Sunday 6 December 2020

Talking the knee

Millwall fans were back at The Den for the first time yesterday and booed as players took the knee, with some shouting "Get up!"

Many people understand why they booed:
Paul Embery: Millwall fans didn’t boo because they are racist. They have taken many black players to their hearts over the years. They booed because what began as a single act of solidarity has, as usual, turned into a protracted moral lecture. That is what irritates people. Understand it.  
Paul Embery: Hold on. Many people across society are uncomfortable about this act of submission which seems to have done more to divide than unite black and white. Football fans boo when players do things on the pitch which they don’t like. This is no different. Lay off Millwall fans.  
Ben Cobley: Never been a fan of Millwall fans. Undoubtedly a racist element there - always has been. However, ahem, they have a point. Booing racialist ideology and grifting is a fair thing to do.  
Liam O'Neil: Have to add my congratulations and full respect to Millwall FC Fans for their valiant anti-woke protest. Thank you for leading the way, I hope we see many more join in at every stadium in the country.  
Laura Perrins: Take the knee to support Marxist BLM if you want. But do not expect the fans, who buy their tickets to watch football, to go along with your cowardice and virtue signalling garbage.

Maajid Nawaz: I don’t care that Millwall fans booed taking the knee. What can often appear inexplicable usually has a simple explanation: We are sick & tired of virtue signalling corporate minstrel shows, as they cooperate with the likes of the genocidal regime in China.

Other people don't understand why they booed. 

Here's how the incident was reporting live on BBC One's Final Score by Ben Mundy:
Ben Mundy, BBC: We'll get to Wayne Rooney in a second and to matters on the pitch, but it is matters off the pitch dominating thing here at The Den this afternoon, the ugly side to having supporters back in stadium, booing as the players took the knee prior to kick off. It comes after Millwall released a statement yesterday on behalf of the players saying they will continue to do it because the gesture means they can showcase their support for the fight against discrimination. There are only 2,000 fans here. It wasn't all of them. But clearly something needs to be addressed.

And here's Final Score presenter Eilidh Barbour:

Eilidh Barbour, BBC: Well, Dion, it's so disappointing to hear and it is again an example that education needs to continue and this is something that still exists in the football game.

The media's response is also drawing comment: 

Julia Hartley-Brewer: "Quite shocking" is how a presenter on Sky News just described Millwall fans booing players taking the knee yesterday. It wasn't shocking at all. Not to anyone living in the real world. It was entirely predictable. Fans don't want divisive woke politics at football matches.  
Patrick O'Flynn:  Almost 80% of Tory voters (the party that won the general election) think BLM has raised racial tensions. So how can BBC/Sky/ITV outlets only cover the booing of footballers taking the knee in condemnatory fashion, as if it were proof of Far Right bigotry?  

James BartholomewThe BBC 4 propaganda channel reported the boos of football fans at the kneeling to BLM only incidentally to reporting condemnation of the boos. It made no attempt to quote anyone explaining or justifying the boos. Now the same on Radio 5 Live but more so with one of the presenters saying he hopes the Football Association will "stamp it out". The BBC lives in a parallel universe where nobody acknowledges BLM as divisive. 

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