The great BLM backslide

Footballers and politicians have finally realised that Black Lives Matter isn’t just about racism.

Paddy Hannam

Topics Politics UK

The great Black Lives Matter backslide has begun.

Prominent organisations and figures have belatedly realised BLM is not simply reducible to its most well-known slogan and are distancing themselves from the movement.

Football is leading the reverse ferret. Sky Sports pundits Jamie Redknapp and Patrice Evra have stopped wearing BLM badges when appearing on the platform.

It is not clear if the change results from a liberalisation of Sky Sports policy on BLM, or from a change of heart among the pundits. Former player Matt Le Tissier said Sky had previously asked him to wear a BLM badge on air – but the network said it was for individuals to decide.

The Premier League has also felt the need to make the clarification that it does not ‘endorse any political organisation or movement’. This comes after it very publicly backed BLM – players’ names on the back of matchday shirts in recent weeks have been replaced with ‘Black Lives Matter’.

It is bizarre that football ever became an arena for the culture war. But it is just one arena among many.

Elsewhere, Labour leader Keir Starmer has backtracked on BLM. Despite being a prominent knee-taker, he has now described any desire to ‘defund the police’ – a major policy goal of the BLM movement – as ‘nonsense’.

Starmer was then met with consternation from the UK wing of BLM, which called him a ‘cop in an expensive suit’, in a reference to his past job as director of public prosecutions.

Piers Morgan backed up Starmer, saying he supported the BLM protests but not some of the things the ‘organisation’ seeks to achieve. He described these as ‘different things’. But this statement contrasts with Morgan’s earlier statement that critics of BLM should simply ‘educate’ themselves.

Some prominent firms may be having second thoughts, too. McDonald’s previously changed its Twitter name to ‘Amplifying Black Voices’, but has now reverted back to its more famous moniker. Black voices are loud enough now, it seems.

Even the BBC is now telling its presenters and staff not to wear any pro-BLM symbols on air. Only last week the BBC was pledging to spend £100million on diverse programming in response to the movement. When Britain’s wokest broadcaster gets cold feet, you know something is up.

One reason for the collective about-face was a tweet by BLM UK about the Israel-Palestine conflict. But again, nobody should have been surprised by this.

In fact, it is remarkable it took as long as it did for people to realise what they were signing up for when they backed Black Lives Matter. BLM is not a simple campaign for racial justice. It is a movement pushing a highly politicised view of society’s past, present and future. Those backing out now are showing that they failed to appreciate this – and that their support for BLM was conditional on it being an uncomplicated and fashionable cause.

In truth, though, the real nature of the movement was clear from early on, to anyone with the time or inclination to do a little research. Just over a week after the death of George Floyd, the BLM UK fundraiser page pledged to ‘dismantle’ capitalism. As far back as 2016, it called for prisons to be abolished. Yet anyone who drew attention to these proposals and criticised BLM for them was shunned, sacked or smeared as a racist. It seems a lot of celebrities and institutions were quick to jump on a trendy political bandwagon without doing their homework.

Lots of people were swept up by the initial wave of BLM enthusiasm, committing themselves to the cause without really thinking about what that cause was. More critical thinking and less virtue-signalling would have avoided this.

Paddy Hannam is a spiked intern.

Picture by: Getty.

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Ad Dam

8th July 2020 at 11:37 am

Do you mind not spamming this on every story?

Michael Morris

3rd July 2020 at 4:00 am

“It is bizarre that football ever became an arena for the culture war. But it is just one arena among many.”

I don’t think its too bizarre. Football has its own sort of history regarding intolerance and racism and because the pressure has been very strong last couple of decades in anti racism programs in Football leagues, the FA probably had a sort of knee-jerk automatic reaction to endorse any anti racism movement, as if protocol now. Usually and rightly so anti racism policy is quite simple and folks are not loading a pork belly list of other grievances into the problem of racism.

Ironically this BLM Uk has probably done serious damage to the cause of bringing the moderate majority together, unconditionally of ones politics. These people have just made it all the much harder for next time. Everyone likely will carry out some due diligence next time invited onto something described as anti racism demo.

Gordon Te Gopher

3rd July 2020 at 12:09 am

It’s just what celebs, the media and the powerful do; like that Jussie Smollett who said he’d been attacked and they all went public about how terrible it all was. They do it for attention. They don’t really give a hoot either way. And when they found out it was a fake attack they very publicly through him under a bus, saying how terrible he was for undermining genuine racial or homophobic attacks.

Smollett went from world’s biggest victim to public enemy number one in the blink of an eye all because celebs and media types are gullible attention seekers.

Brandy Cluster

3rd July 2020 at 12:07 am

Just wondering if the song “White Christmas” is on the hit list – and nothing to do with the actual hit parade?

Sentient 6

2nd July 2020 at 9:49 pm

For an intern, this text is very good. Carry on writing, Paddy Hannam!

Tom Hansen

2nd July 2020 at 9:36 pm

Somehow the higher-ups, football club owners etc must have figured out that if they continued pandering to BLM and their ilk that the football stadiums would be a quarter full when they finally reopened. I know as a casual fan of English football, American football, NHL hockey and a huge fan of NASCAR and other forms of auto racing (except formula one) I have lost interest in all of them except the auto racing and NASCAR. First of all I tried to watch some Bundesliga when they started playing again and it just felt wrong without the crowd and its noise. The lack of crowds and noise isn’t as noticeable with auto racing. Plus the injection of leftist politics into sports has totally turned me off. Even NASCAR fell victim to it but I think with that sport I think it will pass. I’m not sure about the others and right now I just don’t care what’s happening with the EPL and any other sport that’s talking politics all the time and I have no plans on watching them anymore. If an NFL team signs Kaepernick the league us going to lose millions. It’s about the money as usual in my opinion. They realized that if they kept injecting politics into sport it was going to hit them in the pocketbook.

steve moxon

2nd July 2020 at 9:25 pm

Let’s get this straight. It’s not ‘black’ lives that are seen not to matter. It’s male lives.
New paper: ‘The Falsity of Identity Politics: Negative Attitude is Towards Males who are Different, in Policing Sexual Access by Gate-Keeping Group Membership’. New Male Studies 8(2), 20-51.
ABSTRACT: Identity politics (often dubbed political correctness: PC) victim categories (protected characteristics) are shown to be false. Negative attitude is specifically towards males, and evoked by any form of significant difference. Previous findings that misogyny has no scientific basis, with the evidence instead of philogyny and misandry, extend to apply across all victim categories, trumping race or sexual orientation. This is revealed in the predominance of males as hate crime victims, the harsher attitude towards apparently more masculine subsets of sexual minority and race, and experimentally. Supposed homophobia is revealed to be a far wider phenomenon, encompassing all victim categories, manifest culturally in male initiation and scientifically evidenced across fields. It functions to gate-keep male full admission to the group, serving to police male sexual access, maximising reproductive efficiency, not to deal with out-group threat, nor to oppress (least of all females). Identity politics is extreme misrepresentation of social and inter-personal reality.

Ad Dam

8th July 2020 at 11:39 am

I know you’re just copypasting but thank you, for speaking up about MEN.

Dominic Straiton

2nd July 2020 at 8:07 pm

Get all your info from twatter and you will be A) wrong and B) completely out of touch with the actual population. Its hilarious. What a bunch of chumps.

Ian Wilson

3rd July 2020 at 5:52 am

Well said

jamie murray

2nd July 2020 at 7:13 pm

P.s can Jake Hepple [of the banner fame] have his job and livelihood back now?. The low lifes at go fund me even took down a fundraising page for him, these people are despicable cowards!

jamie murray

2nd July 2020 at 7:11 pm

The author states that it was remarkable so many signed up without thinking through just what they were supporting. Lets be honest here, left wing, virtue signalling leftie luvvies, footballers and musicians are not known for their critical thinking skills are they? It was a safe, woke bandwagon and they jumped on, made them look brave and caring in each others sights, if not ours, we held them in contempt.
The politicians getting on board so quickly though, well they’re just confirming what we already knew, greasy, opportunistic cynics who’d do anything, i mean anything if they thought votes were in it for them. Clap like a seal outside my house, grovel on my knees to a black supremacist organisation?, “hey,count me in, i have no pride or principles”.

Jules Hardiman

2nd July 2020 at 6:53 pm

Did none of these idiots taking the knee recently pay attention when this organisation first appeared in this country? tryng to close Heathrow etc?
The American version has never hidden what it stood for so why is everyone surprised now?

Mor Vir

2nd July 2020 at 6:34 pm

The Spectator has an interesting analysis of BLM, and its class basis in the anti-populist establishment, Wall St. and the security services. BLM is funded by, and it is ordered to the material interests of the bourgeois state, and it is a distraction from substantive criticism of contemporary capitalism. BLM is an anti-populist counter-revolution that is funded by Wall St. and the C iA.

They do not seek a radically new arrangement, but a return to the pre-Trump, pre-Brexit status quo ante which was working out very well for them. It was, of course, working out less well for the working class of all races, who bore the brunt of their preferred policy mix: open borders, free trade without limits, an aggressive cultural liberalism that corroded tradition and community, technocratic ‘global governance’ that neutered democracy and politics as such…

The goal isn’t to rectify concrete economic injustices: massive inequalities in wealth, health and job security. The goal is precisely the opposite: to mitigate, to defer, to smooth over, to mask these substantive disagreements and instead have battles on procedural mechanisms for upholding manners.

Ad Dam

8th July 2020 at 11:45 am

So you’re saying their Marxism isn’t Marxism, just socialism eh, comrade?

James Knight

2nd July 2020 at 5:48 pm

Well BLM have just lost their own state, CHAZISTAN in Seattle which was finally retaken. The self appointed police of their own state shot two black teenage joyriders. Funny how BLM does not want us to “Say Their Names”.

Thomas Rainsborough

2nd July 2020 at 5:27 pm

Any chance of footballers having “STAND WITH HONG KONG” on the back of their shirts? Or do they only support terrorist organisations?

Barbara Baker

2nd July 2020 at 4:45 pm

Yup – all caught pants down and showing themselves to be gullible , self aggrandising , completely vacuous and devoid of independent thought. Anyone going against this tide is roasted, shamed and fired – not necessarily in that order. Their time will come – the British people have a tendency to slap them down when they least expect it – if they learned anything from Brexit they should know that Twitter is not the prism through which British people see the world, the country or themselves. Democracy is what really terrifies them – they have now armed us with the knowledge.

Mark Houghton

2nd July 2020 at 4:23 pm

In the rush to be seen as virtuous you don’t even bother ascertaining the facts. In fact asking for proof of such things as ‘systemic racism’ end up with you being accused of racism.

Linda Payne

2nd July 2020 at 4:07 pm

When the great Cyril Regis died there was an interview with an old black footballer; he broke down in tears when he recalled the nasty racism he endured in the 1970’s; ‘today it is nothng like it was then’ he said and so true. Real racism has gone, those who fought against it when it happened 30 40 50 years ago are the real anti racists

nick hunt

2nd July 2020 at 6:08 pm

Real racism is alive and very well, as you can see whenever leftists accuse whites of racism, but never any other racial group. BLM has the same problem, much magnified; they only protest white racists, and only speak up for two groups of dead blacks: long-dead US slaves opprssed by whites, or the tiny group of blacks dying at the hands of white cops (93% of US black homicide victims are murdered by other blacks). BLM should be called BlackDeathsMatter.
More here:

K Tojo

2nd July 2020 at 3:41 pm

It all reminds me of that TV spoof from a few years ago (I think it was on “The Day Today”) where several gullible celebrities were persuaded to join a campaign to call for a ficticious “deadly new drug” called Cake to be banned.

Most striking was the eagerness of the various celebs to get behind a “good cause” without really bothering to ask questions. It was a good cause and backing it made them look good – say no more.


2nd July 2020 at 4:06 pm

Yes I remember that K, and I believe that it was The Day Today. I’m pretty sure there was an interview of some sort with Bob Hoskins, ostensibly about the sexual abuse of children, in which he presumably said ‘I’m talking nonce sense’ which had been contextualised or adjusted to sound like ‘I’m talking nonsense’. I also seem to remember that it was Dr Rhodes Boyson who they spoofed into condemning ‘Cake’.

Thomas Rainsborough

2nd July 2020 at 5:25 pm

Lineker was one of the cretins who fell for it. No big surprise.

jamie murray

2nd July 2020 at 7:21 pm

I remember very clearly the Nonce- sense thing Lineker got on board with, seriously what can you say?
Sad thing is though, as a 10 year old watching Lineker at Italia 90 with his goalscoring and his iconic finger to the temple gesture re Gazza, i thought he was the b******s, he even made s******g yourself seem cool [against Ireland, it’s on youtube]. Now though, he’s a sneering, elitist leftie that holds the likes of me in contempt, never meet your heroes eh?!

jamie murray

2nd July 2020 at 7:26 pm

Had time to process my comments so quick edit-Nobody could make s******g yourself seem cool,it’s never cool. What i should have said was, as a 10 year old he seemed so cool that him s******g himself was no biggie and he didn’t lose any kudos with me at the time.
Now though, cacking his kecks is the least of his sins.

Arthur ASCII

2nd July 2020 at 6:18 pm

Actually it was the creation of Chris Morris and part of the series Brass Eye, broadcast on C4 in the days when they were more innovative and less right-on than now. Chris also did the film Four Lions among other projects but seems to be lower profile these days, more’s the pity.

michael harris

2nd July 2020 at 2:37 pm

People have heeded the soundbite ‘educate yourself’ echoed by Piers Morgan. But not exactly in the way the slogan’s pushers intended.
They have ‘educated’ themselves about BLM’s agenda and are now heading for the door.
I think that the slogan was supposed to mean ‘THINK WHAT WE TELL YOU’.

Mor Vir

2nd July 2020 at 2:30 pm

So, Farage is now vindicated in the new consensus.

Nigel was ignominiously dispatched from LBC for saying what everyone now admits is true. It took two weeks for the hysteria to subside enough for a clear view of BLM.

That was Farage’s reward for standing up, alone, amid a tsunami of hysteria, to call out BLM. He was a damned heretic and an outcast. That is how people are treated in this society for doing what no one else is willing to do.

This society needs to take a good hard look itself over what happened with BLM. Why did so many, within the establishment, fall so hard for BLM? How can that be avoided in the future? What safeguards can be put in place to protect people, and their livelihoods, in times of mass establishment hysteria?

The truth is that this establishment loves mass hysteria and the vulnerability that it places individuals in, especially the more dissident types. The British state loves it.

Will LBC now apologise to Nigel and offer him his job back? Of course not, because decency does not matter in this society, all that matters is ego and reputations, one’s own first and foremost, everyone else be damned. Disgusting society.

Stef Steer

2nd July 2020 at 5:06 pm

They will try and sweep the whole thing under the carpet as quickly as possible.

I hope Farage gets the reform party up and running and woke ideology and its censorious and life destroying effects hopefully will be be a major plank of it. Thing is even when Black lives matter is a distant memory there is still all of the stuff going on that Andrew Doyle, Douglas Murray, Toby young and lots others have highlighted.

I do worry a bit that I am projecting and hoping for a lot from the reform party but if not them then who? Anyway hopefully we will soon see.

nick hunt

2nd July 2020 at 6:53 pm

BLM revealed the hard core hate, violence and bigotry which is intrinsic to leftism. BLM are Bolsheviks, too scary and blatant for cowardly, virtue-signalling, brain-dead establishment Mensheviks

Matt Ryan

2nd July 2020 at 2:19 pm

Footballers, politicians and the BBC are not likely to every apply “critical thinking” or miss a good opportunity for “virtue signalling”. If they could, they wouldn’t be in one of these groups.

jamie murray

2nd July 2020 at 7:14 pm

Spot on, i’ve said as much in my post. Problem is, nobody in authority or influence will ever air our views, it’s not on is it?

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