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Taking the knee - A grown up discussion.

morty

morty

Moderator
Staff member
A Norwich fan was ejected from the stadium for booing when players took the knee before the Forest game, on Wednesday. Some supporters near him complained to stewards, and out he went.

Some background, in case you haven't been following it, at the Millwall game last weekend some of their fans booed when the Millwall players took the knee. The club compromised, and for the midweek the players linked arms, in a show of unity, against prejudice of all kinds. The media fell over themselves to brand the Millwall fans as racists.

BLM is an extremely divisive organisation, and taking the knee is very much linked to them, and before they became prominent again in early 2020, nobody was taking the knee( Apart from one American football player) So it has very much become their trademark. The issue the Millwall fans have is that BLM have since registered themselves in the UK, as a political party. BLM have rioted and burned their way across America, very much pushing a Marxist agenda, calling for the destruction of the nuclear family, and end to capitalism, and a defund of the police. So it is a held opinion that BLM are using racism as a vehicle for other things. In the UK we saw out flag being burned, and our war memorials desecrated. But we have come to a position where, people shut down any debate about it by simply saying, "If you do not support BLM, you are a racist". To further support the act of the knee, it is being compared, by some, as being just the same as our yearly act of remembrance at the time of the poppy appeal.

There has been widespread crowing about this on Twitter, with calls for the fan who was ejected, to be banned. For booing. It is worthy of note, it is being ignored that Zimmermann did not take the knee (also a Forest player didn't) so does that make them racists? Nobody ever booed anything to do with the Kick it out campaign, did they? Has taking the knee become compulsory, and is there a different take on freedom of speech if you do not agree with it? How long is it going to go on? Will this statement now be a part of football forever? And anyone who dare speak out about it be banned? Political statements are not allowed by the FA, does this have a place in football?

Thoughts?
 
N

Number 9

Well-Known Member
As a general comment, at some point in the recent past, the balance has shifted with activists in many different spheres of life demanding that people actively support their cause.
If you don't actively support them they assume you are anti their cause.
This is prevalent in many 'causes' BLM, the Rainbow etc.

I believe that all lives matter, color of skin or ethnicity is not a valid way to decide if anyone is better or worse than anyone else.
 
Fenway Frank

Fenway Frank

Well-Known Member
As a general rule everything has become ridiculously polarised.

" I love apples."

" Oh, so what you are saying is that you hate oranges then, you absolute Nazi?".
If you don't actively support them they assume you are anti their cause
This is the thing, and for me it’s a problem.
I can imagine being at Carrow road when the players kneel. The supporters clap and I stand with my hands in my pockets. Another fan turns round and says “ you didn’t clap” , I say “ I know “ . The response is then “ you racist”.
The internet can bring out the worst in people as they hide behind their computer screens and this is carrying over into real life.
I think that generally people are just fed up or bored of the kneeling, and personally I agree with Les Ferdinand, who can say how the rest of us feel because he’s black. To be honest I don’t even know, am I allowed to say black now ?
I do think the kneeling will have to finish, a bit like clapping for the NHS, as it has lost its impact. Let’s be honest, can you imagine that anyone that is racist has changed their mind because their favourite football team has knelt before kick off ?
 
N

Number 9

Well-Known Member
BLM is difficult for me also in that I am led to ask -
What about Asians, Orientals, Eastern Europeans etc etc?
Some of these suffer from racist behaviour I assume, is it less important because they are not black?
My African friends certainly don't think so, they don't reflect the sentiments of BLM at all.
 
N

Number 9

Well-Known Member
And I DON'T KNOW THE EXACT CIRCUMSTANCES, but if armed police tell me to drop my knife, (why am I carrying a knife around anyway) what do you do?
 
G

gerryinromania

Well-Known Member
I 'm sorry, but I absolutely refuse to watch any English football with players kneeling down. I've even stopped watching Norwich on my puta now. Does that make me racist? Don't be silly. On Romanian tv, I watch games from many countries, a game every day if I want to, and you know what? I don't see any other countries doing it, strange that. I feel that maybe this thing happened with good intentions, but now, it is not helping at all. It is just a stick to beat people with. That's my opinion, of which I am allowed to have. No, it doesn't make me racist, sorry
 
dj161

dj161

Well-Known Member
my only real issue with it is that is that it has just become part of the pre-match ritual, it started off with a NFL player refusing to stand for the national anthem as he felt his country didn't support him so why should he support it, he had a real message to deliver, now it just seems like everyone has added it to part of the match day routine, lineup, shake hands, get in your position, blow the whistle, take a knee, blow the whistle again, play football

thats not how it was intended, it was meant to send a message of racial inequality, but now it has no meaning if it is something that is enforced by the game that has to be done, what is even the point of it anymore?
 
N

Number 9

Well-Known Member
I don't even like the Rainbow laces etc, it's like they're constantly trying to ram it down our throats.
Too much politics and activists in football, let them stay at city hall and argue amongst themselves.
 
morty

morty

Moderator
Staff member
I don't mind, to an extent, the message of inclusiveness, that everyone is welcome at football, without fear or prejudices. But you also have to realise that a lot of people really couldn't really care less about it all.

And I am disturbed by a situation where we are told what we are allowed to think, and that anything contrary to that results in ejection from our football stadium. If the guy was throwing Nazi salutes or dropping "N" bombs, I would be 100% behind the club here.
 
Din

Din

Well-Known Member
I won't even try and pretend that I'm informed or educated enough to go into detail about the history, but while BLM may have adopted it as their symbol, taking the knee has always been intended to be an anti-racism gesture. With that in mind, I have no issues at all with players taking the knee before the game. It only takes 5 seconds and to me the core message of it is that discrimination and racism is wrong. I know a lot of people don't want to see political messages in football matches, and I do understand and agree to an extent, but for a message as universal and important as 'racism is unacceptable', then football is the perfect platform for that, because it reaches so many people.

The problem is obviously, as said above, how divisive some of BLM's methods are. For me their core politics are fine, but the way it has been carried out at times is very questionable. I completely understand why people don't wish to support that. That said, I do think there's a big difference between respectfully choosing not to partake in the taking of the knee, like some players have, and actively booing it, which I personally believe is wrong.

I do think though that something more like what QPR and Millwall did before their game during the week would be better long-term, as it's perhaps a lot less of a political statement. I don't think that football should persist with taking the knee, and doing it for the sake of it when there are less controversial ways of getting the same message across.
 
N

Number 9

Well-Known Member
BLM sounds good as a tag line and players seem to get passionate about it, but then have house / restaurant parties with their mates, lives obviously only matter sometimes.
 
OldRobert

OldRobert

Well-Known Member
Excellent thread title, having read most of the offerings on the other place full of the usual nonsense.

During my life the acceptable terminology to describe those who are non-white has changed so many times, that I no longer have any idea what is correct and what isn't. This results in me having no interest in addressing those who are of a different colour to myself unless I know them by name. As far as the 'knee' is concerned, I fail to see what this has to do with football. As has been pointed out a similar style of protest was carried out decades ago by American Olympic athletes, which had far more impact, I would suggest, than what is happening now week after week.

Like FF I too remember the Nazi salutes, I also remember bananas being thrown, gorilla chants etc. etc.. Nobody wants that again. Anybody with half a braincell KNOWS racism is wrong, but remember in those days non white players were the exception, not like today. I for one do not need reminding EVERY week.
 
E2 Canary

E2 Canary

Member
Nice to see a discussion happening without name-calling. I think some of the discussion here would benefit from some context and a little clarification.

First, can we dispel the notion that BLM is Marxist? It's a mass movement, and sure, some members are Marxist. This article shows that the people who originated this claim are not credible sources, and are using the term "Marxist" as a slur to try to discredit the movement as a whole.
https://www.tampabay.com/news/natio...act-is-black-lives-matter-a-marxist-movement/

Second, if you already consciously disagree with racism and think it's good that we've moved on from the bad old days where racial abuse regularly happened in football grounds, why object to something that represents a positive move towards a more just society?

I think if you're straight and white, and have not lived through the kind of discrimination that black people face and have faced, I can understand why you might look at athletes kneeling in support of black people, or at the rainbow laces campaign and think 'this isn't for me.' And you know what? You're right, it isn't for you. it's for black people, or LGBT+ people. But it takes nothing away from you, and it costs you nothing to approve of it, or even to let it just wash over you. The idea with these campaigns is that they prompt people to consider their unconscious bias and the unconscious bias of society as a whole. I used to tell myself I didn't like people 'telling me what to think' but then I realised that actually, I didn't like people making me feel guilty. But as I grew and changed I realised that if something makes me feel a little bit guilty, that's probably a good thing. We all need to work on our biases, including people like me, who are working consciously on being anti-racist. I've done unconsciously racist things in the past, those things have hurt people, and I don't want to keep doing them, so I'm happy to have the reminders.

I also understand the argument that it's happening without you agreeing to it. But we tolerate a lot of things claiming our attention without us permitting it. I don't gamble (mostly because it's never appealed to me) and I resent advertising from gambling firms. And the thing here is that the gambling company logos on our team's shirts are there because a company paid more money than other companies to put them there. It wasn't a moral choice, it was a commercial imperative. But no-one is paying the players to kneel – they are *choosing* to do it. The fact that some players choose not to kneel just proves that those who do are making a genuine expression of sentiment and of solidarity with other human beings. If it makes it easier to accept, why not think of the kneeling as an act of personal morality? Devoutly Christian players coming off the subs bench often cross themselves, and I don't see anyone complaining about that. I'm not religious, the gesture is not 'for' me, but it doesn't hurt anyone, and it doesn't feel like anyone telling me what to think or what to believe.

Personally, I think it's great that we've got to the point where racism and other forms of intolerance are the exception rather than the norm in football grounds. I think everyone here agrees with that statement. But intolerance is always in danger of coming back, so any kind of ritual that reminds us not to backslide is totally fine by me.

A nice guy who feels BLM isn't for him has no problem living and letting live, and doesn't feel the need to boo kneeling athletes. The man who is angry enough to boo is not a nice guy and, even though I'm not a gambling man, odds are he got that angry because he's a racist.

That was quite an essay, so if you read all the way to the end, thanks for your time. I hope it's a useful contribution to the debate here, and please do bear in mind it's offered respectfully and in peace.
 
morty

morty

Moderator
Staff member
Sorry, but am about to disagree on several points there. To simply dismiss people's issues with BLM is just because they are Marxists is very much missing the point,there are many other reasons people disapprove of them. However though, the "leaders" of BLM are self confessed trained Marxists, why even mention it if it isn't relevant?They have a political statement of intent on their website that is extremely Marxist in it's construct.And generally it is lefter leaning individuals who have the most approval, as they can see a bit of Marxism by stealth. BLM really came to the fore during the 2016 US elections, and, not very surprisingly suddenly reappeared during the 2020 election run up. I wonder what they have been doing in the meantime?

This is an organisation that has collected hundreds of millions of dollars in donations, yet oddly, I have never heard of what they have spent the money on? Community projects? Foodbanks? Not heard a peep.

This is an organisation that prompted riots and social disturbances all across America. I watched the speech in Cambridge where people dressed like Black Panthers spouted some pretty hateful and divisive stuff. We all watched as people smashed statues and burned flags. Black people dressed in body armour, marching through London like some kind of militia. We have seen a black sports personality telling people to mobilise the black pound, actively spend your money in black businesses, and shun white owned ones. Sorry, but this was never about equality or racial harmony. It was divisive and nasty, it was never about racism. To a lot of people this is almost like an inverted KKK.

These are the points that people disagree with, nobody has ever booed a Rainbow laces, Equality or Kick it out campaign, have they? A recent UK survey revealed that the majority of people feel that BLM has set racial equality back, and that racial tensions have increased. BLM were very much motivated by American issues with their police force (Spoiler the problem is primarily guns, not just inherent racism) so a lot of people in the UK thought "Hang on, what does this have to do with Britain?" A lot of folk also have no desire to self flagellate every day about their own guilt, or alleged "white privilege".

Apologies if you do not like the source of this article, but there are similar stories across all news platforms.

 
Fenway Frank

Fenway Frank

Well-Known Member
It was interesting at the weekend that a few clubs decided to not do the knee, and a number of players as individuals, including Zimbo. I also think that supporters are more content with both sets of players holding up a banner before a match. As Morty has said, the kick it out campaign never had this problem, I would guess that it’s because it comes across as a lot less militant.
 
N

Number 9

Well-Known Member
I have just read Dave Freezer's tweets regarding this.
Basically he's saying that anyone who doesn't sign up to BLM and drop the knee is an uneducated racist.
Very strange, I doubt his employers would allow him to write such political stuff in his articles.
 
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