Rangers fans have been sending messages of support to the club’s players as the contentious issue of footballers taking the knee against racism reappears ahead of the season kicking off.

Footballers have been partaking in the gesture for the last year but much of this has been done behind closed doors.

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The Rangers squad support taking the knee in a gesture against racism and fans are clear they expect their fellow supporters to respect and support this. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The gesture is fundamentally centred around challenging issues of equality and racism in sport and despite desperate claims it relates to politics, a reminder otherwise has been clear this week.

Some sports fans around the planet have opted to boo the gesture but Rangers fans on Twitter are clear that anyone who intends to do this is not welcome at Ibrox this weekend.

The Gers are preparing to welcome 23k supporters for the Scottish Premiership opener against Livingston this weekend with plans in place to do the gesture.

This is despite the club and the game in Scotland scrapping it due to a lack of action following a horrendous incidence of racist abuse against Slavia Prague last season.

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Rangers know all too well the impact of racism in football after midfielder Glen Kamara was abused by Czech international defender Ondrej Kudela last season.

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The pain and upset this incident caused sent shockwaves around Ibrox and around the footballing world. (Photo by ANDREW MILLIGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Kudela wound up with a ten-game ban whilst Glen was handed a three-match sentence by UEFA for reacting to the incident.

All that anger from within Ibrox and the support of the club afterwards meant a huge deal to the Gers’ black players and this was exemplified in a recent interview with Leon Balogun.

Nigerian international Balogun was speaking to the Beautiful Game podcast and claimed it was in this support that he “fell in love with Rangers”.

“What I can tell you is that that was the day that I fell in love with Rangers,” said Balogun.

“I loved my time at the club already, but this is when I said, you’ve got my heart.

“The way everybody, some of the kitchen staff, the physios, everybody, the board members, everyone came down there and said, ‘you know what guys, we got your back’.

“They came to me but first and foremost they went to Glen, but all the players where they know they’ve been impacted.”

As we head into this season’s opener this week, remember the words of Balogun loud and clear. Some can try and turn this political but it is clearly about so much more to our black footballers.

Resurrecting the gesture will act as a measure of the progress football has made and what an embarrassment anyone booing it will be to themselves and to the club.

The message from Rangers fans online is simple – if you plan to come to Ibrox and boo our own Champions instead of saluting them, then you’re better passing the ticket on elsewhere:

 

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