“Enough is enough” screams the official press release out of Motherwell.
“We demand action,” is the message from their players.
Dundee Utd “stands with Glen Kamara”.
Incredibly powerful stuff.
Except these aren’t messages in support of black players; Motherwell’s “enough is enough” is the first line of their statement on why they’ll no longer take the knee.
Dundee Utd’s statement is in full agreement with theirs.
The one from Ibrox, confirming the same, is expected.
This is the response of Scottish football to allegations that a player was subjected to racist abuse on the pitch; to ditch a universal anti-racism campaign.
“Taking a knee has become something someone does now for the sake of it. It has completely lost its meaning. As a squad, we spoke and asked ourselves ‘why are we doing this anymore? Is it having any impact at all?’. The answer was a clear no.”
But here’s my question; what “impact” were they expecting?
The purpose of this campaign is to highlight a horrible truth; that here in the western world too many black people are dying un-necessarily either as a result of violence or from the effects of poverty.
What began as a campaign to highlight police brutality in America has come to encompass far more.
And I’m awfully sorry that a situation hundreds of years old hasn’t been resolved in a timely enough manner for these people. I’m just shocked that they feel the cause of anti-racism can best be helped by empty words rather than what they see as “empty gestures.”
Because a gesture, however empty you might feel it to be, is actually taking some action … empty words, on the other hand, are just that.
It’s flapping your trap and then moving on to the next thing.
You don’t have to read between the lines to get that the subtext here is “we just can’t be bothered with this anymore.”
Well, thank God the Glen Kamara situation has come along to give them an excuse to finally stop.
Imagine it; players being made to suffer the appalling inconvenience of taking a knee prior to matches as a show of solidary with the less fortunate.
The cynicism of using a racist incident to ditch an anti-racism campaign is grotesque.
Both clubs have demanded “real action” but tellingly none has suggested what that action might be.
They both want a magic bullet to solve this problem once and for all; Good God, isn’t it great that we have footballers at the forefront of this, finally? Apparently we could have solved all this years ago if these people had just DEMANDED solutions … what ignorance is this?
For the record, neither club has proposed any solutions, all they’ve done is demand that others come up with them. All they’ve done is issue blanket statements saying that they are out, and using an alleged act of racism act to justify quitting.
Thank God these people are not on the front lines of this issue.
Their message seems to be “we’re tired of doing something and getting nowhere, so we suggest that whilst we all talk amongst ourselves we do nothing, and hope that it’s somehow resolved that way.”
Because that’s worked so far, hasn’t it?
And this is even more bizarre than it sounds; in “solidarity” they are now going to stand mute, in silence, for a few seconds rather than kneel.
It’s like a parody except that it’s not in the least bit funny.
You try and figure this stuff out and it’s like banging your head against a brick wall.
The thing is, they’ll get praise for this as if it’s something noble and virtuous that they’ve done, because that’s how they’ve tried to dress it up.
To me it reeks.
To me it stinks to high heaven.
To replace action with inaction, backed up with empty chatter … it stinks of people saying “we’ve done our bit and we want to move on, and here’s our excuse.”
The really funny part is that every November these same people and same clubs will line up to pay respect to the dead that they won’t give to the living.
They’ll pull on the jerseys adorned with the poppies and pretend not to notice that this has become a political symbol, that it used to be something you did for the sake of it, as a matter of routine, and now societal convention forces you to because otherwise there’s a backlash.
You want to talk about an empty gesture? About a politicised stunt?
The mentality on display here would make me laugh if it didn’t make me sick.
The glorification of war is a virtuous act which honours the dead.
Taking the knee for our living and breathing minorities, in the hope that some of them don’t die untimely deaths, is a useless gesture and something to be abandoned as quickly as possible.
This is Scottish football in 2021.
What a screwed up little place this is and what twisted priorities we have here.
I hope to God that Celtic maintains their support for this campaign … not to now would be something truly to be ashamed of.