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> Taking the knee before matches, Black Lives Matter
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awardinary
post Feb 15 2021, 12:59 PM
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If there is already a discussion on this matter then just disregard this thread, but otherwise I wanted to see what people thought of this visible stance taken before kick off in each football match and whether or not it is having any sort of positive impact on the whole or has the motion ceased to have any effect on stamping out racism in football? It seems that each week there is a news story surrounding another player whose been the victim of online abuse and this trend keeps continuing despite social media companies pledging to do more.

All Iím asking on this subject is when should taking the knee before a match stop because it seems it isnít having any real impact in the real world.
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Rooney
post Feb 15 2021, 01:36 PM
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It is a nice symbolic gesture but it all just feels hollow and empty. I don't mind it, it doesn't bother me so I can take it or leave it.

What I will say is the whole racism in football with regards to social media is taken massively out of contact. People racially abusing black players is not a problem with football, it's a problem with society. There is a "banter" culture in football which has been there since the really dark days, fans say stuff or chant stuff because they know it winds people up. Social media certainly does not help matters. The problem mainly with racism in football and what can be in football's control is the match attending fans. Now this is still a huge problem, although a lot has been done since the 80s which is great. But with fans not really able to go to the grounds you couldn't say either way whether or not it has had an effect.
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Flatcap
post Feb 15 2021, 06:54 PM
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I have thought for some time that there is not much being done despite the gesture. It just seems rather empty. If there had been news of government looking at improving the laws where discrimination are concerned, I would see that it is having a positive impact. But sadly, I am not.
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Dobbo.
post Feb 16 2021, 09:57 AM
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I get the impression it's just a tick-box exercise now for most of the players.
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Quarantilas
post Feb 16 2021, 10:34 AM
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I think that if players wish to show solidarity and that then itís great for them to do such a thing. I think that for a lot of the white players it then becomes more of a box ticking PR exercise they can do in lieu of actual anti-discrimination work.

And as if footballs problems are limited to racism. Just look at the comments under any rainbow laces post (itself a performative meaningless gesture) and the torrent of abuse is abhorrent. We should be tackling all forms of bigotry in football and racism is as good as any a place to start but until the clubs take a good long hard look at their own fans and start weeding out any form of bigotry there will always be a safe place for it to multiply. Homophobic chanting was widely participated in when I was a season ticket holder. You heard it basically every match from every visiting team and the home fans. The irony of Brighton fans and Mancs trading homophobic chants when both cities are two of the most LGBT friendly cities in the UK was not lost on me. Also heard more than enough racial abuse. Itís prolific. And they say you can text to report it but have you ever tried sending a text message at Old Trafford on match day? Itís literally impossible. By the time it finally sends the racist prick is halfway back to London!
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Doctor Blind
post Feb 16 2021, 11:04 AM
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I find the whole thing a bit performative; where it started with Kaepernick it was an act of defiance and was a powerful statement. This is just the latest in a long line of PR 'box ticking' exercises that is designed to make it look ike something is being done, but is achieving little to nothing to tackle racism in football. It won't change things but it does absolve the clubs and the sport of any guilt about the pretty endemic and shocking racism that still widely exists.

QUOTE(Quarantilas @ Feb 16 2021, 10:34 AM) *
I think that if players wish to show solidarity and that then itís great for them to do such a thing. I think that for a lot of the white players it then becomes more of a box ticking PR exercise they can do in lieu of actual anti-discrimination work.

And as if footballs problems are limited to racism. Just look at the comments under any rainbow laces post (itself a performative meaningless gesture) and the torrent of abuse is abhorrent. We should be tackling all forms of bigotry in football and racism is as good as any a place to start but until the clubs take a good long hard look at their own fans and start weeding out any form of bigotry there will always be a safe place for it to multiply. Homophobic chanting was widely participated in when I was a season ticket holder. You heard it basically every match from every visiting team and the home fans. The irony of Brighton fans and Mancs trading homophobic chants when both cities are two of the most LGBT friendly cities in the UK was not lost on me. Also heard more than enough racial abuse. Itís prolific. And they say you can text to report it but have you ever tried sending a text message at Old Trafford on match day? Itís literally impossible. By the time it finally sends the racist prick is halfway back to London!


I suppose it isn't really a surprise how it seems to basically be a much larger problem at the big clubs -through 'safety in numbers' playing out. I've seen plenty of games at Exeter City and the crowd chants have been generally of good humour and/or light-hearted banter without the need to descend into racist or homophobic chants, that's especially compared to going to Old Trafford with my Dad where you'd hear about 6 C-words within the first few minutes, and that's someone just going to get some food for someone else before the game.
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PeteFromLeeds
post Feb 18 2021, 09:20 PM
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I've been trying to put my thoughts on this into words but they never come out too well! Personally I think it's a positive gesture and I'm glad it's still ongoing but it should be complementing targeted changes in the sport instead of replacing them.

I saw today in the news that Wilfried Zaha has vowed to stop taking the knee before matches - not sure if his viewpoint is isolated or not but if black footballers themselves are against the repetition of taking the knee then maybe it's time it should be put to bed. But of course only if more measures are put in place to actually crack down on the fans who continue to promote racism throughout the sport.
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awardinary
post Feb 18 2021, 09:27 PM
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QUOTE(PeteFromLeeds @ Feb 18 2021, 09:20 PM) *
Personally I think it's a positive gesture and I'm glad it's still ongoing but it should be complementing targeted changes in the sport instead of replacing them.

Thatís how it was perceived at the beginning, and you could definitely see that sense of solidarity and commitment to ending racism in football, but now that itís been going on for so long it has lost its sense of urgency, and who decides when to stop taking the knee before matches and the reaction that would inevitably come from the world media?

In my opinion it is a publicity stunt and nothing more. I too would demand more to be done than is currently, but this act has surely run its course now and should come to an end as it isnít achieving anything at all.
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PeteFromLeeds
post Feb 18 2021, 09:37 PM
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Maybe it it purely a publicity stunt, but whilst it is still there, even if it's doing nothing else, it's a (even if just in the background) reminder of the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement. If taking the knee stops AND there isn't any actual change then we've basically made no progress since this time last year.

So I guess my opinion is that I'm perfectly happy for it to stop, but only if there is a lasting impact throughout football and its fans.
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