As part of Brentford's build-up to the Sky Bet Championship match against Coventry City tomorrow, striker Ivan Toney spoke to Sky Sports. A feature with the striker, who leads the division in goals and assists, will run on Soccer Saturday ahead of the game. The Bees face Coventry at 12.30pm tomorrow, Saturday 20 February, in a match that will be live on Sky Sports Football.
During the interview, Ivan also spoke about Brentford's players no longer taking a knee before matches. The players released a statement last week explaining that they won't be taking a knee before games. That statement can be seen here.
Reporter Dickie Davis asked Ivan about the statement and what the players will now be doing. Ivan explained his feelings on the matter and also said the group had detailed conversations on not taking a knee before reaching a decision. Ivan has been subject to racist abuse in recent weeks and outlined that he felt nothing was changing.
"We have had a long discussion about that; why we are not taking a knee," he told Sky Sports. "Everyone has had their say, and everyone agrees [that] we have been taking the knee for however long now and still nothing has changed. We are kind of being used as puppets, in my eyes; take the knee and the people at the top can rest for a while now, which is pretty silly and pretty pointless. Nothing is changing.
"We are actually looking through our mentions for racist abuse. That should never be the case. Okay people might say you're rubbish but colour shouldn't come into the situation. I feel like that is very frequent at the moment. People feel comfortable just throwing things out there not realising people's feelings.
"Personally, the way things are going at the moment, I think instead of taking the knee they will probably think of something else to do and just cover up for another year or so, and it will just be a continuous thing like that. Whereas there needs to be harsher punishment."
Sky Sports allowed Brentford FC to record the full conversation with Ivan. We will share that in the coming days. Ivan's interview has been summarised here.