Should Arsenal players join Zaha in refusing to take the knee?

Time To Stop Taking The Knee? Dan

He’s not a Gooner, but as we are all in it together in the fight against racism, I want to say well done Wilfred Zaha for refusing to take the knee before kick-off anymore, what I hope is that this is the first small step in action being taken.

First of all, whether you agree with the Crystal Palace’s stance that the pre match ritual is ‘degrading’ isn’t the point. Whatever your opinion, you have to admire the bravery being the first Premiership player to speak out like this.

There are hundreds of footballers in the top division so logically not every single one is going to agree. Zaha can’t be the only one who feels taking the knee is simply football ‘ticking a box’?

Yet you can understand why it’s easier to keep your head down and go along with the majority out of fear of a backlash, scrutiny and being part of a debate that goes beyond the sport.

Zaha though has grown tired of Football saying ‘look at us, we are spreading this important message’ while there is zero substance.

Of course most decent people agree with the meaning of taking the knee, that everyone should be treated equally, but it means nothing if you then do nothing when racism happens. It’s an empty gesture. Like when players were told to wear ‘kick it out’ shirts.

This week two Arsenal players have been abused online along with some of their peers.

It has sadly got to the point where, once upon a time, this would be so disgusting it would be on the back page of your paper, the main story. It’s now become almost accepted, like we are immune to it.

Just think about that.

In 2021, we have reached a point where an idea of someone being racially abused for being considered not good at the job no longer is a shock.

What I’m hoping is that now Zaha has expressed himself, other players will feel more confident to express themselves.

There is no right and wrong here, but the only way we get better, assess a situation and educate ourselves, is through discussion.

Zaha not taking the knee will create greater discussion than if he had just gone along with the ritual.

It forces the Premier League, FA, Sky Sports, Arsenal, etc, to ask out loud are they really showing zero tolerance towards racial prejudice?

Our Chief Executive, Vinai Venkatesham made a great point, how can you explain how social media companies have the ability to within seconds block content they feel is spam or pirated, yet can’t do the same towards sick words?

I occasionally make YouTube videos. If I posted one on Facebook, inviting people to check out my content I would get warned about my conduct.

Yet someone else can send a message breaking the law?

We know the answer of course.

In this instance, they don’t want me using their platform to advertise my work or YouTube because that would cost them money. Equally it would be a bad business move to improve their security.

How often do you read the same statement from the likes of Twitter of how shocked they are that someone has used their company to racially abuse someone, and they are a part of the fight to eliminate this evil from this world?

When I put a bet online, I have to give my details, sometimes even provide photo ID. It would take seconds for social media giants to follow this policy. But they know though they would lose followers. So that’s not zero tolerance.

Arsenal don’t have zero tolerance either.

They will give the same quotes condemning the treatment towards their players but what will they actually do about it? Not participate on social media? Not provide content? Of course not – because too much money is made for both parties.

Zero tolerance means you simply won’t tolerate something, no matter what. It doesn’t mean you won’t accept something as long as it doesn’t cost you money.

So we are in this scary cycle where a player gets racially abused, everyone says how wrong it is … then waits for it to happen again…. then says how wrong it is.

Every few decades there is an individual who takes a stand. That’s what we are waiting for.

Whether it’s a player, Club, broadcaster or Social media, we are waiting for someone to say ……. enough now!

Should Arsenal players make a statement like Wilfried Zaha’s? Would Vinai Venkatesham back them up if they did?

Be KInd In The Comments

Dan

Tags Vinai Venkatesham zaha

64 Comments

  1. PJ-SA says:

    This has been my view from day 1. Taking a knee is pointless and does absolutely nothing in the fight against racism!

    Well done Zaha!

  2. ozziegunner says:

    Personal choice whether a player does or does not.

  3. gotanidea says:

    Definitely. The FA just needs to make sure their “No Room for Racism” slogan isn’t just a lip service, by banning the racist fans forever from the stadium

  4. Davi says:

    I agree that it is brave for Zaha, but doesn’t it highlight a problem that a black man has to be brave to go against the grain on this? (How about for someone with the same views as Zaha who isn’t black?)
    The problem with the knee is that it means different things to different people. In the US, it was originally about police violence, which it’s implied is racially motivated, whereas in the UK it’s what? Twitter? It’s so unclear, especially wrt the premier League and there’s no tangible demand associated with the protests side from”end racism” (illness they’re protesting Twitter?). The actual problem isn’t defined or agreed upon – most I suspect are concerned with overt racism, but a lot of the BLM activists who are pushing this stuff take it beyond that. If you really look at it, they frame it so that they can never be satisfied until they have control, as white people are inherently racist.
    We have ongoing campaigns against racism in football (kick it out?) Why don’t we promote that more heavily rather than going along with the Marxists?

    1. Perry ames says:

      Personally I am neither for or against it as I think it should be an individual choice but I believe the vile people who post these shameful comments oh so bravely behind a keyboard should be held accountable and banned from social media for life and also named and shamed and punished with a hefty fine and possibly a bit of jail time. I run a veterans football team and we have a zero tolerance of anything like that. Personally I couldn’t give a toss what colour a person’s skin is it what’s beneath what matters

      1. Davi says:

        I’m with you that it shouldn’t matter the skin colour of the person making this choice, however I think it does to many other people.

    2. Davi says:

      Look into it or tell me where I’m actually wrong rather than just saying that I am and resorting to the obvious name calling.

    3. jon fox says:

      davi a most thoughtful and well argued post that I found so moving to read. This is as you rightly say a highly complex subject and there will be very many subtle different shades of opinion on how to react.
      My own view is that we ordinary folk must do ALL we can to lobby H M Government to bring forward their proposed Online Harms bill to Parliament as quickly as possible. And stiff jail sentences should be used for proven racism.

      1. Davi says:

        Thank you for saying that. I’ve mentioned before that I’m concerned about the government clamping down too hard and what that can lead to, but I agree that racism is not acceptable on any platform and respect your desire to do something about it. You may be right because I really can’t see a way to stop this kind of thing without some government intervention (e.g. fining companies for not removing overtly racist posts) – unless people just boycott the platforms, which would be amazing, but I don’t see it happening

    4. Dan Smith says:

      Davi
      I’m white ,can you give evidence to show how I’m racist

      1. Davi says:

        I don’t believe you are, it was sarcasm – a lot of BLM activists believe white people are inherently racist (systemic racism).

    5. Durand says:

      The part where you said …”and white society as whole.”

      Amazing how you attack someone for making a generalized statement, and in the same breath make a generalized statement yourself condemning white society as a whole.

      I hear the kettle calling, something regarding hypocrisy and tone deafness i would guess.

      SMFH

      1. Defund The Media says:

        👍👍

      2. NY_Gunner says:

        @Durand
        I didn’t attack him for making a so called “generalised statement”. I went in on him for his ignorant, bigoted and false statements.
        Just as I didn’t generalise. I stated FACT.

        1. Durand says:

          Fair enough, but one could also call your statement implying “white society as whole” along with law enforcement as bigotry. I hope you aren’t implying that as Fact.

          Racists and bigots come in all colors, but to generalize all of white society is as offensive as generalizing all of BLM as Marxists.

          I hope you see my point & I hope you would not say all of white society are bigots. If you truly believe they are, then you would be no different than those you accuse of being bigots.

        2. Defund The Media says:

          “but to generalize all of white society is as offensive as generalizing all of BLM as Marxists’

          Not just offensive is flat out racism plain and simple.

    6. Beastmode says:

      NY Gunner. Dave is spouting the typical fox news propaganda. They always try to compare BLM with white supremacy whenever they want to hide their racism. Its a new “I have a black friend”.

  5. Godswill says:

    I agree with Saga. It’s degrading. Play like Saka, the number one Arsenal man and show superiority.

    1. Godswill says:

      “Saha” please. Autocorrect problem.

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        😂😂😂

        Your autocorrect is extremely stubborn!

  6. Wyoming says:

    Those calling for an early end to the knee have little or no knowledge of how bad racial abuse of Black footballers was for nigh on 40 years. A period when black footballers and by association Black people were horribly abused with the white players white supporters and the white FA doing absolutely nothing and by their lack of protest were providing tacit support. In the last 5 years FIFA has begun an attack on racism which though 50 /100 years late is commendable. It’s true that the “Knee” is of American origin and has been grafted on to the Football anti racism initiative but does not lessen the message. A 30 second pause before kick off is hardly an impost especially when compared to the horrible abuse experienced by Black players for 40 years. Zaha needs to realize that the suffering of previous generations have forced belated changes being made now and is one reason why he is able to speak publically something a previous generation John Barnes and co were too scared to do. The knee should continue until the end of the season by which time it will have achieved as much as it can.

    1. Jah son says:

      At Wyoming
      Whilst I agree with you to an extent. Can you please explain what have ever been achieved in history through kneeling.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Jah son, well people have been knighted, beheaded and even pulled up weeds in the garden, while taking the knee 😊😊😊

        Seriously, any kind of action, well that should be up to the individual in my opinion.
        What needs to happen is more stringent punishments by the courts, naming and shaming and zero tolerance.
        Taking the knee is a symbolic gesture, that has meaning throughout the world – that fact is good enough for me… but as I said, it’s up to each individual person.

  7. Clive says:

    The aim of taken a knee has been defeated. so Zaha is right.

  8. Peter Shaw says:

    YES YES YES YES YES!

  9. Defund The Media says:

    Good for zaha, just move away from the divisiveness of BLM, just have the moment of silence pre match, no need to bend the knee and have BLM banners in stadiums and keep the “say no to racism” slogan. BLM have themselves killed black people, burned down black owned businesses, further harming black communities, have accrued billions of dollars and done little to none to actually help black communities. Also the narcissistic, propaganda machine that is big tech could basically eradicate this online abuse easily but it’s not good for business.truly evil companies, really shocked footballers arent leaving FB etc in droves.

    1. Davi says:

      Completely agree

    2. Beastmode says:

      Defund the media. Stop equivalenting BLM and the Kkk. One is an organized criminal empire that had killed millions of people around the world over centuries, but the other is what? A movement. Yes, tell me when BLM has terrorized and degraded a group of people? Tell me when they have infiltrated every arm of the govt? You can discuss about the effectiveness of the message but talking about BLM as if they are the new KKK is very disingenuous. This is typical politics 101. If you can’t defeat the message, attack the massager.

      1. Defund The Media says:

        Triggered much?? I have never said a single thing about the kkk lol, why would you bring up such a ridiculous comparison? And FYI Just because something isnt as bad as something else is completely irrelevant, nothing I have said is factually incorrect so…

        1. Beastmode says:

          Defund the media. Where have BLM killed people? You are just parroting the Qanon and fox propaganda so that you don’t have to talk about the effect of racism. This is just whataboutism and nothing you said was a fact. BLM have not caused even a 0.001% of damage that the white supremacy have caused in hundreds of years. Stop talking as if BLM is the new Kkk.

          1. Defund The Media says:

            Again why are you mentioning white supremacy or the kkk lol? Your words not mine, im not saying racism doenst exist and I’m perfectly comfortable talking about it.

            ok then I’ll give you one example but I’m not arsed spoon feeding you, google “secoriea turner” 8 year old shot dead by BLM, or youtube it to see her parents talk about what happened (they were there), and fyi I dont watch fox or believe any of that Qanon nonsense. I pray we get to a world with no racism but BLM is not going to get it done, they are a sham.

        2. Beastmode says:

          This is a just a dog whistle. This whole thing has nothing to do with BLM but you made the BLM the boogeyman and avoiding the whole racism. Whether people kneel or not how does it affect you? Oppressors will always be against any form of protest and will always move the goal post.

          1. Defund The Media says:

            So I’m an oppressor now? 😂😂, ffs watch the parents interview they were there and said it was BLM lol what they are lying and you know better? why would black parents lie about that!? Just because it doesnt fit your rigid narrative that will clearly never budge doesnt mean it’s not true. It’s a fact if you believe it or not

          2. Defund The Media says:

            Typical, cant refute it, ignore it lol 👍

        3. Beastmode says:

          So now because one incident perpetrated by few individuals should just be considered as what BLM stands for? What you have said has nothing to do with the movement but the normal talking of the racist. This is just history repeating itself. The likes of MLK, Rosa park, Malcolm X were all vilified the same way you are doing now. Remember MLK was considered terrorist and not any form will be Ok with you guys. You make BLM as the bigger issue so that the most important issue will not be discussed.

          1. Defund The Media says:

            Your hilariously deluded, keep it up! 👍 😂😂

          2. Defund The Media says:

            Oh and your definitely a racist lol

  10. Chapo says:

    The first time I saw players take a knee was I think against Fulham. I was at a local pub to view the match. Immediately I saw that I turned to another Arsenal fan close to me and asked “why are they all on one knee?” He replied “to show solidarity and fight against racism”. Immediately I heard his reply I burst into laughter, why? Because it is totally meaningless, lacks basis and does absolutely nothing, I repeat does absolutely nothing to fight against racism. If they like, the EPL can even go on both knees from now till whenever Bolton wins the Premier League, that won’t even stop or prevent one racist from making racist comments and remarks. I’m sure some of the players themselves don’t even know why they go on one knee but they do it anyways because its the new culture. What strict actions has the FA taken to curb racism in English football? None.

    Personally as an African man I wouldn’t kneel, because that would mean I acknowledge that I am a subject for racism which to me I’m not, I refuse to regard myself as a subject or potential victim of racism. To me racial abuse only exists in words and words don’t move me an inch. Call me monkey, call me names, say whatever you like I’ll take it as that’s you expressing your freedom of speech. All I’ll do is ignore you and go my way. The only time I’ll react is if you come physically at me and I have to defend myself, I assure that unlucky person that I’ll show him the strength of an African man and leave whoever toothless in seconds.

    Over here in Africa most of us have been exposed to worse things in life and a racial abuse doesn’t in anyway compare to what a lot of us have been through. Say what you want and I’ll just pretend you don’t exists. That’s how emotionally and mentally strong every one suffering from racism should be. Doesn’t matter if you are black or Asian or whatever you are, we should train ourselves to be emotionally and mentally strong to a point where other people’s words don’t hurt us.

    And as for the kneeling, that should totally be the decision of the individual, whoever wants to kneel can kneel and whoever doesn’t wants to can stand.

    1. Perry ames says:

      Chapo, I have so much respect for your post but and only a small but is that not everyone has your strength to ignore the idiotic messages that these cretins post but I applaud you sir

    2. Davi says:

      Immense respect for what you said here.

    3. jon fox says:

      Chapo, you are a wise and strong man. I always think those who are, must try to influence others who, perhaps do not possess your strength of character, to think rationally when being criticised and to react in a mature and considered way. Not with hasty spiteful rhetoric, which merely prolongs enmity.

      The great movers and shakers for good, throughout history, have risen above petty lashing out and thought with mature and moral minds, before reacting. MARTIN LUTHER KING AND NELSON MANDELA are both shining examples to us all.

      1. Chapo says:

        I know not everyone might have the same strength of character like me, but like Jon said its best people like me influence others who are not so strong mentally and emotionally. There is nothing wrong with being a positive influence, giving courage to those who don’t have the strength of character to withstand racism.

        As things stand, Social Media companies will continue to do nothing of note because of financial gains. The government would have helped on the other hand but we all know how this will turn out to be. First they’ll act against racism and other things but in the long run they’ll use that opportunity to push their own agenda and try to silence freedom of expression. So as a result I don’t trust the government either. The only realistic saviour we have is ourselves, we really need to start re-educating our minds on issues such as racism.

        You can’t straighten a bent branch, if you try it will break. There are a lot of old dogs that will find it hard to learn new tricks on how to battle racism. No matter what you say or teach or even do, a lot of people will still be racists or still view themselves as victims or targets for racism and racists. So I personally think the best way to curb this will be THE CHILDREN.

        Let’s start now and educate our children on racism. Let’s teach them that all humans are one regardless of race and actually prove it, let’s also teach them the strength of character to handle racism. Let’s not allow our children grow into a world where racism is seen as a normal thing. Let’s educate them and give them another view on the subject matter. If we can get enough people to teach their children good moral values then we can have a future where a higher percentage of the population can handle racism efficiently.

        The children today will make up the totality of the human race tomorrow, some as Princes, some as Haves, some as Haves not. The children today will be the masses tomorrow when we all are gone. But we must know that racism will never end as long as the word itself still exists. All we need to do is to build a future where a higher percentage of the population is well equipped with the ability and technical know how on how to handle and combat racism. We can’t get the whole population to key in, but if we can get a higher percentage of the population to then that will be a great step. This we can achieve by instilling good moral values and trainings into the children, it must not be your child alone, but give good teachings to any child you are lucky to spend time with.

        This is my two cents on the subject matter racism.

        1. jon fox says:

          CHAPO , WHAT YOU CALL YOUR TWO CENTS I CONSIDER PRICELESS, IN WISDOM. PLease contibute often if you poossibly can as posts of your quality are very valuable to us all.

        2. Fire says:

          Chapo…

          It is difficult to walk pass pure wisdom and sheer deep thoughts of mind and character! Yours is indeed heart warming to note!

          Many may not agree, but yours is the way to go! I salute you and I hope you can as well continue to champion your philosophy!

          My due rest to you and to all others who believe in the same philosophy you preach!

          Keep being positive! The world needs more of you!

          Stay safe!

          Cheers!

    4. NY_Gunner says:

      @Chapo
      You, are most certainly living in denial…

      1. Davi says:

        You are insidious.

    5. Beastmode says:

      Chapo, while I commend you for easily shaking off racism, it’s not that easy for everyone. You are in Africa and I don’t think you are currently subjected to any kind of racism at all. You might suffer from tribalism and clanism but I doubt you see racism daily in your life. You cannot just ignore whats other are going thru just because it’s different from your experience. FYI: I am from both worlds.

  11. Declan says:

    Be proud of who you are and what you are.
    Kneeling smacks of being subservient.
    “Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights.”

  12. jon fox says:

    It is not up to ANY of us, what players choose to do. If they wish to take the knee that is fine, as equally is not taking it.

    It is called freedom of choice and it it each individuals personal choice, NOT OURS to make on their behalf. An important principle to remember too!

  13. GunneRay says:

    I have never seen the point of it. Maybe from now on, instead of footballers taking a knee, they finger point at social media companies who do ‘F’ all about it. Lets put the social media companies in a bad light. Maybe that would work better because they have to do something about it? Social media is about money, not lives!

    1. Defund The Media says:

      Hear hear GunneRay!

  14. Maupay you're a cheat and I hope Brighton get relegated says:

    As bad as it seems, I think football in England has come a long way in the fight against racism. Can’t really say much more.

  15. Goonster says:

    I hope we can all stop with this cringeworthy “Take the knee” show.
    These hollywood wokism stances copied from the US make me cringe.

  16. RSH says:

    i say keep doing it because it still pisses so many people off. A lot of people want racism to be fought without having the mild inconvenience of ever having to think about it.

  17. Nifty says:

    Xhaka is too slow in taking the knee. For this solo reason, players should stop doing it

    1. jon fox says:

      IS THIS RATHER ODD COMMNT MEANT SERIOUSLY OR FLIPPANTLY? WHICH?

  18. Innit says:

    Individual choice

    But if I were a footballer is knee until there is change, even if it meant my whole career

    1. Davi says:

      Yes, but what change specifically is being sought? Without there being a clear goal, how would you know when to stop?

  19. Beastmode says:

    The purpose of Kneeling in America and in Europe seems to be for different reason. In USA it was supposed to bring awareness about police brutality and systematic racism. It was never meant to address racism at the individual level. Black players form 80% of the Most of the popular sports in US, and people love them as long as they don’t talk about anything else especially in NFL. NBA took a different messaging method as most of the fans are liberal, hence less controversy. However in NFL the fan consists of the rural and people with conservative views that will not want to hear about something that will make them uncomfortable, and will not want to see any kind of protest to interfere with their peace. The thing is protest is never meant to make one comfortable and the oppressors will always be against any form of protest. I don’t know what the kneeling in soccer was supposed to accomplish other than showing solidarity with the folks in USA.

  20. Durand says:

    Beastmode I can agree with much of what you are saying, as I live in the States. I admire Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King jr. and his struggle for equal rights.

    I said struggle, not fight, as he himself expressed his abhorrence to violence. Judge a person by content of their character not the color of their skin, and only love conquers hate.

    He even said that he believed in the goodness of people and they will make the right choice when presented with a choice.

    The world needs his message to echo now more than ever, and the media on both sides seems determined to set people against one another.

    I have many faults and am far from perfect; but any bigotry or hate is not among them.

    As a teacher of teenage students, I try to lead by example, live out my beliefs and have an open mind. I teach my students HOW to think never WHAT to think. This way they can articulate their opinions and debate anyone with logic and reason.

    1. Beastmode says:

      Durand, I applaud you for your stand and this is a fight that requires each one of us to do more. We can never completely get rid of individuals with racism views, but We can always call them out.

  21. Allstar Al-Siddiq says:

    I believe there more to this racist of a thing when you look at it from every angle,but I just pray and hope it’s cure very soon because to me it looks like a deceased
    Mind you guys it might lead to something else which may cost more life’s

  22. David Rusa says:

    Racism has nothing to do do with the colour of one’s skin. It is a state of mind, a sick mind mainly by those with an inferiority complex! Adolf Hitler terrorised mainly white people and Idi Amin killed mainly Africans. In South Africa today xenophobic attacks ar e mainly by Africans against fellow Africans. Therefore whether or not you agree with Zaha he made a valid point. Nobody is going to fight racism by mere rhetoric but by concrete action. I admire General Colin Powell, who asserted in his autobiography titled “My American Journey”, that he fought racism through doing better than the racists in whatever he did rather than shouting back in empty slogans. When you argue with a fool nobody will notice the difference between you two. In 1964 then Prime minister Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya was assaulted by a deranged white man in London. When Kenyatta was asked what he thought of the assailant his answer was so full of wit. He simply said that there were so many mad people in Kenya just like the one who assaulted him instead of using racial connotations. That is the best way to defeat racists, by being on a higher pedestal.

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