By Rachel Marsden, Columnist, political strategist and presenter of an independently produced French-language program broadcast on Sputnik France. Their website can be found at rachelmarsden.com
If you show up at a soccer field – or any other international tournament – with social justice demonstrations, then you have clearly missed the international sport theme. Tribalism is fun.
Before the match between Belgium and Russia at the Euro 2020 football match, Belgian players went on one knee while fans taunted and the Russian team stopped at the Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia. Romelu Lukaku, a Belgian player who was born in Antwerp and whose parents are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, raised his fist. Lukaku’s salary is just under $ 9 million a year. Exactly how many millions more justice does he want?
England’s team also got on their knees in the game against Croatia at Wembley Stadium, whose players were standing. Apparently the fans in London are more alert than in St. Petersburg, there was a lot of cheering. However, there was also considerable booing. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman was intimidated to respond to the ridicule. “The Prime Minister supports the individual’s right to protest,” he replied, to which he was asked if he refused to criticize fans.
The UK Prime Minister clearly did not respond in the exact words the awakened police were looking for to absolve him of potential thought crimes and flaws. That all of this happens in the context of international sport is absurd.
Let’s face it, sport is the final line of disagreement allowed today. It is acceptable, if not entirely encouraged, to openly display tribal aggression, promote division, and practice full discrimination. And that is how it has to be if it is to remain an international competition. How stupid would it be otherwise not to be able to cheer on your country’s soccer team over another when they compete against each other in the current one-month Euro 2020 tournament?
Imagine if you were considered a fanatic for daring to support a country – by wrapping yourself in its flag and painting your face in its national colors like some sort of armchair warrior – for the simple reason that the mediators of the social justice found your behavior unacceptably unjust and discriminatory on the basis of identity. Sport is already a full-fledged politically incorrect tribal war. Stand up and get on your knees for any reason that signals political virtue is like trying to remove the lint from someone’s combat suits in the middle of a shooting.
Nobody claims that the general kneeling mood – that is, protesting racial injustice – is not noble. It is just completely out of place to put it in top international sport. While such events inherently represent the very essence of partisanship and prejudice based on national identity, they are the exact opposite when it comes to social injustice – the very cause that kills players.
Probably nothing is purely more powerful or more balanced than sport at the elite level. Nobody among the elite players judges you on the pitch based on your personal background, political beliefs or skin color. You will be judged on your ability, performance, talent and work ethic. And football in particular is a sport in which the exorbitant salaries of players purely based on performance prove that skin color and origin are irrelevant.
What exactly does the 3rd Brigade of Wokism mean, as it persecutes it by pressuring fans, politicians and gamers to support the transfer of a highly political gesture born in the United States to the entire planet? The squat movement originated from the protest of an American professional footballer (Colin Kaepernick) against the American police. Except that the rest of the world doesn’t have the same problems or history as the United States. What exactly are they resisting? It would be better for them to put their fingers on the keyboard and articulate their specific ailments than to let us guess how these people might silently suffer and cry when they actually do.
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Maybe they would feel better if we just eradicated all tribal identities by statelessness for sports purposes. That way, they don’t have to deal with 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 the sports war between countries . Their salaries would likely be hurt by the lack of public interest, but it would be all worth knowing that they no longer served as catalysts for promoting conflict and disputes, right?
Or maybe they can just get real and stop being the pawns of professional activists and left wing 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 reflect those of RT.