Forget football for a moment. Here’s a for instance. You decide to settle down in front of Sky Atlantic’s latest HBO blockbuster The Undoing.
After the opening credits, the camera pans across the Manhattan skyline and comes to rest in the drawing room of a fancy apartment on Fifth Avenue. But before the drama gets under way, you are forced to watch Hugh Grant, Nicole Kidman and Donald Sutherland waving ‘Trump Won’ placards protesting the result of the 2020 election.
They’re all wearing Make America Great Again baseball caps. An identical slogan is plastered across the top of the screen. Every couple of minutes the programme is interrupted by a flash card reading: Build That Wall.
How would you react? My guess is that you’d either switch off immediately or chuck the nearest heavy object through your flatscreen TV before cancelling your subscription.
Of course, this is purely hypothetical. Sky wouldn’t dream of subjecting viewers of Sky Atlantic or Sky Cinema to such crass political grandstanding.
Sky Sports News is unwatchable. These days it’s like tuning into a Guardian editorial conference on Zoom. All you want to know is the latest team news. Instead you’re bombarded with fatuous agitprop tailored to appeasing BLM
So why the hell do they think it’s perfectly acceptable to keep badgering Sky Sports customers with Black Lives Matter propaganda? Every live event features the BLM logo alongside the scorecard. Every action replay is heralded by an anti-racism bumper — even though subliminal advertising on television has been banned since 1958.
Sky Sports News is unwatchable. These days it’s like tuning into a Guardian editorial conference on Zoom. All you want to know is the latest team news. Instead you’re bombarded with fatuous agitprop tailored to appeasing BLM.
‘Hate will not stop us.’ What the hell is that supposed to mean? ‘We Hear. We See. We Commit.’ Oh, do grow up.
Ad breaks are book-ended by film of American gridiron players kneeling and giving the black power clenched fist salute.
This week they even added a ridiculous ‘Rainbow Laces’ logo. I turned on for the pre-match show from The Hawthorns on Sunday to find poor old Graeme Souness wearing a rainbow lapel badge and discussing homophobia and transphobia, rather than addressing West Brom’s inability to find the back of the net this season.
Watching Sky Sports News voluntarily is to behave like that bloke who used to sing Mule Train on TV while smashing himself over the head with a tin tea tray every few seconds.
During the summer, worn down by Covid and lockdown, half the country went slightly bonkers. But that doesn’t excuse the way in which Sky and the Premier League have fastened on to BLM to burnish their own dubious compassionate credentials
Of course, Sky is only following the cynical lead set by the English Premier League, which has embraced BLM like a long-lost lover and encourages players to take the knee before every game.
No surprise there. The EPL is merely acting in character, like every bully who wallows in self-righteous sentimentality.
Just as the Kray twins used to distribute toys to children’s hospitals at Christmas to convince people they weren’t really monsters, so the Premier League clambers aboard every passing bandwagon to prove how much it cares. The Black Lives Matter overkill is merely the latest manifestation.
Now then, this shouldn’t really be necessary, but let’s get the caveats out of the way before the usual brain-dead suspects start screaming RAY-CIST (not that it’ll stop them). Like most decent people, like most decent football supporters, I abhor racism.
More than 20 years ago, I was presenting TV and radio shows promoting the nascent Kick It Out movement alongside founder member Paul Elliott, the black former Chelsea defender.
I supported Trevor Phillips, then the head of the Equalities Commission, when he proposed football adopted the American ‘Rooney Rule’, which would have ensured that every shortlist for a manager, coach or administrator vacancy included at least one ethnic minority candidate — an initiative that the ‘anti-racist’ football authorities rejected out of hand.
I turned on for the pre-match show from The Hawthorns on Sunday to find poor old Graeme Souness wearing a rainbow lapel badge and discussing homophobia and transphobia, rather than addressing West Brom’s inability to find the back of the net this season
As recently as this summer, I suggested that rather than tearing down statues of dead white males, it would be more constructive to erect a statue of the pioneering black professional footballer and World War I hero Walter Tull outside the new Spurs stadium. We’re still waiting.
Instead, before every single game we have to put up with players taking the knee, a puerile gesture imported from the U.S., following the horrible death of George Floyd.
This ghastly incident was seized upon by the far-Left BLM UK to foment trouble in Britain. Thousands of people genuinely worried about racism were suckered into supporting BLM from the best of motives.
During the summer, worn down by Covid and lockdown, half the country went slightly bonkers. But that doesn’t excuse the way in which Sky and the Premier League have fastened on to BLM to burnish their own dubious compassionate credentials.
Who elected them to be the guardians of our national moral conscience? These are two of the most rapacious corporations out there, afloat on a tsunami of money from foreign betting companies.
Only yesterday, it was reported that ministers are considering forcing clubs to remove betting firm logos from shirts.
There are estimated to be 430,000 problem gamblers in Britain. Last year, gamblers lost a combined £14.4 billion.
How much of that filthy lucre found its way into the coffers of Sky and the Premier League?
We See. We Hear. We Couldn’t Give A Monkey’s.
Look, I don’t doubt the sincerity of the players taking the knee, even though some of them may have been intimidated into complying.
Which of them would dare to refuse? They’d face the same kind of opprobrium as any foolhardy member of the Soviet Communist Party who was first to stop clapping after one of Stalin’s speeches.
When this nonsense started back in the summer, I predicted it wouldn’t survive the return of fans. So it proved at The Den on Saturday, when Millwall fans booed players taking the knee. I’m not going to condone the booing, nor am I going to condemn it. Millwall supporters have every right to make their feelings heard.
Allegiance runs deep, passed down through families and communities. Fans resent their clubs being hijacked by the opportunist, Johnny-Come-Lately forces of wokery.
To accuse anyone who objects to players taking the knee of being a dyed-in-the-wool racist is disgraceful. Those throwing around such slurs should be ashamed of themselves.
Does their vile, wokier-than-thou abuse also extend to QPR’s director of football Les Ferdinand, among our most distinguished black former footballers, one of millions who think this crass gesture has served its purpose and should be abandoned?
Or the black Tory minister James Cleverly, who has fought racism all his life and said yesterday he would never take the knee?
For my part, I’ve often said I hate everything about football, except the football. (Mind you, after the second half on Sunday I’m not even sure about the football any more, despite Spurs beating the Arsenal 2-0.)
Regardless, I won’t be renewing my season ticket at Tottenham while the club continues to support a Marxist front organisation which wants to defund the police and smash the nuclear family.
The final straw came on Remembrance Sunday when, after observing a minute’s silence for our glorious war dead, the players then knelt in subjugation to a sometimes violent, politically motivated mob which attacked Churchill’s statue and desecrated the Cenotaph.
Perhaps when Spurs chairman Daniel Levy demonstrates his sincerity by standing down in favour of a black community leader from the neighbouring Broadwater Farm Estate, I might reconsider.
Until then, enough already. Get off your knees.
The Baked Bean’s a fascist machine
Charles and Camilla have paid a state visit to London’s legendary rock venue The 100 Club, to show support for the live music sector, which has been crippled by Covid.
(UK Music’s chairman Tom Watson, aka the Nonce Finder General, has played a blinder during the pandemic, hasn’t he?)
Camilla said she went to the club to see The Faces back in the Seventies.
I wonder if the pair of them ever sneaked in during the punk era, when the Sex Pistols burst on to the scene like a lanced boil.
You can just imagine Camilla in her Siouxsie Sioux bondage gear and Charles doing the full Johnny Rotten.
God Save The QUEEEEEEEENN!!!!
- What a joy to see the streets crammed with shoppers again, even if they weren’t social distancing.
Needless to say, the risk-averse authorities weren’t happy. In Nottingham, elf’n’safety shut the Christmas market.
In London, police arrested four people in the crush outside Harrods. But what did they expect when restrictions were lifted?
For months, people have been penned in — literally, in the case of Manchester students imprisoned behind steel fences.
If you treat people like cattle, don’t be surprised that they stampede when you open the gates.