I am sure by now that everyone in the UK or anyone who is even remotely interested in sports is aware of the outcome of the Euros 2020 football tournament; 30.95million from the UK tuned in to watch it alone, an astonishing figure. The competition was filled with optimism and lifted the spirits of an entire nation, as I walked through the streets of my city, I saw flags draping off buildings, fans cheering, and the spirits of the public was at all-time high; I had never seen such patriotic behaviour and it was glorious! Despite all the controversy during the build-up, it looked like for a while that football truly was coming home!
Now we can all admit that there was quite a bit of disappointment when our first final in over 55 years did not go how we had hoped, and the trophy returned to Rome with our Italian friends (or foes) and the entire country was left feeling a little disappointed. At this point, some may have referred to us as ‘sore losers’ with what followed.
I should begin by stating the obvious; I like my fellow Conservatives will condemn racism in its tracks, alongside any form of mass discrimination on such a scale. I will stand by my fellow man, or woman, and fight for the right to equal opportunity in life and allow any citizen who wishes the ability to make something of themselves and navigate the ways of life we hold so dear in this beautiful country. Had this been the case, I would have been the first to express my thoughts on the matter and would have fought the fight to create a fairer and more just a tournament and sporting organisation. But this didn’t happen, it never happened, and I’ll explain why…
Let me start by discussing the choice of England to ‘take the knee’ during the beginning of every match. The choice was condemned by a large amount of England fans, and by a large number of Conservative politicians. This was not because we are racist, as I previously stated all conservatives will stand up to racism where appropriate, but instead was because of what ‘taking the knee’ represents. We opposed the gesture as before it was used by the England team, its symbolism became unanimous with the political organisation Black Lives Matter (BLM) and all they represent. Most regular British folk cannot support a political organisation lead by Marxist ideologists that support the destruction of a history that makes our country who we are today, and something a lot of us are proud of including me! When you are in the stadium and hear us boo, we do not boo because we are racist or that we encourage inequality, we are booing because your gesture is unanimous with an anti-British ideology. Now you may see the FA released a statement stating that their intention had nothing to do with the BLM organisation, but if this were the case you must then ask yourself why we still oppose the gesture. Well to be frank we don’t buy it; the timing was too coincidental and too widely used by BLM. It’s therefore unlikely we will ever support the gesture; if it is that important to you change the gesture to remove the link, and you’ll probably find you have a much larger support system! The ‘Kick it out’ campaign is a wonderful example of an organisation that has one goal and can be mutually beneficial and national agreeable.
But why is this relevant to what happened post-game? Well, it seems that this misconception held by some was used as a catalyst to fuel the fire. What followed was a mirage of racist tweets from a variety of rogue accounts across public platforms Twitter and Instagram. The choice of the England coach to put forward three black players to score penalties for us was wrongly met. Now if we ignore contemplating why Gareth Southgate did not put the best players for the job forward, then you can consider whether this reaction is a true reflection of English values.
England very quickly became the centre of attention, and even from within was accused of being incredibly racist and complacent in the abuse received by our team. England and its football culture had been branded, and there was seemingly no way out of it.
BBC Newsnight revealed that a total of 64 Instagram accounts were responsible for the racist comments, and of the 64 only 5 were found to be run by people living in the UK, the rest were abroad. The FA themselves found that of the few hundred Twitter accounts that were subjecting our team to the comments, 70% of them were from accounts overseas. This leaves very few comments coming from within and being used by our own. Surely if such a large portion of Brits opposing the taking the knee were racist, then this number would be much higher than we originally thought? A few dozen compared to the population of Britain, is far from enough to generalise a nation.
If this were the case, I would not be writing this article right now, I would be out fighting against the inequality in our society that would have seemingly been presented to us by many. But this isn’t the case, and a few dozen rogue accounts do not represent the 66.65 million who live in our great nation. I see more outrage against England because of these few dozen accounts, than I do for love for our country. These people owe England an apology, and I think it’s time to keep politics out of football. Focus on the game, it’s why the fans go.