There is a problem in Scottish football with racism.

For years, many people falsely believed that it was more of a problem in other parts of the UK and other parts of the world.

But as there are more and more black players in Scotland it has become clear that the same attitudes exist here.

There have been initiatives before, including show racism the red card, and players have spoken out.

Taking the knee, before the match gets underway, is the latest symbolic attempt at players showing solidarity with each other and sending a message to those who abuse their fellow professionals, whether they are on the pitch on in the stands.

It is, of course, a gesture but it is a gesture with a clear message.

Because of the international significance of taking the knee everyone knows what it means and what those players are saying when they do it.

There are a number of players who did it but now no longer do because they feel it is not having the impact it needs to.

Players like Wifried Zaha at Crystal Palace, Glen Kamara at Rangers and Lyle Taylor at Nottingham Forest no longer take part when their team-mates do. They feel it is not making any meaningful difference.

All have been subject to racist abuse and have spoken out against it. Their commitment to anti-racism is obviously not in question.

The Scotland players were not going to take a knee at any of the matches but would ‘take a stand against racism’ instead.

They have now decided they will take a knee at Wembley against England but not at Hampden during the European Championships.

No-one is suggesting it is because they are not anti-racist but it appears to send a diluted and mixed message.

Particularly at a time when some fans have shown their disapproval of taking the knee.

There are many fans in the UK who do not want their players to take the knee and it has been booed recently by some, since fans have been allowed back in the stadium.

It is highly doubtful that the motives of most of those who are booing are the same as Zaha, Kamara or Taylor.

When Scotland play England next Friday there could be an entirely white Scotland line up.

They will be taking to the pitch against an England team which will include many black players.

Many of those England players will have suffered years of racist abuse.

They will have suffered it on the pitch and some even from their own fans.

They will have suffered it on social media as anonymous cowards get to post vile abuse with impunity.

And they will have suffered it all their lives, at school, and in the street before they were famous footballers.

Some are team-mates and friends of some of the Scotland players.

Scotland players have reversed their decision not to take a knee but only for this match.

It would have looked as though one team, representing one country taking a stance against racism and another looking on.

No-one is suggesting that in deciding not to take the knee in the other matches the Scotland players are not anti-racist.

The sight of the elite players from the two biggest nations in the UK joining together in an act that sends out a clear message to other players, and fans, that they will not tolerate racism will be a positive show of solidarity.

It will be particularly strong as it will be seen by millions of viewers not only here in the UK but around the world.

Taking the knee won’t end racism but it is a visual statement that hopefully will lead to a zero tolerance approach to bigotry and abuse.

It is not the players responsibility to stamp our racism and taking the knee will not in itself end it. It is for others to take the actions that will stop it.

It is for fans to tell other fans they are out of order and not welcome if they are racially abusing players on the pitch.

It is for football authorities and clubs to act decisively when there are racist incidents on the pitch and issue strong punishments.

And it is for the social media companies to act against the keypad tapping abusers.

If they won’t, then our politicians and parliaments need to pass laws that are effective in forcing all of the above to take action.

The same goes for religious bigotry and homophobic abuse that drives many away from football.

Racism is a serious problem in football, in Scotland, as it is in other countries.

The question for the Scotland players is if you can join England and take part in the symbolic act at Wembley then why not at Hampden against the Czech Republic and Croatia?

‘Taking a stand’ looks like doing nothing, as they would be standing anyway.

Whilst, like Kamara, Zaha and others, it is their decision there is still time for the Scotland players to change their mind and show their solidarity at Hampden as well as at Wembley.

Then we can all get on with enjoying the football and celebrating when they win and move on to the next round.