England’s national football team was roundly booed in Hungary for taking the knee prior to what proved to be a 1-0 loss to the Central European country.
The English national side, managed by Gareth Southgate and captained by Harry Kane, has doggedly persisted in carrying out the gesture, derided as virtue-signalling by some and leftist politicisation of football by others, long after players from most other countries — and indeed, English players in other sports — have quietly moved on since the height of the Black Lives Matter unrest in 2020, and it was poorly received in Hungary on June 4th.
The booing has incensed Southgate and his fellow-travellers in politics and the media, not least because Hungary was supposed to be subject to a temporary spectator ban by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), following allegations that Hungarian fans had unfurled banners reading ‘ANTI LMBTQ’ — the Hungarian equivalent of LGBTQ — and making racist comments and gestures towards ethnic minority players.
In fact, some 35,000 Hungarians are believed to have attended the match, due to a loophole in the ban allowing under-14s from schools and football academies to attend with their parents, according to The Times.
Hungary forced to play game behind closed doors due to fan racism, let in 30,000+ under 14s, who boo England players taking the knee pic.twitter.com/jt652RE310
— Sam Cunningham (@samcunningham) June 4, 2022
Southgate complained that it was “difficult to understand” how the large number of Hungarian fans aligned with a ban on stadium attendance, suggesting that it “needs some consideration [from footballing authorities] without a doubt.”
“That’s why we do [take the knee] — to try to educate people around the world. I have no idea why people would try to boo that gesture,” Southgate said of his team’s continued kneeling, as if it was not well known by now that many associate it with the Black Lives Matter organisation’s stated far-left political goals, such as defunding the police, and a far-left worldview that implicitly asserts that the West is systematically racist more generally.
“Very often, young people can’t know why they are doing it, really. They are being influenced by older adults,” Southgate went on, also suggesting that the participation of Hungarian under-14s in the booing smacked of “inherited thinking”.
“I should add it still happens in our stadiums, too,” he conceded.
His comments earned a sharp rebuke from Hungarian government minister Zoltán Kovács, however, who tweeted that “Anyone who thinks that children attending a football match in Budapest can be blamed for any kind of political statement is truly an idiot.”
“Congratulations to our national team, applause for the 35,000 kids,” he added.
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Leftist MP Diane Abbott, BLM Protesters Take Knee in ‘Solidarity’ with Footballers https://t.co/5JQY1iSeow
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 19, 2021