English Premier League (EPL) footballers obeyed the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement on the launch day of the 2020/21 season, with players taking a knee in all four of Saturday’s top-flight fixtures.
Their collective action was in direct contrast to England and Australia cricketers who also played over the weekend but steadfastly refused to obey the same orders from the left-wing BLM movement, as Breitbart News reported.
The EPL previously said it will back players who want to kneel before games, which started last season following the death of George Floyd and subsequent rise of the BLM movement.
This is despite the UK branch of the movement, BLMUK, drawing criticism for posting from its official Twitter account messages about “abolishing” the police, ending capitalism, and ‘FREE PALESTINE’ posts employing the antisemitic dog whistle alleging Israel was ‘gagging’ the “right to critique Zionism and Israel’s settler-colonial pursuits” in British politics.
“We still feel strongly about taking the knee and we will carry on doing it until there’s change,” Brighton captain Lewis Dunk told Sky Sports News on Saturday.
The players took the same action in June towards the end of the last (delayed) season, using the pre-game period to “show football’s social conscience.”
🎙 – "A powerful image to show football's social conscience."
Players from both sides take a knee before kick-off to show support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) June 17, 2020
Although the EPL players took the knee as one this weekend, their jerseys no longer feature a BLM badge, which has been replaced by the competition’s own No Room For Racism campaign branding.
West Ham manager David Moyes said on Friday he saw no reason for the protests to end, Reuters reported.
“We will take a knee. We don’t think it’s something which will go away,” Moyes told reporters ahead of the Newcastle game at the London Stadium. “We want to see that everyone gets the same treatment.
“The more we can continue it, the more it will be challenged within governments throughout the world.”