By James Marlow
Football fans returned to many of their respective football stadiums across the country last weekend for the first time since last April – well about 2000 spectators, which is the maximum allowed into a game at this time, according to the current Covid 19 rules.
When games resumed in England after the original lockdown, they were played in empty stands, but televised and all players in all teams at the start of the match “took the knee” along with referees and lines-people.
Last weekend fans therefore were looking forward to getting away from news and politics and having a great day out by cheering their team on at a football game.
Over at the Millwall versus Derby game, fans perhaps, forgot the custom at the start and booed the knee gesture. The media naturally focused its spotlight on Millwall fans who have a reputation of being racist, despite the fact that the club has done more to root out racism, than maybe any other club in the country.
Now I am NOT a Millwall fan, nor do I defend any possible racists and anti-Semites in the crowd. But I am arguing that you can be an anti-racist and yet refuse to take the knee. You can be an anti-racist and NOT support the Black Lives Matter outfit, because is a politically aligned movement, supported by mostly by far left individuals who identify with Marxism.
Of course Socialists are anti-racists, although some didn’t see a problem with anti-Semitism. But what many of them fail to understand is that not every anti-racist is a Socialist and therefore not every anti-racist has to support the political movement of BLM.
On the 28 June, 2020, the official Black Lives Matter UK tweeter account with the blue verification tick, tweeted: “As Israel moves forward with the annexation of the West Bank and mainstream British politics is gagged of the right to critic Zionism and Israeli secular colonial pursuits, we loudly and clearly stand besides our Palestinians comrades. FREE PALESTINE.”
There were 12 tweets in that thread and all of them were negative comments about Israel whilst praising the Palestinian movement. This has nothing whatsoever to do with domestic racism, but the political BLM movement couldn’t help themselves. You don’t fight racism with racism.
The official BLM UK twitter account does the exact same thing as world nations do at the United Nations. It criticises and condemns Israel for being there, but has never once commented on the alleged genocide taking place in China, or other atrocities in the world.
So let’s return to football. The booing didn’t just happen at the Millwall ground, it also occurred at the West Ham v Man United and the Colchester v Grimsby games. Yet only Millwall was singled out, because in the past, it has been associated with racism.
Several Millwall fans who were at the game took the opportunity to call in to LBC Radio and explained why they booed. It wasn’t because “white” anti-racist callers said “all Millwall fans are racist” or “thick” or “uneducated.”
Millwall supporters, and some were quite eloquent, said they had been away from the club for more than 6 months, because of Covid, and wanted to enjoy a game of football and not watch a political stunt.
One said he went to the BLM website and said “I don’t agree with defunding the police”, but yet that is one of their goals listed on their website. Another said, there is a global ruling class movement that wishes to end nations in favour of globalism and they push a message of trans-gender rights, immigration, treaties and the EU. He ended by saying “We never had politics in football before and now we do.”
A third wrote in a text, “As a Millwall fan, I agreed with the booing for taking the knee. But we support the “Kick It Out” anti-racism message and would continue to support that. We do not however support any gesture that has been designed by BLM, a Marxism movement, designed to disband the nuclear family.”
We cannot pretend the booing is as simple as “well because they are racist,” because that’s not true. Maybe some are, but certainly not all of them. And for those who maybe racist, I can defend them without agreeing with them.
If somebody comes to you and says I am not a racist, I am not an anti-Semite, but I have a few concerns, let them speak and engage in a debate. Don’t silence them and label them as racists, which is what much of the media does these days.
You have to be quite courageous to speak out against the majority surrounding you. They have a different belief, so let them express it, and listen to what they are saying.
The BLM movement is designed to point the finger at white people, whilst attacking and demonising them. The “taking the knee” began after the death of George Floyd, but really can be traced back to the Black Panthers in the sixties in America.
BLM has been hijacked and this so called anti-racist movement has turned into an anti-capitalist, anti-Israel, anti USA imperialism narrative which advocates defunding the police.
In addition the co-founder of BLM in America called all white people “the devil” and said there is something wrong with their generics.
People should have the right to disagree with a tactic like “taking the knee” without being tarnished as a racist. If fans were throwing bananas or making monkey noises, then of course they are racist. But Millwall fans simply booed and its time now to remove this BLM tactic from the game and highlight the “Kick It Out” campaign.
James Marlow is a news journalist contributor, broadcast commentator and communications trainer Twitter: @James_J_Marlow