England football players take the knee
Mindful of England football players “taking the knee” at its most recent international match and a few days prior to that teams did the same at the Eurpoean Cup final, along with reactions and with more of the same promised over the summer, I turned to the BBC headline: “Euro 2020: England players to take the knee at Euro 2020, says Gareth Southgate” to check out what has been going on and some of the whys and wherefores.
It begins: “Gareth Southgate says England’s players will ignore any “adverse reaction” and take the knee during Euro 2020. Boos circulated around the Riverside Stadium when players took the knee before England’s friendly win over Austria on Wednesday. Southgate said at the time “some people aren’t understanding the message”. Speaking on Saturday, before Sunday’s friendly with Romania, the England boss added: “We feel more determined than ever to take the knee.”
I then did what I normally do to get background to a subject I have not much more than a passing knowledge of, and I went on a Google search on the term “taking the knee” hoping (unsuccessfully and unsurprisingly) to find a conservative rebuttal of the notion. While there are a lot of links I can refer to, but in the interest of cutting to the chase (why I support the fans rather than the players), I cite that fount of wisdom and meaningful knowledge – The Sun: “RAISING AWARENESS Take the knee origin: What is the history behind the gesture and what does it mean for Black Lives Matter movement?” The article begins: “BLACK Lives Matter’s iconic symbol of power – taking the knee – has been a coronerstone of the global movement against racial oppression. It all started with an NFL player called Colin Kaepernick who sat on the bench when the US anthem was played on August 26, 2016”.
Despite denials, the link between taking a knee and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is a strong one. When a year ago we began to see Premiership football players taking the knee, the players had “Black Lives Matter” prominently written on their shirts, there were Black Lives Matter posters all around the stadium that fans and TV watchers could see and Sky Sports who televise these games were constantly plugging Black Lives Matter – and that is just for starters. Racism does exist and needs to be eradicated, not just from the beautiful game but all society, and to their credit the football authorities past campaign to kick out racism was a creditable one and, from what I can make out, this was supported by some of the very fans mentioned in the article referred to at the beginning.
While I could not find a respected, well known figure, to make my points, I did find a recent video by Paul Joseph Watson with the giveaway title: “Why You SHOULD Boo ‘Take a Knee‘”, who imho completely gets what is happening and speaks as he finds. Among other things, he exposes the BLM movement as evil and yet one that many of societal elites have been taken in by. Some of which have been taken to task for pushing for a breakaway European football club league, comprised of nominated elite clubs rather than as a result of the time-honoured system of promotion and relegation. In this case, the fans were listened to and the idea was dropped. Those who follow crowds will know – booing is one way to raise objections. Given the reaction of the crowds from the video footage, I hope the same will happen with taking the knee.
It should be added – it ain’t just football – it has been happening in my favourite game, cricket, too, and I sometimes wondered how I would respond if I were part of a team that was expected to take a knee. Similar sentiments were expressed in a Turning Point UK video titled “Footballers, stop kneeling to marxist BLM” suggesting more appropriate responses to racism and arguing why booing fans understand something Gareth Southgate, given the condescending tone of his remarks doesn’t. All of which sentiments are endorsed my Mr unPC himself (Nigel Farage) in “Southgate turns England fans against him“. I really hope common sense will prevail and if not we are in for pantomime.
I am a life-long football fan, having played countless friendlies with my peers both as a child and teen and later as an adult. I was keen but never much good and maybe my best contribution was as a referee. I used to watch games, some live, but more so on TV. My favourite competition was the World Cup, when I hoped to see the best playing the best at their best, followed by the European Cup – but no longer. Maybe I have grown up; maybe I have become too world weary; maybe I have seen through entitled stars and various commercial interests. Probably, it is a mixture of all these. As for Gareth Southgate, who has been a good manager thus far from what I can make out, I will agree with a friend: “Taking the knee is an act of worship and do we worship a political cause, no matter how worthy a cause it is? Is BLM a god that is worthy of worship and praise? Perhaps he misses the point that people want to watch football, not have a religious sermon from a political caucus!“
I understand following a google search that “UEFA EURO 2020 has been postponed following the recent outbreak of COVID-19. The new dates of the tournament in 2021 are 11 June – 11 July 2021”. Sadly, I am NOT that interested and as from now, I will unlikely not be following the games, with this recent taking the knee malarkey being the final nail in the coffin in my life of watching football at higher levels, respecting many friends who no doubt keenly follow.