AFTV’s Robbie gets his political signals mixed up again

Not wanting to base any end of season reviews or player ratings on the emotion of missing out on Europe in the last few minutes, I decided to focus on the story emerging from AFTV. This is a classic example of the problems with politics in Sport.

Moh Haider has a following on social media due to his 7-year association with Arsenal Fan TV. He has been using his platform to spread awareness regarding the conflict in Palestine, as have certain footballers.

In recent Fan Cams he’s been displaying a Palestine flag on his clothes.

He hasn’t been on AFTV since sending out this tweet on May 10th,

Robbie Lyle is so offended he is considering legal action.

It has often amazed me how a man whose model is to critique another business gets so sensitive when the same is done to his empire.

He feels he’s entitled to stand outside someone’s headquarters and swear at and mock every department, yet doesn’t like it when Gary Neville, Simon Jordan, Hector Bellerin, etc, questions his content.

Fans of the fan channel are the same. I have had readers accuse me of jealousy and an agenda against the Youtuber. I have actually watched the product for 7 years, ironically enjoying listening to Moh and later DT.

I maintain that any person who can make money doing something they love should be applauded. You would have to be bitter not to think that. At times though I felt the channel and those associated with it have become deluded, thinking they are bigger than they are.

Where their ethos used to be representing the everyday supporter, they started to sell themselves as the modern media, who the likes of Sky Sports and Talksport were now jealous of.

If you’re going to compare yourself to major media giants, then you can’t be angry when comparisons don’t suit.

In a documentary I was asked could any fan channel ever take over a newspaper as a source provider.

My answer was (and is) no, because a fan channel will be too small to be big, too big to be small.

Robbie’s handling of the conduct of one of his ‘guests’ this week again shows that.

As did his reaction to Claude’s racial remark last year.

That’s two seasons in a row he’s had to remove individuals who had been with him from the outset because of pressure from sponsors.

The problem is, to his viewers he wants to be portrayed as relatable, yet in reality his baby has grown so big that he has policies to adhere too.

On one hand he wants to treat Moh like a friend who he used to drive to games with, yet in reality he became his boss. So when Moh called out the morals of AFTV, Robbie needed to put his professional hat on.

That’s why AFTV can never be modern media.

BBC showed Leicester players celebrating the FA Cup win with a Palestine Flag, Pogba walked round Old Trafford displaying one.

There was no blurring out of the image.

One of Arsenal’s sponsors contacted the club unhappy with Elneny’s tweets, and yet while the club spoke with the player, they stressed ‘our players are entitled to their views on their own platforms’ and the midfielder started our next game.

The host of AFTV would have been wise to see online support for the Egyptian midfielder and backlash towards the Coffee chain.

If he has stakeholders putting pressure on him ,then that’s him allowing his football platform to become political. To stress this isn’t me being pro or anti anything. It’s about a humans right to lawfully express their point of view. Especially in 2021 when everyone has an opinion about something.

It’s Robbie’s prerogative to say to those he records, that he doesn’t want anything but football being advertised and promoted, etc.

Yet if I was Moh and I was watching one of my peers before every interview say, ‘Black Lives Matter’ and celebrates every goal by taking a knee and raising a fist, I would think that my beliefs are just as much allowed to be showcased.

The difference is Moh didn’t want to preach, he didn’t want to respond to every goal with his agenda. He was simply wearing a logo on his shirt. Both parties have confirmed he was politely asked to not wear it on screen – to which he pointed out the double standards.

Hence the blurring out of the image.

Not for the first time, Robbie’s attempt at clarifying his stance dug a bigger hole. He claimed that the gesture TY makes is part of football because the footballing community have agreed that’s their stance.

First of all the Premier League were forced to explain last summer that taking the knee is not in support of the BLM party, hence why branding was changed (essentially because the majority didn’t realise what movement they were promoting.)

Ty still says ‘Black Lives Matter’ having not got the memo.

For that reason not all clubs or players take part in the ritual.

Not all players wave the Palestine flag, but some do. So if TY can take the knee because he’s seen Aubameyang, do it, why can’t Moh wear a flag because Pogba did?

If Robbie’s criteria is that not all footballers have agreed to show the flag so therefore it shouldn’t be on a football site, then should TY take the knee when there are footballers who don’t?

I supported the FA when they fought FIFA for the right to wear a Poppy. Yet I equally saw the double standards when Pep Guardiola got fined for wearing a yellow ribbon campaigning for Catalan independence.

You don’t have to agree or be educated on a subject to respect someone’s right to their own beliefs.

You either have a zero tolerance or not. You can’t pick and choose which causes are okay to promote. Thierry Henry used to be the worst for having a message under his shirt. FIFA simply banned it. Which seems harsh but at least it eliminates the confusion.

AFTV of course are not a governing body or association. They are a private company who can have their own legislation. If they want to promote one thing but not an another, that’s their right.

As ever though, they have to accept being a genre of a YouTube channel, people will have an opinion.

Where they have to be careful is Moh wasn’t a character. He wasn’t popular due to swearing or shouting. He’s a well-spoken, intellectual thinker who many related too.

With respect to Claude. This isn’t someone who was always going to say the wrong thing in a rant. This is a well-educated man who is simply calling out AFTV for principles that could drive fans away.

The irony being whoever in power blurred out the image because they felt uncomfortable with Palestine being discussed in conjunction with AFTV.

More of their subscribers are now aware of Moh, the Flag and the issues than if they just let the guy wear what he wanted.

Be kind in the Comments…

Dan Smith

Tags Moh Palestine Robbie

53 Comments

  1. Quantic Dream says:

    Don Robbie did the right thing. BLM is a football initiative, free Palestine is not. I would have fired Moh too if I were his boss.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      In my opinion politics should stay out of sports be it BLM or anything else. If not you are going to get a lot of double standards like the author have expressed very well.

      Why I say this because in situations like these, few will stand on what is right. Majority will take the side of the one they identify with regardless of whether it is the oppressor or oppressed side. And in this I mean all people in the world not from a particular place.

      And this extend even to small situations where you will find majority will always lean towards their peers regardless of whether they are right or wrong.

      What sports should strive for is to be welcoming to every one so that at least those in difficult situations will have one place that they can escape from their troubles.

      1. foreverinourshadows says:

        Trouble is Far Right racist is still around in many clubs, so it’s hard to keep it out of sports especially if a sports person is being abused because of colour, gender or sexuality, don’t know what people you know but I have stood up to thugs and racist in football along with a lot of mates, majority don’t lean towards peers if they are no good, it’s call standing up, and not ignoring it

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          I am not disagreeing with what you say about sports hence my last paragraph.

          Good of you and your mates to stand up but I don’t believe you are the majority. I hope some of us may have your courage to stand up too.

    2. Daniel Smith says:

      BLM is a social / political movement founded in 2013 , nothing to do with Football

      1. Defund The Media says:

        Yup Daniel, just use the “say no to racism” slogan, that’s fine but BLM is absolutely a political movement that along with the Israel/ Palestine does not belong in football.

        1. Daniel Smith says:

          agree , got to be same rule for all

      2. Andrew says:

        Black Lives Matter stands for an end to racism which is rife in football especially in Italy and Spain and many millwall matches. Black footballers have been targeted online and on the pitch so yes it is about time the authorities and the game stood up to the racists. Please make the distinction between Black Lives Matter the movement and the party which are two different things completely they share similar beliefs but the party are not supported by all black people where the view to end racism is shared by all black people.

        1. Asif Hussain says:

          The Palestinian issue would also claim it is raising awareness to stop racism against the too. Also they have people from every walk of life supporting them from accross the globe as well as the UN so its not just a palestinian issue

          1. A says:

            Name me one player or one match where a player has been racially abused because he is a Palestinian. Exactly not one I can give you a list of the black players that have how long have you got.

    3. ozziegunner says:

      QD all he did was wear a f#cking flag!
      Yet it is OK for US, British or Australian politition to wear flags on TV interviews.

  2. Sean Williams says:

    The Palestinian issue has no place on this site. This is not a political blog and if it was, I would leave it immediately. In fact to infect this site with problems unrelated to Arsenal is disgraceful. We can disagree as much as we like over football and related issues. I certain would not want to see discussions about Israel/Palestine, Russia/Ukraine, China/Tibet staining this brilliant site.

    1. Daniel Smith says:

      no one is debating dude or discussing the going on
      the topic is should football/ fan channels have double standards

      1. RichSAAlao says:

        @ Sean W is right.
        The Palestine situation is full of issues. Political plus others.
        The is a govt in Palestine but Hamas and 2 others, rule. These are too big for this site to be simplified as double standard, or some academic or emotional rationale.

  3. Peace Man says:

    From what I understand it wasn’t the fact that he wore a flag on his clothes (even though he was asked to remove it), but he wanted AFTV to take sides on a highly contraversial issue. If they take a side, then they should do the same on Syria, Turkish bombing of the Kurds, Russia in Ukraine, etc. AFTV then becomes a political tool and not a Arsenal fan forum.

    1. James Nesbitt says:

      the issue is not controversial whatsoever.

  4. gotanidea says:

    Football shouldn’t be mixed with politics. Sports are for health and camaraderie

    1. Andrew says:

      Say that to the racists who monkey chant at black players and abuse them racially online.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        👍

  5. Jack says:

    Couldnt agree more. AFTV is a joke. Ty gets to promote BLM, a violent terrorist group disguised as revolutionaries looting and burning down cities, but moh cant show a logo. Its not about principles or morals either. Its simply about money. Its a disney show

    1. Andrew says:

      You sound racist no mention of arsenal players being racially abused which is what the blm movement not the blm party stand for do you not agree the racists need to stop abusing black players such as Thierry Henry who has gave so much to the club.

      1. Jack says:

        Of course he pulled the race card. What else is new?

    2. ozziegunner says:

      Jack there is a current FBI and Homeland Security investigation into right wing militias and agitators instigating violence, burglary and arson under cover of the BLM demonstrations to discredit them.

  6. Roobz says:

    I completely disagree with people saying sport shouldnt be mixed with poliitcs because they cant be separated.
    The rise of Chelsea is due to an oligarch with looted Putin linked wealth. City is oil wealth from a horrendous dictatorship. Kroenke is Walmart linked where billions have been made while the staff have to claim food stamps. Man U bought by glazers using debt techniques that favour the super rich and heap debt onto the club. etc etc etc
    The World Cup, like the Olympics is used primarily to improve property prices and award insane infrstructure contracts to the uber rich.
    Politics in football is inescapable.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍

  7. someone says:

    once you make a stance to be anti-racist; you’ve got to be consistent; and must therefore be anti-apartheid. good job for calling out the double-standards.

  8. Sean Williams says:

    I just went to watch AFTV and must agree with Robbie. BLM is a football matter. There are racists in football no doubt.
    The Palestine/Israel problem is political. ‘War what is it good for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING’…Edwin Starr song WAR. Please keep it away from Just Arsenal.

    1. Daniel Smith says:

      your wrong mate
      last summer BLM badge was removed from all shirts and branding because the Prem realized they were advertising a political moment
      It forced the Prem to put out a statement that they are not endorsing BLM and dropped the slogan / including Sky
      Ty still clearly says ‘ Black Lives Matter’ .
      The moment he says that , you have to allow others to share their beliefs

      1. Sean Williams says:

        There IS still racism in football and it does not belong in football. We are all equal.

        1. Defund The Media says:

          But Sean you do not need BLM to combat racism just use “say no to racism” campaign, what about racism in football against asians etc? BLM does not encompass there needs.

          1. Sean Williams says:

            If black players take the knee then I support them. They are telling you what they experience. It’s clear we must clear racism from football.

          2. Defund The Media says:

            Yes sean I know what your saying but my point still stands, blm aside from being a political group does not encompass all racism, only one subset of it, what about players like son who get racially abused? Sounds like you only care about it being BLM.

        2. Daniel Smith says:

          of course Sean and I agree politics should be kept out of football
          but once you allow it in , you can’t pick and choose
          So if Robbie allows Ty to say BLM, you can’t then say ‘ this isn’t a political platform’
          Why do you think a Pogba and Mahrez , etc have been allowed to show the flag ?
          because the Prem can’t say no to politics now that they had BLM on shirts

          1. Asif Hussain says:

            agree with this point from Dan Smith

      2. Sean Williams says:

        People can believe what they like…that’s their choice. Those beliefs do not belong on this site.

        1. Daniel Smith says:

          I havn’t disclosed my beliefs ?
          I am purely pointing out the double standard

          1. Sean Williams says:

            There are no double standards on Just Arsenal…..I hope. No politics either. Dan would you like to see Politics on Just Arsenal.

          2. Daniel Smith says:

            but no one is discussing politics on here ?
            I haven’t wrote my views on Palestine ?

  9. Asif Hussain says:

    One of the best articles I have read. I like the fact you stayed neutral and pointed out any disparities. It doesn’t matter which side you are on just set the same standards and stick to them

  10. ThirdManJW says:

    As far as I am aware from listening to what Robbie said, is that he was employing (paying) Moh to appear on one of his shows, and Moh got the sack for publicly slagging off his employer. I don’t see what choice Robbie had?

    Robbie did however contradict himself when saying something along the lines of no politics on AFTV, yet allows Ty to show his support for BLM for about a whole minute EVERY video he’s on!

    It’s always a tricky subject, and as much as I love Moh, he’s out of order. For too long now, employees have been pressuring their own companies to throw support behind whatever issues are trending, and that’s wrong, although understandable. AFTV has a huge platform, who’s message can be heard far and wide, but it’s not up to Moh what kind of causes AFTV gets behind.

    The company is paying him to work, and shouldn’t be expected to get involved in an employee’s beliefs on certain subjects. That should be done in your time, not on the companies dime. Religion, politics, gender issues, etc, have no place on a platform like AFTV, unless THEY decide to go down that route.

    It’s a real shame, because I really like listening to Moh, and I will try and follow him on whatever his platform his now. Hopefully he and Robbie can patch things up, but it doesn’t sound good.

    1. Daniel Smith says:

      not sure mate
      If my employer told me not to wear something that showed a flag , then the person behind me was saying BLM, I would call out the double standard and expect a mature discussion

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        I agree, but I don’t think that’s why Moh got booted off AFTV. He slated them publicly.

  11. Yangy says:

    As Moh has recently tweeted (though to be fair it was apparent all along) Moh was never an employee of AFTV. Robbie only said he paid Moh for his appearances on a show (Arsenal Forever) but he wasn’t an employee per se (otherwise he’d be entitled to certain benefits, e.g. sick pay, vacation, etc.). Moh was probably paid an honorarium as a contractor or freelance (similar to a zero hours contract) and so Robbie’s relationship was more akin to a partnership then him being an employee per se of AFTV. As the majority of the IOC athletes voted on banning BLM and other outwardly political symbols for the upcoming Tokyo Games, when you open the door to political expression, as long as it’s not promoting hate, violence, etc. it’s hard to claim that you don’t get involved (as the AFTV business head tweeted) “geopolitical issues.” It is hypocritical when issues like the EndSARS campaign was allegedly brought up on AFTV (and of course the aforementioned Black Lives Matter). Additionally, the subjective and arbitrary expulsion of Claude and Moh when other guests have arguably said worse (racist, sexist, misogynist, etc.) is cause for concern about unequal punishment and Robbie’s expectation that Moh’s firing was an issue that had to be kept private is a bit disingenuous since a) Moh had been on for seven years and b) it was not a mutual parting meaning that people were going to speculate by not addressing it publicly. This wasn’t a temporary suspension where “for undisclosed” or “personal reasons” this was permanent. Additionally, this could’ve all been prevented if Robbie had simply put the disclaimer before his videos “The views expressed on this video do not necessarily reflect those of AFTV or its sponsors.”

  12. Gazz says:

    Get the impression Robbie would do the same to a family member if he was likely to lose some sponsorship dough…just goes to show you even a fellow Arsenal supporter cannot be trusted & can stab you in the back regardless of your friendship history & common goal of supporting the Arsenal

  13. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    Moh was clearly the most cerebral and rational member of the AFTV inner circle, but in this case he simply overstepped his bounds from an employer/employee standpoint…I certainly don’t fault him for his attempt to use the very platform he’s been afforded to further a cause which is clearly near and dear to his heart, but that doesn’t mean he gets a free pass when things escalated to a level that could be deemed worthy of termination…now if his sacking came as a direct result of him simply wearing a politicized slogan on his shirt, minus something that contained vulgar language, I would seriously question this decision, regardless of the potential bottom-line considerations, but that wasn’t what ultimately led to his sacking

    it appears as if Robbie HADN’T given Moh an ultimatum regarding his decisions to continually wear his “Free Palestine” shirt…in fact, according to Robbie, he had spoken to him directly about the problematic nature of this particular situation, as he had already suffered considerable social media abuse prior to Moh’s dismissal, but never drew any proverbial line in the sand, which was evident by the fact that Moh continued to wear the same slogan during subsequent interviews…it wasn’t until Moh decided to further politicize the matter by publicly calling AFTV, a highly diverse employer, a coward for not taking a definitive and public stance…this much more caustic maneuver put Robbie in an incredibly difficult position, one that led to what he believed was the only logical solution, Moh’s removal from the airwaves

    the fact that they were longtime friends simply exacerbated the situation, as it quickly descended into a he said, he said clusterf**k of misinformation and unfounded accusations, as is often the case when you mix business and pleasure then things go sideways

    as for the whole controversy surrounding the allowance of other similarly politicized slogans and/or commentaries, which matters little considering the above explanation, there is a fundamental difference between the “Free Palestine” and the “BLM” scenarios…the latter is part of a International footballing “corporate” initiative, which means that it doesn’t stray too far from the general purview of this predominantly footballing multi-media platform, whereas that’s not the case, at this juncture, for the former

    I will certainly miss his perspective on matters Arsenal-related…that said, I’m sure he will remain active in the “influencer” realm, as he’s already planting seeds by the savvy way he’s handled this situation from a social media standpoint

  14. sweetsciencen5 says:

    AFTV has to keep a focus on football related issues.
    If Moh had continued, then it opens the door for vitriol.
    The nature of his tweet is confrontational and takes one side, as if that is the truth and the other side of the argument is a falsehood.

    But it is a complex centuries old geopolitical issue, and for ATFV to take a Free Palestine stance associates it with Hamas and PIJ, who launch rockets towards civilian areas of Israel.

    It has been an extraordinary season by any standards, and there are a lot of important issues affecting football as a sport right now, not least the matters of ownership, changes to World Cups and European competitions, and Covid.
    AFTV has to focus on those, and of course Arsenal.

  15. Joe. S says:

    Respect you as an Arsenal fan Robbie, but this one is a BAD look on your part. Whatever your say that AFT is a footballing platform, it’s clear as daylight that you have been scared off by outside threats and loss of cash. T Shirts and badges are permitted in a democracy, and Moh’s message should not offend anyone except for Zionist fanatics who are most probably Spuds supporters. Bitterly disappointed especially when the likes of Troopz is allowed to get away with any old nonsense. Bad Bad Not good.

    1. Argooner says:

      “Zionist fanatics who are most probably Spuds supporters”.

      Could you possibly veil your anti semitism a little more thinly in case the other biggots don’t hear your dog whistling?

      1. ozziegunner says:

        On this issue regarding AFTV, I agree with Dan Smith.
        Before anyone comments, please read up on the history of Palestine post the British mandate in 1948. Acquaint yourself with the percentage of Jewish population at that time and now. Acquaint yourself with the Stern Gangs, before you talk about Hamas and the PIJ. Acquaint yourself with the changing of Palestinian borders as the Israeli’s disposed the Palestinian people leaving them the worst, least arable land confined to a 20 mile strip in Gaza, forcing families out of homes in East Jerusalem they have owned and occupied for generations.
        Acquaint yourself with the “apartheid” in place in Israel and the occupied territories, the separation wall, the discrimination and the blockade of movement of goods and people in and out. Palestinian fishermen can’t even fish their own waters.
        Israel has thumbed their noses at the UN with the assistance of US and UK vetos. The Western press, particularly Murdoch gives one sided accounts of all events in the Middle East, yet the truth occasionally gets out.
        What I can never understand is how a people who have suffered discrimination and atrocities through their history, can act this way towards others?
        By the way criticism of Israel and aggressive “Zionism” does not make someone “antisemitic”. However talking about Zionism in relation to a football club is totally out of order.
        “And God wept”

        1. Sean Williams says:

          ozziegunner

          This does not belong on this site. It instigates inaccurate misguided facts. I can confess I respond as a Buddhist. Both groups have and are committing disgraceful acts. You should not bring them onto Just Arsenal and admin should intervene. A disgrace. Join a political blog. Hatred has never cured hatred once ever.

      2. Joe. S says:

        Ok so who exactly is Moh, offending here? I am Not anti Semitic regardless of what you think. The idea that an Israeli life is worth 10 Palestinian lives is revolting. I have had a friend who has worked for the UN, trying to help Palestinian women unionised being trolled and threatened by rabid Zionists so I am aware of how scarey their reach can be.. As for religion it doesn’t mean a thing to me. A lot of nonsense.

  16. RSH says:

    Money rules all aspects of football, even fan channels. Clearly a sponsor or two want nothing of it and he censors it. But hey, that’s the world we’ve created folks. Now where’s my iphone that was probably assembled by underpaid chinese kids?

  17. Grantygooner says:

    Dan Smith does your blind hatred of AFTV know no bounds? This has nothing to do with the politics of the tweet, it is just all about an opportunity for you to have a go! If the politics involved gets you fired up, write an article about it.

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