Football has been keen to demonstrate its support for the Black Lives Matter movement in recent weeks. Players have been taking the knee before kick off and Sky Sports has included the organisation’s hashtag before each of its ad breaks.
But a series of controversial tweets from the British BLM organisation has caused a number of pundits to rein in their endorsement. Over the weekend, the British arm of Black Lives Matter made a series of politically charged statements on Twitter when it called for the defunding of the police as well criticising the ‘colonial pursuits’ of Israel.
Miss S notes that Gary Neville, Jamie Redknapp, Kelly Cates and Patrice Evra were not seen wearing BLM badges during Sky Sports’ coverage of Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United, despite having donned the badges before.
The move came after the premier league qualified their support of BLM, saying they did not back any political organisation. Fellow Sky pundit Matt le Tisier said he was ‘reviewing’ BLM’s political direction and Wolverhampton captain Karl Henry tweeted that support for the cause was not the same as support for the organisation:
The majority of people, me included, have supported the ‘Black Lives Matter’ message, not the political organisation.
If a political organisation named themselves ‘Thank you NHS’, would saying those words make you a supporter of that political organisation?
Of course not! 🤷🏾♂️
— Karl Henry (@karlhenry08) July 1, 2020
But no sooner had the trio of Sky pundits dropped the badges than David Jones, James Collins and Ashley Cole were seen wearing badges again during their appearances on the network.
It remains to be seen whether, in the light of the UK BLM’s recent tweets, Premier League players will continue to wear a Black Lives Matter badge on the right sleeve of their shirt, especially given the League’s concerns about remaining politically neutral.
Miss S wonders whether, to even things out, Liverpool could don Labour rosettes, Chelsea Tory ones and Crystal Palace could whip out their underused, third yellow away kit to plug the Lib Dems.