Sport and politics – A toxic mix

Since the re-emergence of the Black Lives Matter organisation, we have seen many top level sports stars falling over themselves to prove their ‘anti-racist’ credentials by heaping praise on the group.

Governing bodies, too, have joined in. The Football Association, following the restart of the Premier League after the Coronavirus lockdown, had ‘Black Lives Matter’ emblazoned on the back of players shirts instead of their names for the early games and had BLM logos on the sleeves – Thankfully, this has since been replaced with an alternative anti Racism message. The England football team took the knee in recent games and team captain Harry Kane was rolled out in front of the cameras to talk about the importance of the ‘message’.

England’s cricketers, too, took the knee during the Series against the West Indies and Formula 1 motor racing has had drivers out with anti-racism T-Shirts on before each Grand Prix with a majority of the participants also taking the knee – although this has not been enough for World Champion Lewis Hamilton (More about him later)

Broadcasters have also joined in, with BLM badges prominent on the clothing of many presenters at Sky Sports.

So, what is so wrong with fighting racism?

Nothing at all – genuine efforts to bring equality should be applauded, but that is not what BLM are about.

If you look at their website, they talk about bringing down capitalism, defunding the Police and overthrowing the state – classic Marxist doctrine. Indeed, senior members of the group in the USA are on record as stating that they are committed Marxists.

Then we come to their leadership in the UK. This video is of Sasha Johnson who describes herself as ‘Oxford’s Black Panther’ (The Black Panthers were a US far left political organisation who were involved in multiple confrontations with the Police in the 60’s and 70’s)

For somebody who wants to fight racism, she uses some pretty disgusting language towards another black person simply for disagreeing with her point of view. But, as her Twitter feed shows, she wants to go beyond ‘fighting racism’ to something completely different

It is also noticeable that Ms Johnson has a ‘Palestinian’ flag on her beret in the video – AntiSemitism has been a theme of a number of BLM protests. How do you get justice for one section of society whilst trying to scapegoat another? Indeed, how can you be ‘anti racist’ when driving racism and hate towards another minority group?

Reports in the press also suggest that BLM are now going to set up their own political party with Ms Johnson as an integral part. ‘Taking The Initiative Party’ (TTIP) claims to be an organisation for the working class – However, you can only be a member if you are black! Just one Political Party in this country has ever had a racial requirement in their membership qualification and that was quickly removed after court action for discrimination – The British National Party (BNP). What strange bedfellows for a group that claims to challenge racism!

Turkeys voting for Christmas

With the real aims of Black Lives Matter pretty much exposed by their own hand, you have to ask – why are so many high profile sportsmen clamouring to support them? I can only believe it is due to lack of awareness of what they are really about and a desire to do the right thing where racism is concerned.

Let us take Premier League football as an example.

With the Police defunded, how is crowd control going to work before and after matches?

If BLM wish to take down capitalism then the richest Football League in the world (The Premiership) will not only be in their sights but will be unable to function without the lucrative sponsorship deals they currently enjoy – These enable them to make millionaires of the very players who are currently speaking up for the movement!

Harry Kane is Captain of England but also of Tottenham Hotspur FC. Spurs were founded by Jews and have a proud tradition of Jewish ownership which is celebrated by their fans in matchday chants. BLM have already shown their antiSemitism at many events – How can he speak up for a group that would challenge and persecute the very people who founded and nurtured the club?

The same could be asked of Roman Abrahamovitch, the Russian-Jewish owner of Chelsea FC, about what he thinks of his players sporting BLM logos when the organisation is spouting hatred towards him and his fellow Jews?

When virtue signalling goes wild

Meet Lewis Hamilton

The six time world champion F1 driver has been extremely vocal about the Black Lives Matter movement and no matter what is done, still believes that the FIA (The governing body) need to do more.

Since the start of the F1 season, Hamilton has been taking the knee at the beginning of each race with a BLM T-shirt on and last weekend sported the garb on the podium that is in the above photo.

Besides this being a bit of a slap in the face for his multi million pound sponsors who see their logos covered at times of highest exposure, the Taylor case is currently in court and he has highlighted this all over the world’s TV which surely could influence the decision? People have been sent to jail in the UK for making high profile commentaries on cases that have not been concluded before due to the possibility of prejudicing the outcome.

But, taking that to one side, there are other reasons why Hamilton is making himself look a bit of a fool.

He is constantly claiming that there are not enough opportunities for black drivers in F1. Yet, as a youngster, he received a lucrative sponsorship in karting from Ron Dennis at McClaren and was given a massive advantage over other up and coming drivers who had to trawl around for money to continue to compete in a very cash consuming sport.

He was subsequently parachuted in to the best car on the F1 grid at the time when most young drivers have to serve a form of ‘apprenticeship’ by proving themselves at smaller teams who compete at the back of the field – drivers who he referred to as ‘muppets’ just a few races in to his career because he felt they didn’t get out of his way fast enough.

Surely, a better message to young black Britons would be, ‘I did this guys, I am now a 6 time champion of the world, not enough of you are trying to get in to the sport but if I can do it then so can you!’ Instead, he has put out a negative message that is likely to put those youngsters off.

Also noticeable is how he quickly dropped McClaren (Who he owed his career to) in order to move to Mercedes when issues arose. So, let’s look at the team he moved to.

Hamilton wore a padlock and chain around his neck to a press conference earlier in the season to show his opposition to slavery. Yet, just 80 years ago (Long after the abolition of the Trans Atlantic slave trade) Mercedes were using slave labour to produce all manner of vehicles and equipment for the Nazis in World War 2. Hitler’s personal car was a Mercedes.

In 21st Century Britain, we acknowledge the history but we move on. Yet Hamilton is calling out the slavery that was stopped by the actions of this country in the 19th Century whilst taking £40mn a year in wages from a company that was using forced slave Labour less than 80 years ago? Perhaps, by your own standards Lewis, you may want to get that contract terminated? Or does having the fastest car on the grid, allowing you to win world championships and boost your wealth, override such principles?

Furthermore, he also has a massive sponsorship deal with Hugo Boss, the clothing company. They not only designed the uniforms for the Nazis but produced them with, again, a percentage of slave labourers up until 1945.

Then there is the ‘anti Capitalist’ message of BLM. With a multi million pound fortune and houses in such tax havens as Switzerland (The socially conscious Hamilton has an aversion to paying tax in the UK on his huge wealth) then surely you should give up such riches to truly embrace your comrades?

It is also of note that on Twitter this week, Hamilton was pushing the other trendy ‘woke’ cause of man made global warming and how we should all be doing more to reduce our ‘carbon footprint’. This from a man with 8 cars, a yacht, a penchant for helicopters and a personal carbon footprint bigger than a small country (He used to have a £25mn private jet too that it is alleged he used a tax loophole on to avoid paying VAT). There seems to be a pattern emerging here.

Personally, I feel sorry for his mother. Hamilton is mixed race rather than black – how must Mum feel when she sees her son aligning with a far left group that want to subjugate white people as per the message from Sasha Johnson? A group that would look to destroy the very system that has worked so well for Hamilton and his family, where his undoubted ability behind the wheel of a racing car has led to wealth, celebrity and security, irrespective of the colour of his skin.

Politics has no place in sport, an escape for many from the hardships and stress of everyday life. Sportspeople are well remunerated for their skills and for a few hours allow people without their natural talent to retreat from everyday life to a place of leisure and enjoyment – they should be allowed to do so without some ‘woke’ message being rammed down their throats to spoil that enjoyment, especially when the people behind that message have not been properly scrutinised first.

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