Most football fans will have noticed the English Premier League (EPL), and other leagues though-out Europe open support for Black Lives Matter. I found this quite perplexing, as the rules on wearing items of political support during a football match by FIFA are very strict.
According to the Laws of the Game, Law 4, Section 5 states:
“Equipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans,
statements or images…statements or images related to the following are not
permitted…any local, regional, national or international political party/organisation/
group, etc…any organisation whose aims/actions are likely to offend a notable
number of people.”
Now according to this article, the aims of BLM are as follows:
- de-funding the police
- dismantling capitalism and the patriarchal system
- disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure
- seeking reparations from slavery to redistribute wealth and via various offshoot appeals
- to raise money to bail black prisoners awaiting trial.
Now, I am not an expert on the football regulations, but I would certainly argue that all of the aims of BLM breach Law 4. Quite simply, most of these aims would require major political change to be enacted. If those aims are not political, exactly what is? Compare this to the ban on teams wearing the poppy. The Royal British Legion were not, nor are not demanding any political change, unlike BLM.
The behaviour of some BLM protestors did offend many people, remember this incident?
Despite all of the above, why did the FA and EPL give the green light to actively support this organisation without researching its aims? One can only surmise that the FA received authorisation from FIFA for this to go ahead. Otherwise, FIFA would have levied a fine against the FA and respective clubs involved for promoting political slogans. As no penalties occurred, it is fair to assume the authorisation must have come from the very top. Additionally, there were no major concerns raised by the clubs themselves.
This is very dangerous grounds for the clubs and the companies who televise the football. For a commercial business, involving yourself in politics is a sure-fire way of losing customers, neutrality is very important. Personally, I cancelled my Sky subscription; I suspect I may not be the only one. I no longer want my money going to the clubs (nor any organisation) that support a violent Marxist takeover. As a (former) customer, I had the power to do that.
As far as I’m aware, no footballer refused to ‘take the knee’; if any readers know otherwise, please share this. Matthew Le Tissier, the former Southampton footballer, turned pundit admitted being asked him to wear a BLM badge. Le Tissier bravely refused, Karl Henry also labelled BLM as ‘divisive’.
As for the current crop of professional footballers, none publicly questioned BLM’s motives (I doubt most of the players actually really care). They were only concerned with keeping their sponsors and lying low. Perhaps they may be more concerned in the future if BLM manages to redistribute their wealth or seize their multi-million-pound mansions in Cheshire? Compare this to the backlash against Jake Hepple by Burnley.
As I said earlier, this woke charade was an ill-considered venture by the EPL. The clubs will already be losing money due to social distancing and going forward, those 50,000 seater stadia will no longer be able to hold that amount of people. Stadium capacity may be cut substantially, and many season ticket holders will think twice about returning for fear of a ‘second wave’. What also of the public who have witnessed, and been outraged by the scenes of carnage throughout the UK? Will they continue to financially support football?
With reduced revenue, many players will find themselves expensive luxuries, and some clubs will go under. The EPL will need every penny it gets, especially if a major recession occurs and people can no longer afford to watch subscription television. The situation has all the ingredients of a perfect storm.
The ‘capital’ that finds its way into the clubs’ coffers and players’ paycheques will dry up. The irony here is that without capitalism, they would have no money to begin with. Lets see how quickly they agree with the BLM’s aim of ‘dismantling capitalism’ when that happens.
Perhaps though, money is starting to dry up, and the EPL realise they may have gone too far. It was reported here that they are now trying to distance themselves from the ‘political movement’ of BLM. A bit late gents to say the least, as that horse has already bolted.
On a final note, history repeats, and we have witnessed football become political before. The England team in 1938 did the equivalent of ‘taking the knee’ for a despotic, evil regime; and history, quite rightly, never forgave them for it.