Gareth Southgate has said that, after a section of fans booed his players taking a knee at the Riverside, he will ask his squad if they want to continue the pre match ritual during the Euros?
“It’s not something on behalf of our black players I wanted to hear because it feels as though it’s a criticism of them. I think we have got a situation where some people seem to think it’s a political stand that they don’t agree with. That’s not the reason the players are doing it; we’re supporting each other,” Southgate said.
I am normally impressed with the way England manager speaks, but this seems bizarre. If your team believe in something, they shouldn’t be influenced by what others think.
A pattern has emerged that any supporters, players or even clubs who disagree with the act are dismissed as not understanding it’s not political.
First of all, it’s quite arrogant for anyone to think they know what a stranger is thinking.
There will be those who think the gesture is an advertisement for The ‘Black Lives Matter’ party.
That’s because the Premier League over a year ago literally put ‘Black Lives Matter’ all over their product.
While their motives were good it was embarrassing that one of the UK’s biggest brands didn’t understand what they were actually promoting.
That’s why they had to, embarrassingly and awkwardly, clarify that there were parts of their ethos they agreed with, but other parts they didn’t want to be associated with.
In other words they had to be told by saying ‘black lives matter’ they were supporting funding being taking away from the police in the USA.
Just because they now say forget that, some connect ‘taking the knee’ to BLM because that’s what you told them.
Trust me, those in charge of the political party enjoyed the free promotion.
That’s not the reason I have for a long time been against taking the knee. I have long felt it’s a PR exercise, football ticking a box.
As someone who cares deeply about the fight against racism, I find it almost offensive how transparent the motive is.
I would much rather the FA agreed to tougher sanctions such as point deductions, lifetime bans, etc.
I want to see social media companies put in policies where users have to register details.
I want to see a Man City fan, found guilty of making monkey chants in the Manchester Derby, punished with more than just a 3-year stadium ban.
Without any of that going on, seeing people take a knee means nothing to me, an empty gesture. It’s easy to take a knee. It’s harder to actually implement change.
In the same week my national players are taking a knee, I was in shock when I was sent a link to a fan channel.
I won’t name anyone as I don’t want those guilty to garner any views off the following.
A 15-year-old found it funny to shout out racial slurs while his host (in his thirties) laughed.
That a child thinks this is how to get attention and show off?
Or that a grown adult wasn’t educating him?
You hear all the time how cowards hide behind their keyboards yet here was racism happening right in front of me. It was surreal.
Almost as an experiment, I have spent the last few days keeping an eye on the Channel to see what YouTube do?
The channel is still running, the video is still available to watch.
So on one hand I’m watching (instead of people talking about Arsenal) vile racism with zero reproach. Then I’m meant to believe that the world is committed to fighting racism based on people taking a knee.
The fact that in 2021 a teenager has grown up thinking that’s how you act on social media means society has failed him.
Didn’t sport have a weekend online boycott for this reason?
Is Sky’s initiative not for the public to report online abuse?
It’s there for the world to see. One boy being racist, one man laughing, and nothing has been done about it.
Southgate is normally so articulate, someone who thinks before he answers questions.
Most English people don’t tolerate racism. So it’s wrong to dismiss those jeers in midweek as people either not understanding politics, or worse not having empathy for those subjected to discrimination.
I would suggest it’s because the majority are so disgusted, they want to see action – not hiding behind players taking a knee.
With increasingly more people coming back to venues, the media can’t spin the narrative like they could when they were piping in fake noise.
It would not shock me that when the new season starts ‘taking the knee’ is phased out.
My own view is I go to the Emirates for escape, to get away from how messed up the world is. I don’t want to be reminded about racism.
Because that’s the irony.
Taking the knee doesn’t spread awareness that football is fighting racism, it reiterates that nothing is being done to stop it.
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