GET set for another woke football season, folks . . .
‘We feel now, more than ever, it is important for us to continue to take the knee as a symbol of our unity against all forms of racism.’
As reported this week, that esteemed body of wise men, the captains of Premier League football clubs, have spoken. Never mind the fans’ booing; the ‘Anti-Racism’ show, the only one in town, must go on. A bemused Saint George Floyd must be looking down (or rather, up) wondering how it is that ‘soccer dudes’ in England still pay him obeisance.
Time was when our footballers were simply highly skilled – and paid – young men. Now, even more lavishly rewarded, their remit is more ambitious. These intrepid football skippers ‘remain resolutely committed’, don’t you know, to their ‘singular objective of eradicating racial prejudice wherever it exists, to bring about a global society of inclusion, respect and equal opportunities for all’.
Not to be outdone, the three leagues below have followed suit. The EFL has announced its new ‘Together Against Discrimination’ match-day message which will see its clubs unite against ‘racism’.
Chief executive Trevor Birch has said his organisation will support any knee-taking players; fans who don’t share their anti-discrimination goal shouldn’t attend football matches, he added.
‘Football is a game with many opinions. But those who do not share our opinion on removing racism and discrimination from our game are not welcome.’
Not welcome? Is that a thinly veiled threat to eject and ban from football stadia those who have the temerity to boo? Don’t bet against it, or the encouraging of an unofficial army of informants, the equivalent of Covidiot snitches; all in the name of tolerance, you understand. The MSM will be close allies, of course, witness the maligning of Millwall dissenters last season.
Thanks for keeping the genuflection pot boiling, Gareth. But it’s a broth of artificial ingredients, sating nobody. For one lesson we have surely learned from ‘Anti-Racism’ by now is that nothing will ever be enough.
Black footballers – and non-English-qualified players – make up an increasingly disproportionate number of those in our professional leagues. By my reckoning, of the 809 squad players in the Premier League in the 2020-21 season, 248 were black. Only 242 of the 809 were qualified to play for England, and of these 104 were black.
Granted, it’s an imbalance not quite up to television advertising standards, but getting there. It’s sometimes worth reminding ourselves that whites account for 86 per cent of the UK population, blacks 3 per cent.
Overrepresented as they are, black players in England earn unimaginable sums of money; they are feted by supporters up and down the land. Good luck to them.
But it matters not to the ‘Anti-Racism’ grievance industry. When it comes to race, the white man’s sin is original and irredeemable. A few idiots tweet nasty things; now he must continue to abase himself before his black teammates in ritual humiliation. His reward is to be conferred dhimmi status, that of a ‘good white’ contingently allowed to ply his trade.
Meanwhile, many of the multi-millionaire black kneelers give a clenched-fist salute for good measure, in sullen ‘victimhood’ solidarity with their equally wealthy American sporting brethren, all irony lost on them.
It would be nice to think that ‘Go woke, go broke’ will be football’s comeuppance, as appears to be happening in US sports. But I’m not so sure. Between them, the liberal and plain-unthinking bread-and-circuses brigades probably have the numbers to ensure sold-out football stadia in the new season.
No, the only long-term antidote to woke sports is breakaway leagues. We need a latter-day Kerry Packer to get the ball rolling, and enough resolute corporate sponsors to make the venture viable. But then at the rate things are going, by that time society may have separated along lines more fundamental than sporting.
Sport used to be the great unifier. Now, in the name of ‘Anti-Racism’, it divides. As an authentically wise man said, the Left ruins everything it touches.