This week, some footballers ‘took the knee’ and people in the crowd booed. The sweet FA is apparently investigating and has ‘asked both clubs for their observations’.
Here’s my observation for the FA grandees – they should start dealing with the nailed-on cases of racism that they routinely bottle rather than pandering to high-profile, super-woke frauds who are trousering fat media commissions and boosting their fawning follower counts by pumping out crap copy and gaslighting the public with their tenuous sensationalism.
When you boil it all down to the facts, some spectators at a sporting event exercised their democratic right to indicate their displeasure. And?
Now, there likely were a few prejudiced scumbags in the throng – any droid with a whimsical grasp of probability could have tipped us the wink on that one. But there are racists who sing ‘Happy Birthday’, and that doesn’t make that hearty ditty a fascist battle-cry.
At worst – like chanting during a national anthem – it was rude and disrespectful. But so what? Football crowds are hardly renowned for their saintly disportment. They pay their entry fee, and as long as their chants do not break the law, they can fill their boots.
And plain, old-fashioned hooting is not unlawful. Well, not yet anyway. It has caused outrage not because it could ever be deemed to be racist, but because it dared to challenge the woke orthodoxy.
The bottom line is that we have no idea about the motivations of either the boo-boys or the kneelers.
The kneelers might have been makers of a peaceful statement of solidarity, respecters of fallen comrades, hopeless virtue-signallers, press-ganged weaklings, or leftist extremists.
Those jeering might have been racists, non-conformists, those who deplore politics entering sport, Nottingham Forest fans, trolls, misanthropes, or Belgians.
Or a combination of all of the above or none of the above? Who knows, and who cares? And the answer to both questions should be ‘nobody‘.
Like all symbols or symbolic acts, particularly ones that are employed across cultures and contexts, they will attract varied interpretation and degrees of both warmth and froideur from onlookers.
A crowd whose personal motivations we cannot discern showed their displeasure at a group of sportsmen whose individual motivations for kneeling we cannot ever know. That really is the sum of it.
Maybe the crowd were justified. Maybe they weren’t. Maybe some people were affronted. So what?
What we can say for sure is that labelling the jeering ‘racist’ is as daft as claiming those who took the knee are ‘Marxist agitators’.
It would be so much better if the chief clowns got stuck into the real nasty racist stuff rather than fannying about to fabricate a soft, safe ‘incident’ that was over before it began.
It might also wake up the woke to how their posturing detracts from the real issue of racism, and how, in a few short weeks, it robbed the popular Black Lives Matter movement of its meaningful momentum.
But don’t hold your breath.