WANDERERS say the club stands proudly behind the players’ decision to take the knee before games as a statement against racism.

The club issued a statement this afternoon outlining its stance against discrimination.

It comes after an incident before the weekend’s friendly against Blackburn Rovers where a small number of supporters were heard booing the players’ gesture before kick-off.

Taking the knee on the pitch has spread across the sporting world as a way players and athletes can promote a message of anti-racism, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

Critics claim the message is overtly political – with debate continuing to rage on whether its effectiveness has been lost.

The Bolton News understands that the decision on whether to take the knee is discussed between the two sets of players before each game, which will continue to be the case this season.

“Bolton Wanderers Football Club will always remain committed to promoting inclusion and supporting diversity,” a statement read.

“We are also proud of our players’ stance in saying that racism and discrimination is not acceptable in both football and wider society.

“Football is a place where people from all backgrounds come together with a common purpose and a common language.

“Whether a player, coach, volunteer or supporter, it has the power to unite people in a way that very few other things can.

“Our actions and our support can send a powerful message across the whole country that football is united in the fight against racism and we can all take a stand.”

Wanderers chairman Sharon Brittan said she believed the players were sending out the right message.

“As a town Bolton is strengthened by our diverse community and at Bolton Wanderers Football Club, through our work in the community, we are proud to represent all our residents,” she said.

“The players are determined to send out a strong and positive message to show that we are all together in the fight against discrimination of any kind.

“We are One Club, One Community, One Town.”