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Ouch! British fans responded to a pre-game protest by showering a cascade of strident boos upon England’s soccer team before a match against Austria on Wednesday. The English team knelt in what was claimed to be an anti-racism gesture before about 7,000 fans at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium, according to ESPN.
Although the round of booing was followed by muted cheering, the booing was so intense that BBC Radio 5 Live commentator John Murray remarked upon it.
‘Wow, that was quite a reaction. There was a lot of booing there. I’m quite taken aback by how loud that was,’ he said.
After the game, the on-message coach woke Gareth Southgate scolded the fans for ruining a day when England won a 1-0 victory over Austria.
‘I did hear it,’ Southgate said, according to The Guardian. ‘It’s not something on behalf of our black players I wanted to hear because it feels as though it’s a criticism of them,’ the coach said.
Southgate ludicrously claimed the fans did not know what they were doing. ‘I think we have got a situation where some people seem to think it’s a political stand that they don’t agree with,’ he said. ‘That’s not the reason the players are doing it. We’re supporting each other.’
Southgate indicated that boos will not change anything. ‘We can’t deny the fact that it happened. I think the most important thing for our players to know is all their teammates and all the staff is very supportive. I think the majority of people understand it. I think some people don’t quite understand the message. I suppose we’re seeing that across a number of football grounds at the moment,’ he said.
Bukayo Saka, who scored England’s goal, was confused. ‘I don’t understand why they did it,’ he said. ‘I heard some boos and I heard some claps. But you’ll have to ask the fans that were booing to understand why they did it.’
Many were happy to explain on Twitter. If you don’t want players to be booed then don’t import American identity politics gestures like taking the knee. It isn’t complicated.
Fred Wells: BLM is a political movement. They are not booing the black players they are booing what the knee represents. Easy to call English fans racist. Research a bit more and you will understand why. BLM was invented to cause division and it has done exactly that. Source
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