Spectator ejected from St James Park after booing when players took a knee

For the second time in three home games, an Exeter City home fixture has been marred by discriminatory behaviour from spectators.

A spectator was ejected from St James Park after booing the taking of the knee by players at the start of Tuesday night’s fixture with Harrogate Town.

It was the first time this season that players took the knee pre-match before a match at St James Park to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Ryan Bowman of Exeter City and Jack Muldoon of Harrogate Town takes the knee during the Sky Bet League 2 Match between Exeter City and Harrogate Town at St James Park, Exeter on 15 Dec. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK
Ryan Bowman of Exeter City and Jack Muldoon of Harrogate Town takes the knee during the Sky Bet League 2 Match between Exeter City and Harrogate Town at St James Park, Exeter on 15 Dec. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK
(Image: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

But a spectator in the IP Office Ltd Stand greeted the blowing of the referee’s whistle by booing the gesture. He was the only one and quickly drowned out by applause from the rest of the stand.

Ten minutes into the game, having been identified, he was escorted out of the stadium by stewards, as a result of his actions.

A spokesman for Exeter City said that they would issue a full statement on the incident after the game.

Randell Williams of Exeter City takes the knee during the Sky Bet League 2 Match between Exeter City and Harrogate Town at St James Park, Exeter on 15 Dec. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK
Randell Williams of Exeter City takes the knee during the Sky Bet League 2 Match between Exeter City and Harrogate Town at St James Park, Exeter on 15 Dec. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK
(Image: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

It is the second such incident to have taken place at St James Park in the three games since fans returned, after an allegation of racist abuse by a spectator towards a Northampton Town player in last Tuesday’s defeat was made.

The club – and the police – have launched a full investigation to find out who the culprit is and have appealed for witnesses, with the incident happening at the end of the game and the person responsible sat in the Stagecoach Adam Stansfield Stand.

After last Tuesday’s incident, Matt Taylor had said: “It is a real disappointment that Exeter City, being the club that it is, is involved in this situation, but it is something that is becoming more and more to light in the public eye and society – and in sporting venues.

“It was the first time that we had fans at the ground, which is a huge positive for the club and everyone involved with the club, and for this to happen on that evening is really disappointing. But there is a full club investigation, a police investigation, and hopefully they get to the bottom of it.”

Last week has also seen incidents involving discriminatory chants at Millwall and in the Champions League clash between Paris St Germain and Basaksehir.

Devon Live