Don’t boo our players when they take the knee

    I would say that I’m a ‘traditional’ football fan.

    I prefer standing to sitting and I thought football was better before the money men took over and it became just about which billionaire or oil rich state had the deepest pockets.

    I thought the old First Division was a more open and interesting competition than the Premier League which is dominated by a few ‘elite’ clubs and I feel the same way about the Champions League.

    I think the Cup Winners Cup and the UEFA Cup were also more exciting competitions than The Europa League and the FA Cup is no longer the stuff of dreams, or the chance for a journeymen players like Roger Osborne, Keith Houchen or Lawrie Sanchez to become legends, but just a consolation prize for the top clubs.

    However, there is one thing about the past that I don’t miss, which is the widespread booing and abuse of black players.

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    That is why I was so disappointed when some England fans booed their own players when they opted to take the knee.

    Of course, some people will say that racism is just a thing of the past, but if you believe that it just goes to show how little you know. Racism has just taken different forms with black players being targeted on social media.

    On a more personal level my son was a non-white player in a predominantly white youth league on the outskirts of London and was also subject to racial abuse.

    Some people will also say you shouldn’t mix politics with sport but those politicians who take issue with players who take the knee, or who refuse to condemn the people who boo them, are playing politics ,because they want to score points with their own supporters by showing they are waging a war on ‘woke’.

    The MP Lee Anderson, said that traditional football supporters were alienated when their players take the knee. Well as a traditional supporter I am not alienated by our players taking the knee and if being ‘woke’ means standing up to racism, then count me in.

    In the past, St James Park was one of the grounds which was well known as being hostile to black players. I’d like to think that this is no longer the case and we can show that we are better than England fans by not booing when our players take the knee, by showing we support players like Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamaal Lascelles who want to challenge racism.

    (ED: Excellent and interesting article by Michael there, so we thought we’d run a poll and get a snapshot of opinion on the take the knee debate)

    Grateful to all who take the time to vote and results will appear on The Mag tomorrow (Sunday 13 June).

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