Troy Deeney: Keep up the pressure against racism, says Watford captain

We have to keep race conversation going – Deeney

Watford’s Troy Deeney says it is vital to keep up the pressure against racism.

Deeney has been a key organiser of the Premier League’s Black Lives Matter support – with players wearing shirts bearing that message for 12 games after the top flight’s resumption.

“It’s at forefront of everyone’s mind. The hardest part is to keep the conversation going,” he told BBC Sport.

“We have to make sure that this isn’t a couple of weeks of news and then we move on to the next thing.”

In addition to wearing shirts with the Black Lives Matter message, teams and officials also took a knee in solidarity with the protests against racial prejudice and inequality in the wake of the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in May.

Four officers involved in Floyd’s arrest have been sacked and charged over his death.

Deeney says that the Premier League clubs have been reflective and responsive of what changes could be made in elite-level English football, beyond the initial show of support from the players.

“They’ve been very good, very open, very receptive to challenge,” he added.

“Also they’ve told me to shut up when I don’t know what I’m talking about, which is good as well.

“So it’s not a case of just, you know, whatever a person of colour says, they go: ‘Yeah, we want to do it.’ If they can’t do it or it doesn’t make any sense, they said: ‘We can’t do that’ or: ‘We can talk about this idea.’

“I think that’s the conversation that everybody needs to have.”

Deeney says that while he and Leicester captain Wes Morgan have been mentioned as pivotal in organising the players’ response, there were plenty of others working to make it happen.

He highlighted Sheffield United forward David McGoldrick for coming up with the idea to “take a knee” and commended Burnley captain Ben Mee for his forthright response to a banner stating “White Lives Matter” that was flown over Etihad Stadium during last week’s match at Manchester City.

“People say it was me and Wes, and naturally we are going to take a bit more credit as we are black and naturally have an emotional attachment, but [Manchester City’s] Kevin de Bruyne was massive in the chat, [Everton’s] Seamus Coleman was massive in the chat, [Liverpool’s] Jordan Henderson was massive in the chat,” added Deeney.

“People were having our back and saying: ‘No, we want to do this. We want to help; we want to step up.'”

The Black Lives Matter shirts worn by Premier League players are being raffled off, with proceeds going to the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust