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England at the Riverside

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Martin Bellamy
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I was very disappointed with the booing of the players as they took the knee last night before the England game.
Does anyone know how tickets were allocated? Was there a majority of local fans in the stadium or was it the usual Engerland crowd from across the country? 
The Euros will be embarrassing if this happens are every game. 


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Powmill-Naemore
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I felt the same Martin and did also wonder if they were local or, as you put it, part of the usual "ingerland" brigade


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jarkko
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Same here, Martin. But at least the clapping majority showed its power.

I think a few were local but all the tickets were sold through two England supporter club members. England Supporters Club travel members first, and remaining seats were then made available to My England Football members a week later.

But I saw there were some locals as one of above clubs can be easily (and without costs?) joined in. Some tweeted that they saw their regular seat after a break of over a year! They were not served their regular seat but saw them.

I would guess that 20 % were locals but I do really not know. Steve Gibson was there at least 😁.

Up the Boro!


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Martin Bellamy
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So the booing continues. I’ll say this, if you boo players taking a knee, after Southgate has explained why they do it, then you’re a racist. There can be no other reason, I’m afraid. 

"Ahead of today's game, our players will once again take the knee as a show of solidarity with the Black community, including members of our squad who themselves continue to suffer abuse on a regular basis.

"Please support them, just as we know you will once the game begins."

You may not like the BLM movement, you may think it’s political nonsense, but if the England manager explains that it’s about his team and you still boo, then you’re racist. 


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werdermouth
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As I've previously argued, it was probably initially a mistake to adopt the powerful US-movement BLM symbolism of taking the knee before football games as it was specifically a movement to show solidarity against extra-judicial killing of young black men and women by the police and the specific issues treatment by law officers in the states.

Primarily, as it's allowed many right-wing commentators to blur the issue of the gesture by claiming that taking the knee before a football game is a political campaign that supports some of the fringe BLM groups wider objectives. Though, if the likes of Toby Young, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Laurence Fox are involved in a Twitter spat with Gary Lineker for supporting taking the knee, then it's perhaps those who are supporting the booing who have a political agenda.

Even the official Twitter account for Leave.EU decided for some reason to weigh in against Lineker for apparently "being out of touch with the Great British public" - which is hard to work out why given it was actual a gesture by the players of the England team and not any of those pesky Europeans.

Therefore, I think it would have been a bigger mistake to stop taking the knee in response to booing and those who support the booing by people who preferred to avoid listening to Gareth Southgate's explanation of what the players mean when they take the knee - what message would that have sent to those who choose to engage in any argument by simply booing those who are showing solidarity against racism.

Sadly it seems the UK and probably England in particular has quickly moved on in the post-Brexit era to be fuelling further culture wars that appear to be little more than thinly-veiled dismissal of anything not aligned with white English culture by those who let's say have an old-fashioned view of what constitutes patriotism.

Perhaps people should keep a careful eye on what it is that is being deemed acceptable or rather more to the point why it should be acceptable for middle-aged white men wearing Ingerland T-Shirts to boo young English black players for trying to make the point in 2021 that all should expect to be treated equally regardless of skin colour - Or equally why middle-aged white journalists and actors support their right to boo a clearly anti-racist message!

This post was modified 6 days ago by werdermouth

Redcar Red
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I've seen so many explanations and opinions expressed about what taking the knee stands for that I don't think there is a common consensus of what it now means. I fully understand the stand against Racism and I fully support that but the BLM thing muddied the waters a bit and then the Marxist angle was thrown at it (I personally don't see it but many do, I guess people see what they want to see) and then we have Players also doing a clenched fist salute in addition which I am led to believe means something different still. I'm at the point where it now seems to mean whatever someone believes it to mean which is never a good thing for any campaign. The base message I think is the same but it does seem to have grown spurious arms and legs over time.

The wave of emotion after the events of last year was understandable but whatever Gareth and his Players think about the gesture the public now have many different and some conflicting views and opinions. Social media and then the actual printed Press have all added their twist/take/justification on it. When it got to the stage of James Cook supposedly being targeted because of his alleged choice of words 250 years ago credibility for me started to be diluted. Slave owners and Slave traders are one thing but an explorer and cartographer who literally mapped the world was taking things too far even accepting that his actions did have future repercussions but you can't face the future looking backwards. There again was there even any basis behind the Captain Cook rumour let alone the countless other spin off rumours.

The injustices that exist right here and right now for peoples of all backgrounds around the World are what need to be addressed. As soon as divisions are created then the potential strength of any message loses a huge part of the populous. There were flags from every part of the UK draped around the Riverside last week so it wasn't just a Teesside thing but telling a lad from say Southbank or Dormanstown who is in the third or even fourth generation of a family who haven't had employment, living off benefits to get behind multi millionaires of all races because of discrimination and hardships is going to be completely totally and utterly lost on them. Their lives and their hardships is what shapes their view, they have enough of their own problems in getting by, throw in a few knuckle draggers and you have the ingredients for the perfect storm.

To me the message should be to end suffering and injustice for everyone regardless of creed, race or colour. Inclusion not exclusion. The treatment of Black people is inhumane in many parts of the world (including this country) but other races also have a tough time of it. Unfortunately the "all lives matter" rose up not out of genuine decency but more as a racist rebuke against the original BLM thus politicising it.

Taking the knee arguably had its message diluted as soon as it started and despite sports people still doing it it has had zero influence on anything. It has now unfortunately become something that divides many rather than unites and whether the message is right or wrong in any campaign if the message or the channel of communication has broken down then it's time to change the communication and methodology.

The intentions behind it are irrefutably just and good, injustices anywhere at anytime need to be addressed but I think that it has to be addressed in other ways than taking the knee. It's time for actions not symbolic gestures that have achieved nothing that are now having the opposite effect to that originally intended. Me, I personally would have stood in silence out of respect for those who have suffered and are still suffering but I would also have a thought for those in slavery today, people's whose fate can be changed if the powers that be chose to do so. The Booing was predictable and indeed even goaded beforehand. There are those who merely disagree with the gesture of taking the knee but of course there are those small minded racist bigots who revel in it so why give them the platform and the opportunity. It has become counter productive because as a campaign it hasn't been managed or led but just released then left to its own fate much like "kick it out" or "give racism the red card" beforehand. What is its objective, what are its targets, how, where and by when?

Maybe boycotting Football tournaments in countries where there are even less human rights and civil liberties than say the UK or US and where slaves are dying daily building the temples and stages that these very same Players, Managers and Football Associations are happy to play in could be a real starting point. Telling a skint youngster to show empathy with millionaires is a tough sell at the best of times regardless of how good and genuine a cause is. If something doesn't fit, hitting it with a Hammer repeatedly does not usually end with a good outcome. 

Just eradicating hunger would be a great start (Marcus Rashford take a well deserved and humbling bow). Ending all discrimination around the world be it on colour, creed, age or sex and providing a level playing field should be the goal. That objective would be more likely to resonate with an unemployed dad of three from Berwick Hills, a Black American from Minneapolis or Detroit, a migrant slave worker in the Middle East with his Passport confiscated or someone from a same sex relationship in Russia to name just a few. "A level playing field" should be the slogan, something which unites not creates divisions however unintentional that may have been at the outset. Several Clubs and Players like Boro and QPR off the top of my head reached the conclusion months ago that kneeling gestures meant nothing without action.

Football needs to change the things it can change first before taking on the rest of the world. If it does that in it's own sport then it can be a real beacon and a real catalyst for change instead of creating the distraction of a sideshow. How many Football Players and Fans alike will be boycotting the sponsors of the next World Cup and indeed the tournament itself? Those are the powerful and explosive changes it can make not giving ammunition for fat balding neanderthals their fifteen seconds of fame.

 


Martin Bellamy
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I take your points Werdermouth & RR, but I still maintain that whilst footballers of colour receive the level of online and pitch side abuse that they do, they are entitled to show their support for each other, whether they’re multi millionaires or not. 
A lad from South Bank can understand that perfectly well - being poor and with unfairly limited resources doesn’t excuse a lack of empathy in my book. If it did I’d never have had any empathy of my own as a young boy. I’d have known booing was wrong then, just as I know it’s wrong now. 
England has long attracted a type of fan who is the anathema of fair play, who sees the England flag as a sign of superiority, however misplaced that view may be and who supports a mixed race team whilst openly holding racist views. I don’t for a minute think all England fans fall into that category, but a substantial minority certainly do, so I’ll say it again. If you make monkey noises at black players, you’re a racist. If you throw bananas onto the pitch, you’re a racist. If you boo players who’ve chosen to take the knee, you’re a racist. 


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werdermouth
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It's no surprise that the meaning behind players taking the knee has been conflated by influencers in the media to imply they include various causes that may have been muted by groups who have also attached themselves to the BLM bandwagon to further their own particular political leanings.

However, surely there can be be no football supporter around who has not heard the commentator before a game state that the players take a knee to show their support against racism and all forms of discrimination - I've probably heard that nearly hundred times in the last 12 months. I've never heard Jonathan Pearce, Martin Guy or Sam Matterface state that the players take the knee in support of defunding the police and their desire to see a Marxist government come to power.

Whether you agree with the idea of using the gesture or not, it's been clear since day one to anyone with a brain (which obviously must account for some who boo) that taking a knee was purely and simply an anti-racist gesture. It's perhaps as Redcar Red posed that people tend to believe what they want to believe what the meaning of the gesture is - this is now the way of the world, you make your own narrative and add the 'facts' you wish or dismiss the fake news that doesn't fit you own bubble.

So in some ways, a cynical world just won't allow any kind of gesture to prevail in any moral high ground for much longer than the news cycle will allow it. Whether the average Joe on the street will see the world through their own perceived injustices and react to the dog whistles that those even more cynical media operators blow with relish is another matter.

Both national media and social media are awash with those who cynically manipulate the truth as they seek to out-do each other in the quest for that media notoriety that guarantees them a sizable pay-cheque from those smug newspaper columns, appearances on 'balanced' panel shows  or even radio shock-jock slots that is little more than the click-bait of the airways. 

One wonders if the Toby Young's, Julia Hartley-Brewer's and Laurence Fox's of this world actually believe any of the carefully constructed bile they spout on a daily basis or if it's just all part of ensuring their brand is kept ahead of the latest pretenders as they retain their thousands of followers who retweet them with relish.

Perhaps those young black footballers who as a sideshow get drawn into the world of acting as a role model should be applauded for showing such understanding and maturity beyond their years as they speak out while handling the daily abuse delivered on social media - all of which is fuelled by those self-serving media influencers who don't even deserve a minute of fame.

So let's not all the media deflectors try to fool the people of why young footballers are taking a knee - it's obvious an anti-racism campaign and it's just a cynical attempt to shut down the debate until unlikely action to change something becomes very unlikely indeed.


Martin Bellamy
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Original Fat Bob
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@redcarred

Great post !

OFB


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Original Fat Bob
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@jarkko

So was Bolassie with his family !

 


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Redcar Red
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Posted by: @werdermouth

surely there can be be no football supporter around who has not heard the commentator before a game state that the players take a knee to show their support against racism and all forms of discrimination - I've probably heard that nearly hundred times in the last 12 months. I've never heard Jonathan Pearce, Martin Guy or Sam Matterface state that the players take the knee in support of defunding the police and their desire to see a Marxist government come to power.

Whatever the presenters say is not going to change entrenched perceptions or views and that's assuming that people even listen to them let alone take in and reflect on it. We have just witnessed a President claiming that everything was fake news for four years and incredibly almost half of the US believed him and still do.

I would guess that those who boo like as not believe that the presenters are just following scripted instructions. That some clubs have abandoned it months ago and some perpetuate it confuses the message even more. That presenters feel the need to continually explain and repeat confirms that the message has got lost somewhere and I would say irretrievably so. Successful campaigns usually have campaign managers for good reason, the lack of one on this important topic is just one reason where it has fallen down along with all the other FA orchestrations. Well intentioned doesn't equal success.

I don't usually find myself agreeing with much that comes out of the Express these days but for what its worth:

https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1445681/England-fans-booing-Gareth-Southgate-Black-Lives-Matter-taking-a-knee-racism-football-news


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Selwynoz
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Maybe it’s time for football to develop it’s own symbolic statement that could be enacted at the start of every game in conjunction with the players shaking hands. For example, this could be done in front of a ‘No to Racism’ banner and the two teams could come together to jointly acknowledge the message. 

utb

This post was modified 5 days ago by Selwynoz

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Redcar Red
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Posted by: @selwynoz

Maybe it’s time for football to develop it’s own symbolic statement that could be enacted at the start of every game in conjunction with the players shaking hands. For example, this could be done in front of a ‘No to Racism’ banner and the two teams could come together to jointly acknowledge the message. 

utb

I think whatever "Football" does it will be a tough ask to expect cynics like myself to genuinely believe them. My contempt for FIFA, UEFA and the FA know no bounds. As an example maybe if they refused to go to Russia or Brazil and indeed Qatar on moral grounds I would have a modicum of respect for them. As it is I see them all as unfit for purpose, hypocrites and that's without opening a Pandora sized box on other issues like corruption.

 


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Redcar Red
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Posted by: @original-fat-bob

@jarkko

So was Bolassie with his family !

 

Word on Facebook is that Bolasie has just signed a two year deal. If true then its an interesting development, if false it just typifies that people are selective in what they believe or at least in what they want to believe.


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Selwynoz
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@redcarred

I wouldn't argue with your thoughts about the overall governance issues in football. Apparently, FIFA has just taken over the African Federation in the guise of an election - if what you hear on Football Weekly is correct. Equally, a standardised symbolic gesture also risks being ignored as just part of the standard guff. However, doing nothing seems to be a soft option.


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jarkko
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Posted by: @redcarred
Posted by: @original-fat-bob

@jarkko

So was Bolassie with his family !

 

Word on Facebook is that Bolasie has just signed a two year deal. If true then its an interesting development, if false it just typifies that people are selective in what they believe or at least in what they want to believe.

Interesting rumour. But if signed, why it wouldn't be published already? Up the Boro!


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werdermouth
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@redcarred

Unfortunately, the rise of social media as the primary source of information for an increasing number has allowed those people usually confined to a corner in a small pub to have an equally loud voice - more worryingly it seems many people now regard this nonsense as equally valid in comparison to people with experience who actually deal in real facts. People now prefer the comfort of their bubble where they can stick their fingers in their virtual ears and just pretend it's not true and instead believe in any kind of complex conspiracy theory to prove their own view of the world is correct.

The Neil Squires article in the Express you gave the link for makes perfect sense - as does Selwynoz's suggestion of England creating their own bespoke statement against racism. You would think that having a gesture that was unequivocal would leave no room for anyone to boo without being deemed obviously racist - sadly the likes of Julia Hartley-Brewer and Lawrence Fox are simply against being preached to by footballers and will no doubt find another angle to try and discredit any stance made.

As ever, actions speak louder than words - perhaps football should as you mentioned earlier address the issues in the game that they have control over and maybe fully boycott social media platforms that don't prevent racist posts being directed at players instead of token weekend boycotts. Then again, it's good to see those young footballers who have a platform using it so positively - they are indeed role models. 

Unfortunately, when it comes to social media, the genie is long out of the bottle and I don't think anyone knows how to put it back in - the world is now trying to work without an independent authoritative voice and people are still struggling to make sense of information overload.


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Martin Bellamy
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Neil Squires in his article worries about what the world will think of England when the booing happens during the tournament and he seems to suggest that that is a reason for the players not to take the knee.

 
For me, that’s just sweeping the issue under the carpet. Maybe the world does need to recognise what we’ve become. I don’t like it, but hiding the truth won’t help us tackle these issues. 


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jarkko
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From twitter:

Deal near completion: Yannick Bolasie agrees 2 year deal with @Boro and will join the club on July 1st following release from Everton. @YannickBolasie resisted offers from Turkey to rejoin Neil Warnock at Middlesbrough. 

Perhaps they will launch him and a 2021/22 kit at the same time tomorrow at noon?

Up the Boro!


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Martin Bellamy
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Redcar Red
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That David Squires piece for me typifies the extremes of opinion with an almost derogatory elitist "I'm right" view without taking a step back and addressing the Elephant in the room.

Don't get me wrong, booing is wrong and the intention from the players is fully right but entrenched views drawing up battle lines in the process for me completely misses the point of the problem. 

Sadly there will always be an element of vicious racist thugs following "Ingerlund" (Chelsea and Millwall fans generally fit the profile) but I don't think it is that stereotype that is behind the booing on the simple basis that there wasn't enough of them.

Just to be clear I don't think all Chelsea and Millwall fans fall into that category but it's the simple categorisation that is the big issue. The problem for me is that wrong or mixed messages are being conveyed but no-one seems willing to take a step back and reconsider that their stance maybe a part of the problem. As a consequence head's will continue to be bashed against a wall.

 

 


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Martin Bellamy
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@redcarred I really don’t think they can stop now or the boo boys have won. As for the “I’m right” comment - I can’t see that they’re not right. Booing is racist and that’s wrong. 


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Martin Bellamy
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Martin Bellamy
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Wise words from Southgate. He’s a good man. https://www.theplayerstribune.com/posts/dear-england-gareth-southgate-euros-soccer


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Original Fat Bob
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@redcarred

why don’t the England team change their support for kicking out racism by just applauding for a minute around the centre circle instead of “taking the knee”

This would not then be associated with  any political or quasi insurgency and would surely be taken up by all the fans

 OFB


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John Richardson
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@martin-bellamy 

That is a powerful letter to the fans. sadly I fear that the knuckle draggers will not read it because it isn't the length of a tweet or text. Well done Gareth.

UTB,

John


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deleriad
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Posted by: @original-fat-bob

@redcarred

why don’t the England team change their support for kicking out racism by just applauding for a minute around the centre circle instead of “taking the knee”

This would not then be associated with  any political or quasi insurgency and would surely be taken up by all the fans

 OFB

I'm sure we have all been around for long enough to know that wouldn't be the case. All the usual suspects would be shouting about it being "divisive" and "virtue signalling" and you need to "take the politics out of my football." The booing is not because taking a knee is "Marxist" or "American" it's because white football fans don't want black footballers protesting. 

Also, take a step back. I'm pretty sure we're all white here. Why are we white people telling black people how they should or should not protest and when they should do it? 

For a bit of personal background. I spent a fair while living in Canada and a short while living in Arkansas. I remember being driven down the Mississippi to Louisiana. I kept seeing what I thought of as work crews by the road side. After a while I realised that every single person on those work crews was black and every single supervisor was white. A racist would say that's because black people are lazy and criminals. Another time. I was living in the sticks in Little Rock and needed to get to the city centre. I didn't have a car so I found a bus stop and got on the bus. Shortly the bus headed across the rail line and suddenly I was in something looking like a slum. I became vaguely aware that everyone on the bus was black and that all the people I saw out in the "slum" were black. The bus went nowhere near a white area. Later that day, taking to my American girlfriend (reason I was in Little Rock) she was shocked and appalled that I had gone on a bus. This wasn't the 50's this was 20 years ago. I mean racism isn't as dramatic here in the UK but it absolutely exists in a widespread way from the seemingly trivial to the violently dangerous.

I was born to a working-class single mum in Saltburn in 1965. She had it tough and faced a lot of prejudice bringing me up. Her family kicked her out of the house and there was no child benefit. But boy, I was lucky to be born to be white in difficult circumstances because I have never once in my life had to worry about the colour of my skin holding me back.


lenmasterman
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Thanks, Deleriad.  Excellent post.


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Martin Bellamy
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@original-fat-bob Why should they? Change shouldn’t come by appeasing the racists. 


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