Swansea City braced for further anti-Black Lives Matter protests at Liberty Stadium

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Alex Bywater
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
A general view during the Sky Bet Championship match between Swansea City and Barnsley  - Getty Images
A general view during the Sky Bet Championship match between Swansea City and Barnsley - Getty Images

Swansea City are preparing for more protests against the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement outside the Liberty Stadium when both teams take a knee before Saturday's match with Watford.

Before Swansea’s goalless Championship draw with Reading on Wednesday a loud series of boos, jeers and horns were heard from outside the stadium. It was timed by protestors to coincide with players from both teams who were kneeling in solidarity with the fight against racism.

A similar demonstration had taken place before Swansea’s win over Barnsley before Christmas, albeit on a smaller scale. Swansea immediately launched an investigation into the demonstrations after the Reading game but did not comment further on Thursday.

The Welsh side are though readying themselves for a repeat protest when Watford arrive this weekend. South Wales Police were present at the demonstration before the Reading game and will do likewise again this weekend.

Footballers across the Premier League and English Football League have kneeled before every match this season in support of the movement for racial equality but there has been disapproval from some quarters at the politicisation of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The group, who have staged demonstrations at Swansea’s last two home games, has been warned by police they are breaching Covid-19 rules by gathering outside the Liberty Stadium. But in a video seen by Telegraph Sport, the demonstrators have described the Watford match as “our big one”.

In the video, one unnamed protestor said: “I’ve supported the Swans all my life and I will never, ever cheer for them again. Get BLM out of the UK.”

Another added: “Bringing politics into sport is not on. Black Lives Matter is a Marxist organisation which preaches anti-white hatred.”

The small group carried placards before the Reading game which read “Boo Like Millwall.” It referenced the BLM acronym but also showed their support for Millwall fans who booed their players taking the knee when they faced Derby County on Dec 5.

There have also been similar incidents to the Millwall and Derby game at Colchester and Cambridge.

The  Swansea City Supporters’ Trust  was contacted for comment but did not respond.  

A South Wales Police spokeswoman said: “South Wales Police was made aware of a planned protest at the Liberty Stadium yesterday, a small group of people attended.

“We have designated football liaison officers who work with clubs throughout the force area, including Swansea City, to help prevent and deter crime and anti-social behaviour.

“Officers engaged with protest organisers and attendees in order to remind them of their obligations under the current Covid-19 legislation, including the prohibition on gatherings and the overarching goal for everyone to take personal responsibility to keep Wales safe. We will continue to work with the club and review any footage from the protest.”