The poppy symbol is an important recognition of the sacrifice made by so many in the World Wars, however it should always remain an individual’s choice whether or not to wear it.
Protecting the right to freedom of speech was such an important part of the reason for the World Wars and every individual should have the right to freedom of speech within the law.
We live in a multicultural society as reflected in those who play professional football in England and Wales and the PFA is proud to have such a diverse membership.
If any player makes a decision based on their religious beliefs, moral principle or for any other reason – not to wear the poppy, the PFA fully support their right to express themselves as they feel appropriate.
There is no justification for abusing someone for their beliefs. Any player subject to such abuse should be supported in the same way as any other individual who receives abuse based on their religion or nationality.
We call upon the other stakeholders in football to recognise this and support an individual’s right to express their personal and religious beliefs without fear of threats and abuse.