No ‘kneed’ for BLM politics in football

The Summer Edition of the Salisbury Review is out now..

Like many on Wednesday night, I turned on the television to watch Manchester City versus Arsenal to enjoy once again the escapism of football. Inevitably though, reality kicked in. The Black Lives Matter campaign became the political football in the build up coverage from the off, the game itself an almost insignificant background event. Football become a purely political platform. 


Players shirts, adorned with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign slogan, served as an unnecessary reminder of the violent events on the streets in recent days fuelled by George Floyd’s killing. The news cycle is enough. Players shouldn’t wear these slogans at all. The Premier League, largely helped by the great strides made by Manchester City star Raheem Sterling to kick racism out of football, already has a dedicated #kickitout anti- racism campaign in place. 

As former Brexit Party PPC Andy Stewart tweeted, referring to the #kickitout campaign: ‘English football already has an anti-racism agenda. Use that! Do not get embroiled in the BLM movement. All lives matter. Everyone matters! And every ‘non’ racist knows this. Football is, and should always be Apolitical. Stay that way’. As if the slogan wasn’t enough,  every player took a knee – let’s face it, they had to – in protest. If they didn’t, they would categorically be classed as racist. 

This is the current, tired trend of woke politics. These gestures should be a matter of choice, based on the  individual, and respectfully so. In a refreshing spirit of individualism free of pc pandering, Dominic Raab stated in response to the gesture that “he would only take a knee for his wife or the Queen”. He is quite right to feel this way. 


Ironically,  FIFA has its own laws to keep football separated from such controversy that might politicise the game. Contradicting this, FIFA  states that equipment ‘must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images’. Sticking to its own rules, FIFA would let the football do the talking. It shouldn’t venture into the dangerous minefield of politics – to do so is a very different ball game altogether. As the great Pele put it: ‘Football is the only sport where you put people together, it doesn’t matter if you are rich, or poor, or black, or white, It is one nation. This is the beauty of football’. 

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13 Comments on No ‘kneed’ for BLM politics in football

  1. The gesture is now entirely meaningless. (Some) F1 drivers showed backbone in Austria; but not a single footballer or match official has dared to step out of line. They’re cowards one and all and I for one will find it very hard to contemplate putting money back into football after this squalid display of gutless ‘group think’.

      • Michael,
        Indeed they did see below. Also are these footballers not in fact monosyllabic dullards without anything of consequence to say once away of a football field?

        The entire English soccer team gave the Nazi salute — for diplomacy’s sake
        It was part of the British government’s plan to appease Hitler
        Laura Smith
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        Mar 22, 2018 · 2 min read
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        The England soccer team give the Nazi salute before the start of their game against Germany at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, May 14, 1938. England defeated Germany 6–3. (AP)
        OnMay 14, 1938, more than 100,000 soccer fans filed into Berlin’s Olympic Stadium to watch the English team trounce Germany. At this pre-World War II moment, the two countries were still making gestures toward diplomacy while eyeing each other warily. During the game, swastikas and British flags flew side by side in the packed stadium, while the German national anthem blared over the loudspeakers. Then, on the field below, the German — and the British — players raised their arms in the Nazi salute.
        The British press was shocked. What were British soccer players doing making a fascist gesture? Turns out the salute had been ordered in advance by the British Foreign Office as part of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s plan to avoid conflict by appeasing Hitler. The bizarre gesture of diplomacy and the broader policy of appeasement toward Hitler was, of course, a mistake. Just over a year later, Germany would invade Poland, prompting the British and French to declare war. The wheels of war were already in motion on the day of the soccer match, but it’s only natural to see the image of British playerss heiling Hitler as a warning about what can happen if you give a Nazi an inch: they try to take the world.
        At Timeline, we reveal the forces that shaped America’s past and present. Our team and the Timeline community are scouring archives for the most visually arresting and socially important stories, and using them to explain how we got to now. May 14, 1938, more than 100,000 soccer fans filed into Berlin’s Olympic Stadium to watch the English team trounce Germany. At this pre-World War II moment, the two countries were still making gestures toward diplomacy while eying each other warily. During the game, swastikas and British flags flew side by side in the packed stadium, while the German national anthem blared over the loudspeakers. Then, on the field below, the German — and the British — players raised their arms in the Nazi salute.
        The British press was shocked. What were British soccer players doing making a fascist gesture? Turns out the salute had been ordered in advance by the British Foreign Office as part of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s plan to avoid conflict by appeasing Hitler. The bizarre gesture of diplomacy and the broader policy of appeasement toward Hitler was, of course, a mistake. Just over a year later, Germany would invade Poland, prompting the British and French to declare war. The wheels of war were already in motion on the day of the soccer match, but it’s only natural to see the image of British players heiling Hitler as a warning about what can happen if you give a Nazi an inch: they try to take the world.
        At Timeline, we reveal the forces that shaped America’s past and present. Our team and the Timeline community are scouring archives for the most visually arresting and socially important stories, and using them to explain how we got to now. To help us tell more stories, please consider becoming a Timeline member.
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        Laura Smith
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        Laura Smith
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        Managing Editor @Timeline_Now. Bylines @nyt @slate @guardian @motherjones Based in Oakland. Nonfiction book, The Art of Vanishing (Penguin/Viking, 2018).
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  2. It’s great to see people kneeling and celebrating law officer Derek, and the way he took down convicted felon Floyd. More and more people are calling it, “doing a Derek” – we even see that Pelosi woman doing it. I look forward to seeing Derek signs held up when players copy him and his knee action.

  3. There is NO racism or, indeed, any immorality whatsoever in the rejection of foreign colonisation by any native people. Native peoples MUST reject colonisation or they lose their land and then their very life. The demand of anti-racism in Europe today is that the native peoples must consent to lose their life. To be anything other than utterly insensible towards that life is “racist”.

    It’s not acceptable. We must live. The foreign peoples colonising and replacing us do not have to live on our soil at all.

  4. One tiny quibble, blm isn’t a political campaign, unless you think all black people have the same politics.

    And Dominic Raab is either a liar concerning that proposal, of he’s accusing his wife of lying, or else they were too pissed on champers at the time to remember at all, which would explain a lot.

    • Werdna. What utter rubbish that BLM is not a political campaign. Maoists claim that their movement is not politics but a working out of inevitable history. Conservatives do not all have the same politics, nor Labour. A little basic intelligence needed here. Unbelievably stupid

      • Myles
        He has been using his grown-up voice recently, after some time under the duvet with his Google Book Of Knowledge of course but here you see the foul language and chippy resentment “champers” that is the true nature of the beast.

    • Werdna may indeed be a tiny quibble, but he is right about blacks not having the same politics. We see their differences exercised in blood on the streets of London and other major cities every week.

  5. Come, come, Brendan.
    We are all standing by to watch the kneeling and three minute’s silence parliament will hold for the Reading victims on Monday.