what football does is show a very keen sense of reflection on the actual day-to-day living in society.

"Only the week before the season started there was a lot of protests in London and in other countries.

"I think that's been represented in how the players have tried to come together, show unity but also show that we want to be better.

"'Impact change' is a well-used phrase but that's what we want to do."

Graeme Souness is one of a number of white former players to speak out against racism in recent days and he questioned how people like him can help to inspire change.

Deeney has been heartened by seeing people of different ethnic backgrounds joining in with the movement for change.

"The demographic has changed now. It's not just middle-aged black guys saying 'we don't feel this' or black women saying, 'we don't fell that', it's right across the board now," said Deeney.

"If you looked at the protests you saw a very diverse group, whether it be white, Asian, black, the amount of people there saying this is not acceptable. That has given me the biggest sense of change."

The Hornets striker thanked the Premier League for giving players the platform to express their views on the issues around racial inequality.

However he has urged everyone to not allow the momentum that has been built up now to fade.

"If the conversation still carries on, two, three, four months from now and people still have the same energy with regard to impacting change because, as we know, things don't change overnight. It's an ongoing process," added Deeney.

"There's a lot of pressure on the media and players to keep the conversation going and to keep it in the public domain.

"We've seen before with other campaigns such as 'Kick It Out', they're very much one week and then you don't hear anything about it for the rest of the year.

"So we want to make sure that this conversation continues."

Deeney has been helping to promote the #PlayersTogether campaign which is raffling specially designed, signed match-worn shirts and all the funds will be donated to The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.


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