Woke soccer players deserve to be booed for injecting US-style social justice into Euro 2020..it's supposed to be tribal
If you’re showing up on a soccer pitch – or to any other international tournament – with social justice demonstrations in mind, then you've clearly missed the point about international sport. Tribalism is what makes it fun.
Before the match between Belgium and Russia at the Euro 2020 soccer tournament, Belgian players got down on one knee while fans at Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, jeered, and Russia’s team remained standing. Romelu Lukaku, a Belgian player born in Antwerp, whose parents hail from the Democratic Republic of Congo, raised a fist. Lukaku’s salary is just under $9 million annually. How many more millions in justice does he want, exactly?
England’s team also took a knee at Wembley stadium in their matchup against Croatia, whose players stood. Apparently, fans in London are more woke than in St. Petersburg, as there was some cheering. There was also, however, considerable booing. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman was browbeaten into responding to the jeers. “The prime minister supports individual’s right to protest,” he replied, after which he was asked if he was refusing to criticize the fans.
The British prime minister clearly wasn’t answering in the exact words that the woke police were seeking in order to absolve him of potential thought crime and wrong-think. The fact that this is all happening within the context of international sports is absurd.
Let’s face it, sports these days already represent the final frontier of permissible disunity. It’s acceptable – if not entirely encouraged – to openly display tribal aggression, foster division, and practice full-on discrimination. And that’s the way it has to be if it’s going to remain an international contest. Otherwise, how stupid would it be to not be permitted to cheer for your country’s soccer team over another as they face off in the current month-long Euro 2020 tournament?
Just imagine if you were considered a bigot for daring to support one country – wrapping yourself in its flag and painting your face in its national colors like some kind of armchair warrior – for the simple reason that the arbiters of social justice considered your behavior unacceptably unjust and discriminatory on the basis of identity. Sports is already full-on political incorrect tribal warfare. Showing up and taking a knee for whatever political virtue signaling reason is like trying to pick the lint off someone’s battle fatigues in the midst of a gunfight.
No one’s arguing that the general sentiment behind taking a knee – that is, protesting racial injustice – isn’t noble. It’s just highly misplaced to shoehorn it into high-level international sports. While such events inherently represent the very nature of partisanship and prejudice on the basis of national identity, they’re the exact opposite when it comes to social injustice – the very cause for which players take a knee.
Arguably, nothing is more purely meritocratic or equalizing than sports at the elite level. Between elite players, no one’s judging you on the pitch for your personal background, political beliefs, or skin color. You're being judged for your skill, performance, talent, and work ethic. And soccer in particular is a sport in which the exorbitant player salaries based purely on performance prove that skin color and background are irrelevant.
What exactly does the 3rd Brigade of Wokism feel that it’s policing by pressuring fans, politicians, and players into supporting the transplantation onto the entire planet of a highly political gesture born in the United States? The knee-taking movement grew out of one American professional football player’s (Colin Kaepernick) protest against American policing. Except that the rest of the world doesn’t have the same issues nor history as the United States. So what exactly are they objecting to? They’d be better off putting fingers to keyboards and articulating their specific grievances than having us guess how these folks may be silently suffering and crying into their tens of millions of dollars in annual pay, if this is indeed the case.Also on rt.com Hungary leader Orban dodges Euro 2020 as fans cover stadium in LGBTQ rainbow flags before Cristiano Ronaldo equals record (VIDEO)
Perhaps they’d feel better if we just erased all tribal identity by rendering them stateless for the purpose of sport. That way, they won’t have to deal with the bigotry and division, and fans can lose interest and tune out – because cheering for “team one” against “team two” isn’t quite as fun as supporting sport warfare between countries. Their salaries would likely take a hit from the lack of public interest, but it would all be worth it to know that they were no longer serving as catalysts in fostering conflict and strife, right?
Or maybe they can just get real and stop being the pawns of professional activists and leftist social engineers.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.