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Should our footballers be down on their knees? There's a reason people are uncomfortable with this strange new ritual

Millwall players taking the knee on Saturday. Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images

Millwall players taking the knee on Saturday. Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images


December 7, 2020   5 mins

On Saturday, the aspiring religion of the age met the masses. The two did not get on.

This year has seen a series of extraordinary events. First and foremost are the unprecedented lockdowns, which have removed from almost all our societies not just our ability to congregate, but also almost all of our social antennae. It is not just actors, comedians or public speakers who have lost that mechanism: we all have to some extent.

“Will this statement/opinion/joke go down well or badly?” is a fine judgement call. In public and relative private we all try things out and experiment all of the time. Take away all audiences beyond your immediate household and we must all subject ourselves to some other way of testing which way the wind is blowing. The only such device left is the online world, which — as should be obvious to all by now — has its own problems.

And so, during the middle of the oddest mass psychological experiment in history, came the death of George Floyd in May and the rapid escalation of the Black Lives Matter movement. A movement that attempted to push, inveigle and eventually intimidate itself into almost every walk of life inside America and beyond.

In Britain, institutions as far away from the scene of the crime as the British Library and Cambridge University seemed to think that the death of an unarmed black man at the hands of a Minnesota police officer (currently awaiting trial on a charge of murder) demanded some kind of response, lest they be accused of being insufficiently devout.

In ordinary times, people might have been able to get a sense of where other people stood on such a matter. Did users of the British Library really feel any culpability for events in Minnesota? Were things so bad in the state of race relations in America and across the western world (only the western world, naturally) that a stance was required — indeed demanded — of everyone? For a time, it seemed so. Almost every major British institution, including all its universities, issued statements about the death of a man in police custody on another continent, in a jurisdiction over which we have precisely zero control, and similar levels of influence.

‘Taking the knee’ became one of the emblems of obedience, or subservience, to the cause. Soon, even questioning the reverence of that hallowed, brand new tradition was cause to be pummelled online. And when all gatherings of more than six were banned by law, what other world mattered?

When Dominic Raab good-naturedly reflected on air that he wasn’t massively in favour of this new trend, that it seemed to come from Game of Thrones and that the only person he had ever gone on one knee for was Mrs Raab, social media rammed him hard. Had the Foreign Secretary never heard of Colin Kaepernick, they asked? How dare he suggest that a mere television show had any input into this ancient and noble custom, making light of such an important tradition.

By the summer, the ritual had spread. BBC cricket commentators would announce, as an England cricket match began, “And now both teams will take the knee”, as though this were an agreed-upon and ancient rite. It’s hard, though, to define precisely the line of causation between the actions of a policeman in Minnesota and the England cricket team.

Similarly with football, where, after the Premier League restarted in front of empty stands, the players took the knee. And then they took it again. And then they just kept on doing it — as though they weren’t sure how to stop and were worried that if they did stop, they might be accused of racism.

One felt them in the situation of the party faithful on their feet giving an ovation after a speech from Comrade Stalin. No one wants to be the first person to stop clapping after Stalin has just made his latest brilliant speech blaming systematic racism for the country’s ills and promising to eradicate it in just five years, with enough effort. You don’t want people to think you’re not 100% against systematic racism.

And it was all to do with the absence of crowds.

BLM is in Britain largely an elite faith, and one can just about imagine the stands at Lords or the Oval sitting patiently while the teams do whatever it is they feel they need to do. At a push, it is possible to imagine the crowd at a rugby match scuffing their shoes awkwardly as the teams perform whatever ablutions are needed. But a football match? No.

There seemed little likelihood that they would put up with this new performative gesture going on not just once, but months and months after the event that kicked it off. Football grounds, even after decades of gentrification and rising ticket prices, are not always genteel places. They are places where strong views are held about peoples’ failings, real or otherwise, with crowds who do not always keep their opinions to themselves.

And so, as the months dragged on and the strange new ritual seemed impossible to shrug off, the day was always going to come when the clubs reacquainted themselves with their supporters. Sure enough, on Saturday that happened, and the inevitable, predictable thing took place, at the home of one of the less genteel of football clubs: Millwall. At the start of the match between the south London side and visitors Derby County, both teams went down on one knee as is now their custom — and as they did so, many of the supporters began audibly to boo.

Since then, there has been a chorus of condemnation of Millwall supporters from every possible quarter. Derby’s interim boss, Wayne Rooney, described the booing as “disgraceful and mindless”. Millwall itself declared in a statement that it was “dismayed and saddened” by the incident, while the commentator and crisp-seller Gary Lineker lambasted those who had expressed their views by booing as “a minority”.

Soon it was a mistake not to actively condemn the booing. On Sunday, the Environment Secretary George Eustice was asked about the incident and walked into trouble by (correctly) saying that the Black Lives Matter movement itself does not reflect “what most of us believe”. Cue outrage and condemnation from those who insisted that this reply must mean that Eustice is not opposed to racism.

In fact, what happened was not just inevitable but necessary. A necessary reminder that while the presumptions of a relatively small number of political activists may have been able to intimidate vast institutions into going along with their claims and agenda, those claims and that agenda are not nearly so widely shared as they imagine. Saturday was, or should have been, a wake-up call.

The players looked genuinely shocked and surprised that the fans reacted the way they did — but they shouldn’t have been. It simply goes to show how easy it is, during this era of isolation and social distancing, to lose contact with the wider society around you.

Most people in Britain are clearly shown — in poll after poll as well as their everyday actions — to have little or no tolerance for racism. They want nothing to do with it. At the same time — and here is the nuance that the boards, corporations and celebrities miss – they feel no obligation to continue to perform any obeisance to a specific political movement. Or to continue to express remorse across the space of more than half a year for an act of violence carried out in Minnesota.

A majority feels that the BLM agenda is divisive and even dangerous, and were upset by the vandalism they saw in London over the summer, and the violence in America. Millwall supporters might have something of a reputation themselves, but on this occassion their sentiments are shared by many more — the difference is that most people just keep those views to themselves. Maybe because they’re polite. Or perhaps because they’re intimidated.

What happened on Saturday was one of the first times this year that the world of the internet and the real world collided. On the internet — social media in particular — it is possible to intimidate people into agreeing with whatever it is you would wish to make them do. Post a black box on your Instagram page or you are a racist. Say “Black Lives Matter” as though there is anyone — almost literally anyone — who says they do not.

And if you are in isolation and feel the terror that the whole world may come stampeding towards you, then it is easy for this tactic to work. But outside in the real world, it’s possible to look around and see that perhaps there are others who feel the same way as you do, and that maybe the ritual has gone on a bit too long already.


Douglas Murray is an author and journalist.

DouglasKMurray

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Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

As a free born Englishman you will have to Physically force me on to my knees and for that you will have to kill me.
Due to this rubbish this country is more divided than any time in my life, congratulations you BLM racists

Alex Wilkinson
Alex Wilkinson
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Ditto. Over my dead body.

Stephen Tye
Stephen Tye
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Me too. Have an uptick.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Well said.

Peter Stokes
Peter Stokes
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

I’m with you as I’m sure are the majority in this country, and anti woke lovers of the freedoms so many of our forefathers died for!

Terence Riordan
Terence Riordan
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Exactly…reverse effect to the one intended.

amandajeza
amandajeza
3 years ago

I wouldn’t be so sure that wasn’t intended

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Us indentured people, from lesser nations, look upon you with awe.

Stephen Tye
Stephen Tye
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

You are in the presence of your betters – accept it and feel better.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

The Irish Al Sharpton.

Paul
Paul
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up Andrew. The mongrels who pretend to be British (insert desired colour, religion, creed) can be all they want to be with a British prefix. I am however, an Englishman. I was asked on a beach by an Aussie selling pineapple slices, on hearing my voice, declared ah, British. Wrong my friend was the sharp reply. I am not a paddy, a taffy or a jock, I am English. He stared at me blankly but a little offended. Mind if I call you Antipodean I asked. A wide smile appeared on his face as he remarked fair dinkum mate. He left a pineapple lighter and a lesson learned.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul

Are you for real, or is this an Alf Garnett wind-up routine ? ‘Mongrels’ that’s your word ? Brilliant

You know who the English are, don’t you? Basically a hodgepodge of Romans, Danes, Celts, Germans and French. Most of Europe ran the place at one stage or another. Apparently there’s also an amount of Greek DNA in the mix.

And you think you can call other people ‘mongrels’ ?

Woof Paul. Stop humping my leg

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Yeah, but that mix was pretty stable in the ethnic makeup of the population for a long time.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago

Left out Africans and Middle Eastern types, who sailed up and down the western coasts of Europe going back many centuries, and some of whom settled in Ireland, France, and Spain.

jonathanwillington1
jonathanwillington1
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

Who, Barbary pirates? Yes. Africans and middle eastern types? Sorry, thats complete BS

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

BS – there is no genetic evidence of this – genetic makeup of the English has been the same for centuries

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

For once I agree with you. What vile racism!

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Come on Kevin, the English, as the name implies, are mainly of German/Teutonic stock.
The problem with the word Mongrel is that it is a bit too close to Mongol for comfort.

However none of this really matters, for all of us have lived in “this precious stone set in the silver sea” etc, and what a blessing that has been don’t you think?

bsema
bsema
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

It was assumed for centuries that the English were of German/Teutonic stock but DNA testing has shown that actually Celts predominate.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

Yes, I have read much about it in that excellent publication Current Archaeology.
Off course it rather blows the old theory that the ‘migrant’ Saxons exterminated the existing Romano-Celtic population, which is comforting.

Micheal Lucken
Micheal Lucken
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

‘Hodgepodge’ that’s your word ? Brilliant.

Ask a Scotsman if he is British or Scottish, Same Welsh or Irish. It only ever seems to be a problem when an Englishman declares more precision about his heritage.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

I believe the Romans had little, if any, effect on the genome.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

You’re dead wrong – most of the groups left virtually no DNA traces – English people are in the main Anglo Saxon and have been for over a thousand years – this has been widely proven – to call us mongrels is politically motivated and used by those who want more migration – ” you English have no identity and are mongrels anyway – so what does a few more million matter “

bsema
bsema
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

English people are, in the main, Celts – this has been widely proven.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Very well said.

Jayne Lago
Jayne Lago
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Oh how I agree with you Andrew. I am appalled at how my country is being destroyed by not only BLM, the activists, celebrities, in fact any of the agenda driven lot. The one question I would like to ask all these PC people is why they were not taking the knee before the George Floyd incident. There have been many situations where black and indeed white people have been killed under the most horrendous conditions. And don’t tell me it is because the police were involved………does dying at the hands of someone else only matter when the police are involved. No this is hypocrisy of the first order! I too believe there are a huge number of people who feel like we do but as every day goes by with no one dealing with these issues, the pathetic, immature and woke groups in our society will become more powerful.

sharon johnson
sharon johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Meanwhile the black on black carnage continues in Chicago . . .last night 2 killed, 15 injured at a party. (14Mar21) Almost 400 black on black shootings in Chicago alone resulting in injuries this year alone. Blacks don’t care. Zero protests. While they are 13% of the US population, they commit 54% of the crimes. (My next door neighbors are black and they hate what’s going on.) (from California)

Kerie Receveur
Kerie Receveur
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Absolutely 100% right.

sianmuthusamy
sianmuthusamy
3 years ago

The utter shock from the commentators on the beautiful, rude piercing of their comfy echo chamber was a joy to behold.
Newsflash guys….Twitter isn’t the real world.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  sianmuthusamy

I notice that BBC Match of the Day presenters don’t have a knee-taking ceremony at the start of each programme.

Cowardly hypocrites …..

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  sianmuthusamy

What is the real world in the UK? Here in the US, where I”m writing from, racism is a fairly serious problem of which BLM and the police violence that inspired it are only a few of many aspects. Given the political and cultural structure of the country, it seems that only public violence or threats of violence make any impression on the situation; pious appeals to man’s better nature don’t do the trick. Thus those who are concerned about the effects of their pigmentation on their welfare and prospects are encouraged by experience to support vigorous, even excessive forms of activism. I guess it is difficult for you all in the UK — where there is no racism, right? — to understand what’s going on over here.

sharon johnson
sharon johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

Your comment indicates you are not familiar with BLM’s clearly stated goals on their website. A little education will serve you well.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

Public violence and threats makes people LESS likely to support BLM.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

What is the real world in the UK? Here in the US,

Society, especially in respect of race, is very different in UK than in US.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

If “police violence” was what “inspired” BLM, why didn’t they organize nationwide protests for victims of police violence like Justine Damond, or Tony Timpa?

Charles Rense
Charles Rense
3 years ago
Reply to  sianmuthusamy

“News flash guys…. Twitter isn’t the real world.”

Tell that to all the mainstream journalists, the administrations of universities, the boardrooms of Silicon Valley, your workplace’s HR dept, your child’s school, and last but not least, Twitter.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago

Millwall (and most other) fans lack the cowardice now endemic across so many groups and institutions.

Football does not belong to the “woke” virtue-signallers, who need to be “put back in their boxes” whenever they interfere like this.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

I thought that they were being pretty decent down at The Den.
The normal greeting is ‘alf a brick.

bsema
bsema
3 years ago

The Millwall fans have dared to point out that the Emperor’s not wearing any clothes. I’ll bet lots of people will like them now!

Alex Wilkinson
Alex Wilkinson
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

That ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ story keeps coming to my mind at the moment too. Mass delusion sealed with a fear/conformity emotional bullying.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Wilkinson

Perhaps it is really the opposite. The politicians claim to be wearing a scientific cloak that is allowing them to protect us from climate change and a not very serious virus, but the cloak is the means to spreading propaganda. It is time we took it off them and saw them naked with nothing to offer.

John Ottaway
John Ottaway
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Wilkinson

Never a truer word spoken.

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Wilkinson

The only thing that is wrong about the emperors new clothes (written by a person with a a very astute understanding of human nature) was the ending. They would have just killed the child, or shut him up for sure.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

Naw – they won’t like being liked.

Ralph Windsor
Ralph Windsor
3 years ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Everybody hates them: they don’t care. In this context “everybody” means those who worship in the Church of Woke.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

No, these mindless, unknowing fools should not be on their knees to an avowedly Marxist organisation that aims to destroy the nuclear family and the West. I was very pleased to hear that the Millwall and West Hams fans booed this nonsense. And equally pleased that Millwall lost 0-1 at home to my not-so-mighty Rams.

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Calling middle class wokeness Marxism shows your lack of political understanding. It isn’t Marxism or ‘cultural Marxism’ (whatever that is). It’s not even Left Wing. It’s quasi-religious intolerant authoritianism masquerading as progressivism, practiced by the economically privileged precisely to avoid those Marxist keystones of redistribution of wealth and working class solidarity, changing nothing while virtue signalling their moral superiority.

And no, I’m not a Marxist.

Michael Hobson
Michael Hobson
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

I’m afraid it is, old chap. Haidt makes the connection in The Coddling of the American Mind. ‘Identity politics’ is straight out of the Marxist Frankfurt School playbook.

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hobson

Evidence please.

Michael Hobson
Michael Hobson
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

Loathe as I am to do the work for you, I do find Wikipedia very useful:

“Marcuse argues that “the realization of the objective of tolerance” requires “intolerance toward prevailing policies, attitudes, opinions, and the extension of tolerance to policies, attitudes, and opinions which are outlawed or suppressed.” He makes the case for “liberating tolerance”, which would consist of intolerance to right-wing movements and toleration of left-wing movements.”

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hobson

And I find Wikipedia a poor substitute for reasoned debate.

What Marcuse argues is opinion, nothing more.

polidoris ghost
polidoris ghost
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

Yeah, but some people’s opinion is more valuable than others.

William Cameron
William Cameron
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

Only the left need to spend all their time trying to define what words mean.

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago

Which of course, is a nonsense. The right has its fair share of navel gazers.

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

Sometimes a typo takes on a life of its own!

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago

I thought I’d managed to edit that before anyone saw it. Well spotted. 😉

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago

“Lewis Carroll, “”When I use a word, Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more or less.” This is the Liberal way.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

I more an Orwell person myself.
Although wafty word-soup type French intellectuals do have their place, I just haven’t been able to work out exactly where that is….

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hobson

Marcuse was an evil man but that Essay was rejected by most leftists at the time. He was probably a Marxist though. The roots of wokeness are far more varied than that.

Michael Hobson
Michael Hobson
3 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Norman

Re ‘the roots of wokeness’ – see my first post with reference to Haidt. The argument that Marcuse, of the Frankfurt School, might be at the root of identity politics is his (though I agree with him). The Marcuse Wikipedia quote in my second post re ‘liberating tolerance’ is meant to illustrate this. I agree that there are other roots – Crenshaw and Foucault for two. Though Marcuse strikes me as the main one given his popularity in the 60s and 70s and the influence that will have had on US college teachers then and now.

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hobson

White privilege itself was a term defined by a woman called Peggy Macintosh. She isn’t a Marxist. More a feminist. It did then get latched onto by followers of Foucault. Standard Marxists were left in the dust though as the whole thing moved to race not class. It does seem like Marxism though, replacing class with race. But the roots are varied.

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hobson

Marcuse was intolerant but he wasn’t the originator of whiteness studies.

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hobson

And my point has been a school of anything a Marxist doth not make. A case in point; Jacobin magazine is an American socialist magazine that came out of the black civil rights movement. The academics at Jacobin magazine are at loggerheads with BLM over their divisive identity politics leading the middle class racists in BLM to call those Jacobin academics ‘Uncle Toms’. I would argue that the staff at Jacobin magazine have a better understanding of Marxism than the intolerant haters at BLM who are happy to take their 30 pieces of silver from any corporation willing to offer it.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

Also, the Spiked editorial view which is ‘old’ left and very anti-BLM, precisely on the basis that middle class identity politics deflects from class injustices.

Michael Hobson
Michael Hobson
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

Which is precisely the old socialist argument against the ‘New Left’ of the BLM which is based on the 30’s Frankfurt School of critical thinking, popularised in the 60s by Marcuse. And which might explain, re your original post, why from the Jacobin POV BLM are Marxist, while they themselves do not want to be known as such.

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hobson

Eh. That makes no sense.

Michael Hobson
Michael Hobson
3 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Norman

Which bit? Makes sense to me.

David George
David George
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

The BLM outfit has openly declared that they are Marxist Pete. Agreed, middle class wokeness is mostly mindless, cowardly, quasi religious virtue signaling.
Marx deserves a fair dollop of blame though, he developed the moral and philosophical justification for resentment.
That is what we are seeing being played out, as if the terrible, final consequences of that most evil emotion weren’t obvious enough in the twentieth century.

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  David George

BLM calling itself Marxist doesn’t make it Marxist. Surely the proof is in the pudding? Why do you think wokeness sits so well with Harry and Meghan’s aristocracy? With every major corporations exploitative practices? Let’s not kid ourselves.

bsema
bsema
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

It’s a new twist on Marxist principles. This time, it’s easy for the rich to join in as it’s not attacking them.

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

Well then surely it’s no longer Marxist principles?

John Private
John Private
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

Hi Pete, I’m not sure it really matters what it’s called (unless you are concerned about giving Marxism a bad name) as we generally seem to be in agreement that it’s all a load of Boll*ocks.
Interesting discussion though.

Anne-Marie Mazur
Anne-Marie Mazur
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

It’s bourgeois LIBERALISM and about division serving the ruling class elites. Wasting your time arguing with people who can’t separate that from CLASS analysis. This tactic has been used throughout the ages, known as divide and conquer. No “solidarity” or economic analysis, state analysis, LAW analysis or unification about the fact that police are STATE violence and in the US they kill many unarmed people of all races, particularly mentally ill people. Furthermore, the IDEALISM of BLM which centers “transwomen of color” is thoroughly anti-Marxist as it is the most individual lunacy possible. Marxism is about material reality, not about pretending you can magically become the opposite sex because…..magic……it’s IDPOL which is the epitome of LIBERALISM. It is its logical terminus.

And of further fun, BLM never states that it is black males who kill black “transwomen” (males) while expecting the rest of atomized society to accept responsibility for things caused by……. while pretending this “oppression” is the result of “systemic racism”. Have any of the rest of you gone to their “statement of purpose” page? Try it before spewing about shifting the blame of LIBERAL ideology (fact) onto Marxism. Corporations taking up the “cause” as advertising and calling for book burnings, using the state to criminalize people for using the wrong “think” or “pronouns” and who exhibit “microaggressions” is FASCISM which liberalism creates. Using the “anti-state” rhetoric of “defund the police” is PROPAGANDA as these groups all NEED the police to CRIMINALIZE the rest of us using the STATE and corporate machinery to do it. Nice try at deflection from the actual make-up and root cause of this, though. Because these groups call themselves Marxists (being completely ignorant of Marxism) doesn’t make them remotely Marxist. Apparently most of you are clearly shown to be completely ignorant of Marxism or you’d recognize liberal IDPOL immediately. Try reading a few books.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

Groucho Marx had the best comment on that one…

perg2bacc6
perg2bacc6
3 years ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

Well said. I was watching in America when the first knee was bent. It was an intentional insult to the American Flag then misused by others.

David George
David George
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

Yet

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

Surely BLM is a re-distributive mindset. It is Frankfurt 11 point in many ways, but fundamentally based on picking and choosing its way through Marx.

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

No, not at all. It’s very neoliberal in its outlook. Hence the corporate, political, financial and judicial Establishment being able to co-opt its very principles.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

No, not at all. It’s very neoliberal in its outlook. Hence the corporate, political, financial and judicial Establishment being able to co-opt its very principles.

That’s simply not true, it’s an error of reasoning.

Businesses hop on board the woke bandwagon because they think it will make the money. That’s all.

Politicians hop on board because they are adept at giving lip service. It doesn’t cost them anything (they believe) and it makes them look good.

I’m not sure how the judicial Establishment can be described as being supportive of wokeness, though. The police, perhaps, because they too are always looking to improve their image and think this is a good way of going about it.

None of that justifies calling BLM neo-liberal, though.

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

The fact BLM takes money from corporations at every available opportunity justifies calling them neoliberal, though. It’s certainly not something a Marxist organisation would be comfortable with doing.

David George
David George
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

I’m happy to admit the shorthand “Marxists” is something of a grab bag, in the absence of anything more accurate, to cover Progressivism, Social Justice, Anti-Racism, Anti-Fascism, Black Lives Matter, Critical Race Theory, Identity Politics, Political Correctness,, Wokeness etc,
Yoram Hazonay, in his excellent essay on Quillette “The Challenge of Marxism” elaborates:
“The story of how “neo-Marxism” emerged after the First World War in the writings of the Frankfurt School and Antonio Gramsci has been frequently told, and academics will have their hands full for many years to come arguing over how much influence was exerted on various successor movements by Michel Foucault, post-modernism, and more. But for present purposes, this level of detail is not necessary, and I will use the term “Marxist” in a broad sense to refer to any political or intellectual movement that is built upon Marx’s general framework as I’ve just described it. This includes the “Progressive” or “Anti-Racism” movement now advancing toward the conquest of liberalism in America and Britain. This movement uses racialist categories such as whites and people of color to describe the oppressors and the oppressed in our day. But it relies entirely on Marx’s general framework for its critique of liberalism and for its plan of action against the liberal political order. It is simply an updated Marxism.”

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago
Reply to  David George

So, what is Marx’s ‘plan of action’ in the most general terms? My impression of Marx (from reading some of his stuff) is that he was long on analysis and short on plans of action. People who came along later (for example, Lenin, or, to go really far afield, Marcuse) who claimed to be Marxists read whatever they wanted into the analysis.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

BLM calling itself Marxist doesn’t make it Marxist.

The founders are anti-capitalists: I can’t think of any school of thought that is anti-capitalist other than radical environmentalism, theocracy or Marxism. (I don’t think there are many people advocating feudalism at the moment.)

Why do you think wokeness sits so well with Harry and Meghan’s aristocracy?

Because they’re confused, bandwagon-jumping hypocrites desperate to play a relevant role. Harry doesn’t want to admit that his privilege does not come from his white skin but from the fact he’s from the royal family and utterly loaded. So it’s convenient for him to talk about “white privilege” because that makes it sound that he’s no “worse” than other white people.

For Meghan, the focus on racial identity is a good way for her to justify marrying into the most privileged white family on the planet.

With every major corporations exploitative practices?

Companies do whatever they think will increase their profits. That’s all.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

For a long time, the BLM website clearly stated its Marxist, anti-Western, anti-nuclear family belief system. The organisation has now changed its name to the Black Liberation Front or similar and has, I believe, hidden its real beliefs.

On the plus side, if they were take power, Lineker would be stripped of his wealth and his various properties handed out to BLM officials.

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

That’s the point; Lineker wouldn’t be stripped of his wealth by these people. BLM habitually take donations from rich corporations. They and their middle class white allies (who, incidentally all seem to live in middle class white enclaves) have a main aim of dividing people on the grounds of race, sex and gender. They do not promote equality of opportunity.

David Sherman
David Sherman
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Sorry Fraser, but if you look at totalitarian states, those in the right circles get and keep everything they want. Under BLM, Lineker wouldn’t need to hide property deals via Panama as he’d be free to do what the hell he liked with his millions.

Alfred Prufrock
Alfred Prufrock
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

But Lineker would probably be a BLM official by then.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

As would all the PL players. Apart from the very newest players, the majority of players are multi-millionaires who quite happily tolerate screwing the fans of their hard-earned entrance fees. The average weekly wage in the PL is 60,000 pounds a week, with some, like Rashford on 200,000 pounds a week, not to mention his 10 million pounds a year sponsorship deals, and Pogba on 350,000 pounds a week! Perhaps I should start supporting the disgusting and vile BLM or BLF, pinching my nose hard just long enough to see its aim achieved of screwing the playing parasites. What a perverse pleasure that would be!

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

If woke is Marxist then a hell of a lot of capitalists and corporations are Marxist. It isn’t. It’s no threat to the ruling classes, surely you realise that if it were a danger to that class then the narrative of the BBC, the mainstream media in general, the CEOS around the world would be hostile to it.

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Norman

I don’t think the penny is going to drop anytime soon.

jonathanwillington1
jonathanwillington1
3 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Norman

Culturally Marxist.Economically Capitailist.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Norman

I don’t know…Krupp et al did ok under National Socialism…

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

Nothing to do with what I said.

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

IMO, you may very well be correct that BLM-inspired Wokeism may not entirely match original Marxist philosophy but that is a distraction because what is happening is clearly what has always happened when anyone has tried to put Marxism into practice.
Of course it always goes badly, and not because “they just didn’t do it right” but because in order to be implemented it requires the destruction of the very things and people that any functioning society needs to prosper.

So the philosophy may not be pure unadulterated Marxism, but the tactics certainly are.
Having recently, and finally, read Gulag Archipelago nothing that is happening right now surprises me in the least.
cancel culture. public shaming. social exile. indoctrination of children. erasing history. abrogation of personal rights and freedoms.
You name it.
It’s there.

So yes in that sense it’s Marxism.
It’s also Bolshevism, Stalinism, Trotskyism – a whole bagful of isms
and a healthy dollop of anarchy.

The bottom line is that it will end badly – like it always does.

Anne-Marie Mazur
Anne-Marie Mazur
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

Really? So an IDEOLOGY that is IDPOL and liberalism is Marxist because you finished reading the Gulag Archipelago? Did you read about the imperialism of Europe and the murder they inflicted across the globe before or after that book? Just curious. How about the murders of indigenous peoples for European IMPERIALISM in the US alone? And WHAT does the gulag system have to do with Marxism. I’ve read Marx and never saw a single reference to a gulag system. I live in a classical liberal political economic system (constitutional republic) that has 65-100 million with criminal records (interfering with their employment rights) and 7 million constantly under the thumb of the state through jail/prison/parole/probation and ankle monitoring every year. Clueless much?

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago

Oh dear!
You seem very unhappy – are you OK?
I’m sorry that you seem unable to reconcile the advertised pre-release joys of Marxism with the well-documented abject human misery that has resulted any time anyone has ever tried to implement it.
Perhaps when you were hyperventilating you missed my point that the tactics required to make Marxism work are the problem – no matter how appealing the philosophy may be to some.
Marxism – and it’s assorted variations and interpretations has never worked because it is so impractical and unrealistic it can never attract enough willing volunteers to make it work.
“Attendance is Mandatory”.
So to claim that Marx never said anything about gulags may be truthful yet disingenuous because they and other tools such as re-education camps were required to deal with refuseniks and other enemies both real and imagined.
It’s like “Anyone who refuses to join my non-violence Protest for Peace will get a punch in the face”

Yes I’ve read GA but I’ve also read King Leopold’s Ghost regarding atrocities in Africa but I’m guessing that for every story of imperial misery there are a dozen tales of socialist disaster.
Socialism or communism – call it what you like – and go ahead and debate the fine points of what Marx actually wrote – it matters not.
The numbers don’t lie.
The sufferings under imperialist colonialism pale in comparison.

Do injustice, inequality and racism exist in liberal democracies?
Only an idiot would say No.
Then work at fixing it because the ideas proposed as a replacement are proven duds.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

And under Imperial Colonialism education, infrastructure, democracy, rule of law, industry, international trade, were introduced. Communism did not do anything like this.

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago

Pretty sure that Europeans didn’t engage in imperialism in the “US alone”.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago

Those who are in prison or otherwise “under the thumb of the state” surely only have themselves to blame for their predicament if they have transgressed laws?

Ben
Ben
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

All are totalitarian and all are committed to supression of freedom of expression?

Tim Brooks
Tim Brooks
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

It has nothing to do with Marx’s philosophy. In fact it is – it’s not even an adulterated version. It is counter to the analysis of capitalism and material conditions for revolution. It’s ultra liberalism – the kind that is rapidly eating itself and becoming it’s own opposite – when liberals go fascistic.

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Brooks

Exactly.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Brooks

In what sense is wokeness ultra-liberalism, given that it moves the emphasis away from the individual and seeks to restrict freedom of speech? What’s liberal about that?

Just as someone can say “BLM aren’t Marxists just because they say they are”, liberals are not liberals just because they say they are. If they are in favour of restrictions on freedom of speech, they are not liberal.

Jonathan Blakeborough
Jonathan Blakeborough
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

Current circumstances has also encouraged me to start reading Gulag Archipelago – you’re right, it’s all there, and I’ve only got as far as the late 1920s…..

Joseph Berger
Joseph Berger
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

excellent analysis

Dennis Waites
Dennis Waites
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

That sounds like a line from a Monty Python sketch.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Waites

It does.
That last sentence is pure John Cleese

Pete Rose
Pete Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Waites

As does calling everything Marxist when it’s obviously neoliberal. The funny thing about the right is its inability to take responsibility for the logical conclusion of its own political ideas.

lastthreeofvenus
lastthreeofvenus
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

Or succinct.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Rose

‘cultural Marxism’ (whatever that is)

I will try to explain what cultural Marxism means.

Marxists believe that our western capitalist democracies are unjust, founded on exploitation and generally evil. Marxists believe that what is required is not tinkering to implement gradual improvements, but tearing the entire structure down and replacing it with something else, i.e.a system based on Marxism.

When it became perfectly obvious that all attempts to impose Marxist economic doctrines on society led to greater poverty and widespread misery, stagnation and grey conformity, and that the Marxist system could only be kept in place by authoritarianism and massive human rights abuses, those who still hated western capitalist democracies thought it would be a good idea to try another approach.

This is ‘cultural Marxism’: western capitalist democracies are still uniquely evil, but this time the emphasis on their asserted non-economic failings: racism, sexism, various -phobias and, more recently, fascism and white supremacy.

What links cultural Marxism with economic Marxism is a) the idea that western capitalist democracies are irredeemably evil; b) the startling disconnect between that assertion and reality, both in economic terms and in ‘cultural’ terms; c) the authoritarianism that is apparent in the opponents of western democracies, including a desire to restrict freedom of speech and even of thought; d) the fact that the opponents’ utopia is a muddle of contradictions and impossibilities and, most importantly, exists only in their heads – no such ‘fair’ society as they seem to be imagining has ever existed.

That’s how I see it, anyway.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

In defence of the players, it is the Premier League (and FA) who have encouraged this awful ritual, and they haven’t “got the gonads” to instruct clubs to stop it.

One thing you can be sure of, is that the employees at those two organisations will not be “taking the knee” at the start of their working days.

Joseph Berger
Joseph Berger
3 years ago

This is an uusually mild column from Douglas Murray.
Just as these idiots “ordered” to behave in this nauseating manner by the FA mindlessly continue this perverse behaviour, so I find myself instantly turning away and muttering words of disgust reach time I see it, it has become a reflex reaction.

I have been writing short stories,and being a fiootball fan one of my stories is about football, and ironically I used Millwall as an example – I won’t explain exactly what yet, wait for the story to be published – but it correlates very well with their suppporter’s behaviour.

As Douglas Murray writes – in this context long overdue.
This silly inane empty gesture copying an American footballer who lost his career because he was insulting his country by refusing to acknowledge a very long established American tradition that is an expression of loyalty and love of one’s country – has no business on an English football field.

The stupidity of the FA in continuing to fail to recognize that, and instead support a virulently anti-American, anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic, anti-capitalist, thug organization that openly advertises its destruction of civilized society intentions deserves all the ridicule people can throw at it.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Berger

Well said

Ed Cameron
Ed Cameron
3 years ago

Safe to road test jokes and opinions at home? Maybe not for long. Even the ability to have one’s jokes or opinions tested (and improved) at home could be eradicated by the Hate Crime & Public Order (Scotland) Bill or, if the Law Commission gets its way, by removing the “dwelling” privacy exception from hate speech legislation. Cue the disgruntled family member turned informant.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago
Reply to  Ed Cameron

Sounds familiar

Neil Turrell
Neil Turrell
3 years ago
Reply to  Ed Cameron

Yes, it’s quite frightening when one thinks of the consequences should such legislation occur. In addition to the scams around covid and the climate, I’ve been enormously disappointed that Boris didn’t come out more strongly when BLM was causing mayhem in London. He could immediately dispatch the Law Commission’s recommendations into the long grass, which they deserve, but has said nothing, leading to the suspicion that he’s bought into the metropolitan progressivism nonsense. Isn’t it amazing, too, that it takes Millwall supporters to remind us of common sense?

Sam Leigh
Sam Leigh
3 years ago

On Fulham Supporters Facebook page (around 12000 members), someone did a poll, “No right or wrong/ judgement, do you think players should ‘take the knee’ before the game? Just reply Yes or No without explanation”… It was 80% No, 20% Yes.

There had been multiple debates on the issue in the group previously and people in favour of players taking the knee seemed to outweigh people against judging by comments and how ‘forceful’ they were.

However, when this poll asked people to merely express a ‘yes/no’ view without a debate and so removed the threat of being accused of racism; the results were exactly the opposite to what you would have thought from the previous discussions where that accusation was regualrly deployed.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Sam Leigh

I’m not surprised. When asked by pollsters, people will say what they feel comfortable admitting to. In a private vote the truth comes out.

David Uzzaman
David Uzzaman
3 years ago

“Britons never, never, never shall be slaves”.
(Conditions may be amended and freedoms withdrawn at any time without notice. Please ensure you read the terms and conditions in full.)

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
3 years ago
Reply to  David Uzzaman

We are all Millwall now.

It’s been a strange, strange year, has 2020.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  David Uzzaman

That was because the slavers from the Barbary were taking British people as slaves in very large numbers. North Africa and Arabia really were the big players in African slavery, and white slavery with millions of East European children sold into slavery to the Muslim nations over the years. An interesting group of Christian slaves were the Mamlukes, Christian slave soldiers, the last great battle, which destroyed the Egyptian Mamluke army occurred under Neapolitan. Also KSA only outlawed slavery in 1962! But it was tolerated for decades after.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – gotcha.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

Presumably by Neapolitan you mean Napoleon Bonaparte?
Are you sure you are not confusing the Mamlukes with Ottoman Janissaries?

Although some Britons were enslaved by Barbary Pirates they can hardly de described as “very large numbers”. Perhaps you are making an oblique reference to the spectacular raid on the Anglo Irish settlement of Baltimore, Co Cork, in the 1620’s?

G H
G H
3 years ago

Of course footballers or anyone for that matter shouldn’t take the knee. Their problem is that footballers currently have little option. If I were a professional footballer at that level (in the current climate) I ask myself, what would I do if I objected to the idea of giving homage to a political belief I intensely dislike? It would be a very brave footballer to take a principled position. So I have some sympathy for the footballers who are told to do this. The irony is that those footballers, many of whom are black are more privileged and live a much more coddled life that the spectators who pay good money to watch them. I also have borderline contempt for the organizations that promote this nonsense. The FA and the BBC are the prime culprits. Fortunately I watch non league football where the knee taking has not so far permeated. Talking to supporters at my local club, the consensus is we would turn our backs on the players if the knee taking occurred.

Joseph Berger
Joseph Berger
3 years ago
Reply to  G H

very good comment,
especially as in the American example the player did lose his career,

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Berger

When that player started taking a knee, he had already lost his starting place in the lineup, so let’s at least be accurate. The NFL has a long history of giving jobs to wife abusers and assorted others with checkered pasts, so Kaepernick’s issue was not taking a knee, it was the perception that his best days were behind him. Plenty of other guys who took knees or raised fists kept on playing.

Joseph Berger
Joseph Berger
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

you are not correct,
Kaepernick’s behaviour was seen as an unnecessary direct offense to American patriotism and inappropriate on the playing field of sports, and that’s why he became unemployable in football,
his gesture belonged to be debated in the political arena,

for those who know a little about American sports, equally divisive and seen as inappropriate has been the insulting behaviour of the captain of the American Women’s soccer team who won the world cup.

As the privileged representative/ambassador of the country she has been viewed with distaste by most people. Her personal political views did not belong in the sports arena, when you are representing your country.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  G H

Add Sky to the FA and BBC.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  G H

That is quite funny, the observation that the minted black players are doing this in front of white working class fans.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  G H

Aren’t a lot of the Premiership footballers enjoying “black privilege”?

Richard Marriott
Richard Marriott
3 years ago

No, of course our footballers should not be taking the knee – it is demeaning and abject behaviour which just annoys the majority.

Alex Wilkinson
Alex Wilkinson
3 years ago

Let’s be honest, the booing comes as a surprise to absolutely no-one in the real world.

Wait til they hear the cacophony that will be unleashed when the stadiums are full.

I do hope they keep it up so we can enjoy that glorious spectacle.

David Sherman
David Sherman
3 years ago

The woke London elite have stolen our state institutions, they’ve stolen the Labour Party from the provincial working class, they’ve stolen the Conservative Party from free-enterprisers and they’ve stolen our free speech. Stealing the knee from defenceless black Americans really is very small fry.

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago
Reply to  David Sherman

Add the BBC and the Guardian.

Pete Marsh
Pete Marsh
3 years ago

Being afraid to be the first to get up off their knees, lest they be denounced as a not anti-racist reminds me of the footage of those terrified to be the first to stop clapping when Saddam or Stalin had finished a speech.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Marsh

Blimey. It’s almost as though you read the article.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Ha Ha

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Very good

VĂłreios ParatiritĂ­s
VĂłreios ParatiritĂ­s
3 years ago

The public simply recognises what the elite pretends does not exist, namely that BLM is a political movement determined to take resources, respect and rights away from ordinary people and hand them over to self appointed activists who have no authority or right to these resources.

Boo indeed.

vince porter
vince porter
3 years ago

Black Lives [do] Matter. Unfortunately, too many Blacks, in the country that gave us the slogan, seem not to have heard. Gun violence, single mothers, teenage pregnancy, derelict fathers, etc… too little has changed.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  vince porter

Not that you’re allowed to say that much of black culture is very unappealing to the average Brit.

katiepert1970
katiepert1970
3 years ago

ðƞ€£ commentator and crisp – seller ðƾ˜‚

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  katiepert1970

I didn’t think that comment reflected well on Murray

polidoris ghost
polidoris ghost
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Murray is good at the drive by shooting.
Adds a bit of fun for me and a bit of annoyance you.

Richard Marriott
Richard Marriott
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Gary Lineker is one of the most annoying and most overpaid of the white privileged people on television. He should stick to commenting on 22 men chasing a ball around a field.

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
3 years ago

Actually I think the BBC would easily be able to find a prominent ex footballer to take his place introducing MOTD. The £1.75m salary is not for that. It’s because of the woke political stuff. That’s what they like. Even the footie on Saturday becomes politically palatable to them with his help. If said Crisp Seller had just kept it to introducing MOTD and perhaps SPOTY then Auntie could have kept the other £1.5m.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Samuel Gee

Alas for all us BBC licence payers his salary has been reduced to only 1.35 million pounds a year. Still, I’m sure his supply of crisps will continue to be free of charge.

Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  John Nutkins

I’m fairly sure ratings would not change radically if they ran MOTD as an analysis free collection of highlight reels. Save a few bob.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago

Indeed. A presumptuous prat, overpaid, mediocre, and backed by Shearer and Wright, none of whom contributes anything original in their ‘analyses’ of games which isn’t already blindingly obvious to the viewer of MOTD.

Pauline Ivison
Pauline Ivison
3 years ago
Reply to  John Nutkins

Don’t watch it! Change will not happen unless the BBC lose viewers. If you can’t live without it then don’t complain. I no longer have a TV because I couldn’t bear the thought of contributing to the salaries of such as Lineker.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago

Why do you all hate poor Gary so much? I think it’s because he’s actually homed asylum seekers, so there’s all this frustration that the virtue-signalling diabtribe has to be choked back down.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Crisps are thought to be one of the least healthy popular food products in existence. If you subscribe to the Guardian’s thinking – which I would wager Lineker does – individuals bear almost no blame for their obesity or other health problems caused by unhealthy food. It is almost entirely the food producers that are to blame.

Why should someone who enjoys flaunting his morality not be mocked as hypocrite?

Fred B
Fred B
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

Because he allowed a rather well educated Balochi “asylum seeker” to stay in his home for a few days.

Alfred Prufrock
Alfred Prufrock
3 years ago

I am a Cardiff City fan and they are the same type of working class supporters as Millwall ( back in the day the punch ups were epic) It is crystal clear from threads on the clubs message board that they will not be putting up with any taking the knee nonsense. Some of the club officials and players read the boards and I suspect that they will drop the taking the knee nonsense as soon as fans are allowed back in.

Jonathan Oldbuck
Jonathan Oldbuck
3 years ago

Good to know.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago

I hope yo are right.

Adam Huntley
Adam Huntley
3 years ago

This whole business illustrates just how divisive Critical Race Theory and BLM is. At the heart of this gesturing, is a lie. It is that BLM is just another expression of concern for racial equality. It isn’t. it is, in the words of Malcom X, about bringing about change by any means necessary. Even through dishonesty.
Who knows what the motives of Millwall supporters were? There may have been an element of thorough going racists among them. There may have been a few principled Unherd readers. If so, each would have had very different motives for boo-ing. And yet, we are asked to believe, that those lining up to criticise them- the Linekers, the Dublins and the Rooneys, each would have had unique access to the workings of those boo-ers’ minds. For those dismayed by such mindlessness, “the knee” represents one thing and one thing only- solidarity with the FA’s Kick It out campaign. Except. of course it doesn’t. Misunderstanding, division, accusation and counter-accusation. And at The Knee’s heart- an organisation with defunding the Police and “disrupting the nuclear family” integral to its manifesto, Look at their web site if you don’t believe me.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

Jolly good for the Millwall supporters, even if they weren’t the first; I gather that accolade belongs to either Colchester or West Ham.

Incidentally wasn’t it a Millwall supporter who waded into Sinbad &Co during the London Bridge Terror Attack? He should have been given a Knighthood.

Perhaps someone from this erudite audience can explain why it is Football that has to carry this burden?

We don’t see National Hunt jockeys grovelling in the mud before the 2.20 at Ascot, nor do Professional Golfers routinely abase themselves on the 18th Green, nor has our Cricket team, perhaps surprisingly, been genuflecting in South Africa. So why on earth Football?

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Class. It’s an assumption that the more working class supporters of football need education on racial tolerance.
It’s assumed that the erudite audiences of rugby, cricket and golf are more civilized and tolerant.

Obviously based on what you find on forums like this one, it’s a deeply flawed assumption

Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Yes. In the recent internationals, some rugby players did, others didn’t – from the same team. Some cited religion, others that they didn’t agree with BLM politically, but made the sensible statement that obviously it had no bearing on their views about racism.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Mitchell

Cricket teams have made the gesture as well, so I don’t think the Football as oiks line is right……. let’s face it you can’t move for the entire population of celebdom banging on about their football team these days….

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

The Working Class have had far more life experience with black lives mattering to them via friendships, marriages etc. The Working Class game of rugby league has led academics, rugby union and the upper classes in accepting people based on their talent and character by 40 years.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Precisely Kevin, it was this sort of preposterous nonsense that so annoyed George Orwell as I recall.

The British people have no need of such a facile gesture. Their history is second to none.
As Jeremy Smith (an American) on this forum, so appositely said a few days ago “the endless contribution to humanity by the British or the gentleness of its population”, tells one we have nothing to be ashamed of.

William Cameron
William Cameron
3 years ago

The Uk society is probably the least racist in the world and its police are probably the best trained and least racist in the world.
Among those of immigrant origins, Indians and Chinese are streets ahead academically , economically and assinmilatively. Closely followed by Africans -All three do better than White folk and they set an example to us all.
So who is kneeling in the Uk for what ? I suspect most of those footballers would struggle to explain in any detail.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago

You have a conditioned response to British Policing being best in the world, it is not very good at all, but the British People are mostly law abiding so it sort of works out. If British Police were to try to Police America the nation would descend into utter chaos.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

I don’t believe Brits are more or less law-abiding than anyone else. The difference is guns. America will never leave the top of the global murder charts until it figures out how to get rid of them.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

The French Police get stuck in mind… and black, white, young, old it doesn’t matter much to them… But I agree it’s Guns that make the difference…Death by Police here are low single figures, and most of them have been high profile knife wielders like the London Bridge/Parliament etc ones.

In the USA deaths by police are in the very high hundreds. And guns play a part in their whole spectrum of fear, apprehension and precipitate action by Police and criminals…so more *not showing of hands* over there ends up with shooting.

But given the manaical levels of doommongery going on in the media just now we seem to have remarkabley little kicking off really.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Have a look at FBI statistics which break down rates of violent crime and murder by demographics and regions in the US, the places where gun murder rates are highest (they are NOT the places with the highest rates of legal gun ownership) as well as stats on things like the type of weapon used in murders, and whether the weapon was legally owned or not. You may find them interesting. Also, Switzerland I believe has a higher rate of gun ownership than the US (almost every household has at least one firearm) but a very low violent crime rate. It isn’t all about guns.

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago

Taking a knee.
Tearing down statues.
Re-writing history.
Token BIPOC hiring.
Riots and vandalism.
Coerced apologies and self-flagellation.
Suppression of free speech.
Indoctrination and re-programming.

Just a few of the tactics used and/or promoted by the Woke-mongers.
My response to purveyors and adherents of this nonsense is always the same.

Either you are stupid – or you think I am.

You are either supporting this garbage because you’re too naïve and stupid to see it for what it actually is and the damage it’s causing.
Or
You are a willing participant and true believer bent on destruction or an opportunistic chancer trying to further your own ends and you think I’m too stupid to figure it out.

Either way – be damned.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago

This political virus has infected Formula One now too, thanks mostly to the grievously oppressed Lewis Hamilton.

D Ward
D Ward
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

Can’t tell you how pleased we were with Russell doing so well in the GP yesterday but did wonder if his pit-stop was sabotaged by his own team

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  D Ward

Russell was crazy good.

burnley1
burnley1
3 years ago

And we still have to endure the omnipresent rainbow though it’s not clear whether we are supporting LGBTQ or the NHS.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  burnley1

I am clapping for LGB&Q, the gay home improvement community.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Very good, very droll!

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

What does the kneeling accomplish? It is no more than a modern-day two minutes of hate wrapped in “look at me.” That’s it. These players have the pulpit, the name recognition, and the connections to do something, but that would mean, well, doing something instead of just posturing.

Since then, there has been a chorus of condemnation of Millwall supporters from every possible quarter.
Well, of course, there has. How dare the proles dare voice an opinion that deviates from that of their betters. Have they forgotten their place?

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I don’t think the players give the politics or the cause a thought one way or the other. Just as England players in 1936 were quite happy to give a HitlergruÃƞ to be polite so they could get on with the footie. They want to play football, pass go and collect their millions. If the PR person says the players should kneel lest Gary lay into the club on MOTD then you don’t want to be “that guy” sat on the bench just to keep Gary happy.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

Millwall and West ham,Ipswich Fans all boed The marxist Knee dropping.
.I remember the hypocrisy of the Football league Fining Robbie Fowler ”For Supporting Liverpool dockers” Around 1997, and NOT allowing Poppies on Footballers shirts..the hypocrisy is nauseating..

Andrew Russell
Andrew Russell
3 years ago

I’m beginning to think that taking the knee just isn’t enough for footballers. How about lying prostrate on a wet pitch for about half an hour while punching themselves in the face? And then pledging 95% of their earnings to this worthy cause, not just for one week, but in perpetuity?
I’d watch that.

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Russell

How about lying prostrate on a wet pitch for about half an hour while punching themselves in the face?

They do that anyway to get an opposing player sent off.

John Ottaway
John Ottaway
3 years ago

Black Lives Matter every bit as white lives. Of course that is a given. But BLM as a movement is highly political with aims contrary to those of the majority of the population of the U.K. or USA.
I absolutely hate watching the players all take the knee before games. Football should not be political.
I salute those Millwall fans brave enough to stand up to this nonsense. And utter rubbish spoken by Lineker saying they are all racist. No they are not, I bet they all have many black friends and colleagues whom they love and get along with just fine. It’s the organisation and what it stands for that they object to.

jack51
jack51
3 years ago

It’s always worth reminding ourselves that the vast majority of footballers are incredibly thick so looking for political insight will be a futile task.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  jack51

I think they are mostly devoid of any insight, but they do know about offside.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  jack51

Actually I always defend footballers on this subject. I don’t believe their intelligence distribution differs from the population as a whole. They can appear stupid, but this is because they are schooled not to say anything interesting, and are invariably asked very dumb questions. However, with regard to the population as a whole, never forget George Carlin’s words:

“Just think how stupid the average person is. Then remember that half of them are even more stupid than that.”

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

ðƾ˜‚

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

No man who can earn £5 million a year for kicking a ball around can reasonably be called stupid. You may of course call me shallow.

Joseph Berger
Joseph Berger
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

oh please, totally different skill and co-ordination,
even in the England team there are some unbelievably inarticulate people who can barely verbalize a complete English sentence

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Berger

Blimey Joe, lighten up.
I would suggest that all you are saying is that intelligence can express itself in different ways.
Sadly neither you nor I can convincingly display it in any format

Joseph Berger
Joseph Berger
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

speak for yourself, your comment is childishly unnecessarily offensive

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Berger

How so?
Are you being ironic?

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago
Reply to  Joseph Berger

I think you badly misunderstood Terry’s post.

Marcus Millgate
Marcus Millgate
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I understand Colin Kazim-Richards prefers to stand up & raise his fist instead. Has he ever explained why he does this instead?

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago
Reply to  jack51

Everybody has their thing.

Most people here couldn’t kick a ball – why we would think footballers could get their heads round a political issue?

They are just pawns albeit rich one’s.

Marcus Millgate
Marcus Millgate
3 years ago

“UEFA states that clubs must not allow any message that is not fit for a sports event, particularly messages that are of political, ideological, religious, offensive or provocative nature, to be displayed within the ground.”

Millwall should take the FA to court

Terence Riordan
Terence Riordan
3 years ago

I never thought I would applaude a football crowd let alone Millwall.But I have. BLM is a political extreme pressure group conning people.BLM yes but not only BL.ALM yes…All Lives Matter. Yes there is personal racism still in every society, however as a society the UK is among the least racist and most tolerant of almost anybody’s persona or behaviour as lomng as it is not detrimental to others. I therefore feel quite annoyed at being lumped with the USA which I know from personal experience has a lot of problems we ,the UK ,have grown out of.
I have also travelled the world and there are many “black” “non caucasian” countries where racial intolerance is a century behind.
As for “taking the knee” no way to anybody exceptwhen I proposed.

Jay Williamson
Jay Williamson
3 years ago

Well done, Milwall fans. This is the only way to show OUR displeasure at people going down on their knees to the Marxist BLM.

Steve Dean
Steve Dean
3 years ago

Millwall fans have a history (years of it) of unsavoury behaviour. They are not the only ones. Kick It Out has gone some way to eliminating racist behaviour in football, chanting and the use of bananas as a soft missile, for example is not tolerated. Maybe some feel this booing is an outlet for behaviour now banned…

Having been thwarted by the games hierarchy, the fans must feel some sort of frustration, as the same hierarchy finds it difficult to employ black managers/coaches in numbers comparable to player ratios. Only 6 black managers in the 92 top flight teams.

Interestingly, the next Millwall match is against QPR tomorrow. QPR’s Director of Football is Les Ferdinand, the only black man in this position in the top flight. Mr Ferdinand stopped his team taking the knee back in September, declaring the gesture “little more than good PR”.

I would like to suggest a solution, but not sure there is one. Booing what started out as an anti-racist gesture is wrong. Making an anti-racist gesture 6 months after a distant racist event, when the industry you work in displays racist tendencies makes me feel uncomfortable as well…

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Dean

Good old Super Les

bsema
bsema
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Dean

Sir Les is right, of course. He no doubt realizes the truth that if you keep taking the knee forever with no specific aim, then it becomes meaningless. Not only that but it creates a rift between those who do and those who don’t. Obviously that’s that some people want.

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago
Reply to  bsema

It is also a substitute for action.
Such as having more black directors of football.

Joseph Berger
Joseph Berger
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian

when I was growing up I don’t think there was a single black player, certainly none in the England team, now every leading team not only here but also in Europe has plenty, it took time,
there will eventually be plenty of black managers, as the current group of good black players mature and find that they still want to use their skills and their greater understanding of the game to lead and manage the next generation, as the current (mostly white) managers who were mostly very good players themselves a few years ago,
just remember, not every good player can also become a good manager, totally different skills required

J A Thompson
J A Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Dean

Unfortunately, when denied any other form of protest, when your objections are ignored, you take whatever steps you can. This is why many people with just cause for concern are forced to extremes means. By contrast, a bit of booing is a minor inconvenience; they could have wrecked the place.

cbdesign46
cbdesign46
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Dean

I hate arguments about percentage representation. Aren’t we suppose to hire people based on their ability? And BTW, playing the game and managing a club require different interests and skill sets.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  cbdesign46

Quire right.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Dean

I do not know the percentage of black players in the PL but I would hazard some 30-40%, with the black population in this country being just over 3%. Not bad, eh? All that nasty racism in the game from all the fans! I suppose an average wage of 60,000 pounds a week (Rashford on 200,000 and Pogba on 350,000 a week) demonstrates the entrenched and wide-spread racism in the game – really?
As for black managers in the PL and Championship – you must know (I assume from your good knowledge of the game) that club owners will select those managers/coaches who they hope and believe will deliver success for their clubs absolutely irregardless of their skin colour. Sterling’s recent rant about there not being enough black managers in the PL is just another expression of the poor,
under-privileged and oppressed victim of racism – a supposed grievance which is manifest nonsense as well as being insulting.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  John Nutkins

I feel the BLM thing came from America where society is incredibly different to ours. The biggest problem are guns.
Police killings in the USA, and killings of police officers, are miles and miles above ours …and the heightened tensions that guns create feeds a situation of suspicion, fear and apprehension on both sides.

I don’t know what the point of BLM , and the extreme end that go on about Critical race Theory, which just seems reverese engineered nonsense at every level, actually is.

If it is to worsen race relations then they’re probably doing a good job…in the UK nobody thought everything was great, nobody thought there wasn’t much still to do…but things are improving and they are better.

The carictures of our society drawn by BLM and picked up by some of the major broadcasters in newsand even comedy, drama and light entertainment are doing far more harm than good. I can see exactly why Millwall fans did it…and more will as well.

The FA should try some thing other than just producing the PR platitudes if they don’t want to end up like the Labour party where virtually all major figures ended up looking as if, not only were they not really representing huge numbers of their core support, they simply didn’t like them any more..

Then were stunned to find these people didn’t want to vote for them last December.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Dean

Some good points but with one comment to add: the ‘hierarchy’ doesn’t employ managers – the owners of the clubs do.And owners of clubs are, quite rightly, interested in one thing only – success. Moreover, the owners, I suggest, are not remotely concerned about the colour of their managers, only their ability to achieve the owners’ aims. While black players are vastly over-represented in the Premier League and Championship division compared to their numbers in England with 33% in the Premier League and 3% in the country (where are those mouthing off about ‘equality’?), that’s fine by me because they have great skills and talents, but it’s also clear they do not, as yet, inspire owners to engage them for their managerial skills.

daveyboy103
daveyboy103
3 years ago

Kneeling, especially ritual kneeling of this kind has ALWAYS indicated subservience.

Can anyone provide me of an example where this is not the case. I have not seen one yet.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  daveyboy103

Marriage proposal?

It was started as an alternative ‘respectful’ gesture to standing for the American national anthem. But I agree, part of the problem is the uncomfortable optics. I’d prefer the raised fist 🙂

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

How delightfully, excitingly, middle class Kevin!
Identify with the boys from the ‘hood.
If only I could.
If only you could.

Fred Atkinstalk
Fred Atkinstalk
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

If you are suggesting that a man getting down on one knee to propose marriage is NOT an indication of subserviance, then you are sadly misguided.

And I have my wife’s permission to say this.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago

Fair point

David Foot
David Foot
3 years ago

I agree with most here and believe this clever attempt by the Marxist to gain influence with such a name must be unmasked and stopped by means of the supporters withdrawing specially monetary support.
The snowflakes who kneel to the black Marxist god haven’t a clue what they are doing nor whom they are supporting. These Marxists who attack our flag on the Cenotaph are people who wish to overthrow our state which was in its Imperial days the only and first world supper power which spent money to free slaves and not to make them in the entire history of man and in opposition mostly to black kings and Moslem kings who made a living out of slavery.
The black lives Marxists should not be supported and fans should stop backing their clubs if out of ignorance their players support the Marxists enemies of England.

Kevin Ryan
Kevin Ryan
3 years ago
Reply to  David Foot

You think maybe it has something to do with the Marxists? You were a proud slave trading nation, you built cities on the money made from slaves. So you eventually stopped, big whoop.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Whilst many other nations and people did not stop.

John Nutkins
John Nutkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Ryan

Yes, England, like some other European countries, did cash in on a well-established and thriving trade in Africa where blacks enslaved vast numbers of their own tribes and others to sell to the Arabs. But England saw the evils of the trade after a while and spent a fortune and at the cost of many English lives to abolish it. So yes to your sneering ‘whoop’. Make that ‘WHOOP!’

nevilleseabridge
nevilleseabridge
3 years ago

We have footballers, racing drivers, rugby players and others performing this ludicrous ritual for reasons of 1 virtue-signalling, 2 fear of the ‘cancellation culture’ or 3 damage to career/income.

Where does this madness end – snooker and darts? ‘Strictly’, perhaps, with Claudia Winkleman genuflecting sombrely before the cha cha cha? The Red Bull soap box derby? Maybe the school sports-day sack race to ready our youngsters for a lifetime of obeisance n demand?

Wulvis Perveravsson
Wulvis Perveravsson
3 years ago

I unashamedly absolutely love the Red Bull soapbox derby.

William Cameron
William Cameron
3 years ago

Interestingly at yesterday’s international rugby match some knelt some didnt. Which were the braver ?

Stephen Tye
Stephen Tye
3 years ago

The whole French team remained standing. Good for them.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Tye

No fan of the French – but they got my respect , it seems predominantly a USA/UK phenomenon

Jonathan Oldbuck
Jonathan Oldbuck
3 years ago

An excellent question and one that you won’t hear asked on any mainstream channel or news platform.

Richard Marriott
Richard Marriott
3 years ago

Indeed. BLM has no relevance to this country – it is a hard left Marxist organisation forged by and exploiting the racial issues of the USA.

The USA indeed has problems going back centuries and its use of slave labour for agriculture, followed by emancipation leading to impoverished ghettoes of blacks in many US cities. Combine with often racist and brutal police tactics and you have a combustible situation which has been self evident for generations.

This is relevant in the UK? How?

Paul Emanuel
Paul Emanuel
3 years ago

Let’s face it – do we really care. Dion Dublin is entitled to his opinion – as am I. I don’t take the knee and there is no likelihood of me starting. His opinion is, as he states, that I am therefore a racist. I’m not. His view, in my opinion, is two dimensional and bigoted. I have actively opposed racism all my life. The players may be genuinely passionate about this and if they are they will be spending lots of time and effort actively fighting racism whenever they find it. If all they do is take the knee that’s just virtue signalling and will do nothing of value.

Former Coventry and Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin, who had a loan spell at Millwall in 2002, added: “They don’t agree with taking the knee, which means they are racist. They don’t agree with Black Lives Matter; that says they are racist to me.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Emanuel

maybe they read the BLM manifesto, which if Dublin did, he failed at comprehending it. There is not one positive affirmation of men, and not one mention of fathers. Lots of the usual leftist claptrap re: trans people, gays, and the usual victimology.

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Most people are not half as clever as they think they are, Except on this forum of course! :0)

Jonathan Oldbuck
Jonathan Oldbuck
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Emanuel

That’s because dear Dion doesn’t know the difference between cheap meaningless gestures and thinking.

Rob Dixon
Rob Dixon
3 years ago

It’s not often I feel solidarity with Millwall supporters but now I feel a growing respectfor them… As Douglas says, Britain is not an inherrently racist place and, knowing that, we should all start showing some common sense and backbone. Like Harry the Dog.

Steve Olding
Steve Olding
3 years ago

It wasn’t only the Millwall game where this occurred .
West Ham and Colchester United matches too.It will be interesting to see how Sky react if this becomes a regular reaction from the paying public.