Johnson should back England team for taking the knee, says Brown
Former PM says country should support footballers and ‘stop fighting these culture wars’
Last modified on Fri 11 Jun 2021 09.28 BSTGordon Brown has told the government to support the England football team’s decision to take the knee before matches and stop fighting culture wars over “unimportant” gestures.The former prime ministermade the remarks
in response to Downing Street’s failure to back the players, instead only issuing a statement urging fans to be “respectful”. It added that Boris Johnson “wants the whole country to get behind” the England team.The anti-racism gesture originated among American football players in 2016 in protest against police brutality and racism in the US, and has since been adopted around the world. Football players use it to reinforce the message that racism will not be tolerated in the sport.
Read moreSpeaking to the BBC’s Nick Robinson, Brown said the players were trying to bring the whole country together. “I think it is very important we support the footballers who have made this difficult decision, actually, because they’ve had to agree among themselves what to do,” he said. headtopics.com
“I don’t think it was right for Downing Street not to support Marcus Rashford, I think Marcus Rashford hasstood out for some really good causesover the last year, but he’s also standing up for far better race relations [and] community relations in this country.
“I think we should support the team when it does this and I hope the crowds who are at the football matches will actually acknowledge that the footballers are doing something very, very important – they are bringing the whole country together.”Players were
booedby some fans when taking the knee at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough before the friendly matches against Austria and Romania last week.When asked if he believed Downing Street was trying to avoid a confrontation with those who oppose the move, Brown said he did not believe the prime minister was responsible for the statement.
“I would like Boris Johnson to come out publicly and support theEnglandfootball team and what they do, so I’m not going to say he was behind that statement that was made by Downing Street,” he said.Read more“But I do think it would be very bad for Britain if these culture wars started to develop where someone seized on one instance of someone doing something and tried to make it a big issue that divided the public rather than united the public.” headtopics.com
He added: “I think we should stop fighting these culture wars.”The vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, also showed support for taking the knee. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said it was “only right that we back our team” when asked if the prime minister supported the England squad’s decision to take the knee before matches.
“The elegant way, quite passionate way, that the England manager, Gareth Southgate, put this is exactly where the prime minister is, where this government is,” he said. “I think he articulated the emotions of young men beautifully and I think it’s only right that we back our team.”
On Thursday evening, the education minister Gillian Keegan claimed taking the knee was “creating new divisions” in sport.When asked about this, Zahawi said: “The symbolism of reminding the world of how painful it is to be subjected to the racism that Marcus Rashford has been subjected to, whether on social media or elsewhere, I absolutely back.
“If you then extrapolate to a Black Lives Matter movement that has a political agenda … that’s a different place, that’s my point, which is why I think we just have to differentiate and rightly back our team.” Read more: The Guardian »
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If he’s trying to make a comeback, this is too much. I get it. You’re trying to see if these images will appeal to voters who look for strength, but it’s a tad too much. Go more for dignified-tough, and not I’m about to pick a fight with you tough. But then he'd lose votes he stole from UKIP. No , let them continue the dog whistle , one day it will comeback and bite them
And Scotland? There’s a cell of Taliban fanatics growing like a *cancer* within the BBC *they’ve weaponised taking the knee* to shut down free speech, undermine democracy, cancel culture,they’re using the BBC as a Nazi style proper gander machine to promote their poisoned woke political agenda Absolute rubbish. Taking the knee has become politised. Brown has nothing better to do
Course he should. He'd find it difficult to get up again.... Not this desperado again. So by inference then, he disapproves of Scotland (and almost every other nation at Euro 2020) not taking the knee? Good stuff. Now let's see if the current PM will push back against those wilfully misinterpreting this and support what is a very simple and clear message from the players.
Tory minister says England players taking the knee are being divisiveConservative Gillian Keegan MP was answering a question from the public on BBC's Question Time on Thursday night when she made the comments what racism? in china? iran? where you want to end it? I just kneel to God A free man must never kneel to anything or anyone, only to God!
The Man who should be PM
England players taking the knee is ‘divisive’ symbolism, says ministerBlack Lives Matter ‘is really about defunding the police and the overthrow of capitalism’ Education minister. 🙄 Educate yourself ffs! I find Tory union flag displays to be far more divisive symbolism. Who cares live music and clubbing is more important
Fresh calls for fans to applaud England players when they take the kneeSome supporters booed the gesture in friendlies ahead of this summer’s tournament Excellent idea, Fresh. The English didn't want all that booze, anyway. Booooo!
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Jason Manford: Comedian rages at 'a*******s' booing footballers for taking the kneeJASON MANFORD has hit out on social media at those who choose to boo footballers taking the knee. No need to rage at them, they don't have any intelligence and do what they are told. I will not be lectured by a bloke who cannot even stay faithful to his wife.