Priti Patel’s criticism of her statements about kneeling during the Euro 2020 tournament is “strange” and “weird,” according to Grant Shapps.
As the home secretary’s statements from earlier in the competition came under fire, the transport secretary emphasized that she had talked “quite movingly” about her own experience of racism in the House of Commons.
During the early phases of the match, Ms Patel refused to criticise the minority of fans who booed England’s footballer who took a knee to show solidarity against racism, suggesting that it was a “decision for them.”
Following England’s Euro 2016 failure, three players — Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka — were subjected to racial abuse on social media, which the home secretary and No 10 both denounced.
Ms Patel, on the other hand, was accused of “stoking the fire” of racism at the start of the tournament by labeling her anti-racism message as “gesture politics” and then seeming to be outraged when the same thing she was fighting against occurred.
On social media, Tory MP Jonny Mercer, who just resigned from the government, endorsed Mr Mings, saying: “The awful truth is that this guy is entirely right.”
Mr Shapps, speaking on Sky News, became the latest senior minister to defend Ms Patel, saying: “I thought the comments about Priti Patel were unusual or peculiar because Priti Patel has spoken very movingly in the House of Commons about her personal experience of suffering from racism.”
On Tuesday evening, Mr Baker remarked, “This might be a pivotal moment for our party.”
“As much as we can’t be connected with calls to defund the police, we urgently need to challenge our own attitude to individuals taking the knee,” the senior Conservative backbencher said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, adding that it was a “wake-up call” for the Conservative Party “of how important our words are when we navigate these problems,” while declining to criticize Ms Patel.
“It’s one thing to boo a referee who makes a marginal decision,” he continued, “but it’s another to boo brave, black athletes who are standing up to prejudice and heroically taking a knee to show our support with people who are suffering racism.”
“I believe it’s fairly simple: racism is terrible; you never want to see it in society; we want to make sure it’s rooted out in all its forms,” Mr Shapps said when asked about the remarks.
“I think we should respect everyone and whatever form they choose to indicate that they are against racism is great with me,” he said when asked again.
“I think it’s a shame because it detracts from a fantastic performance by the England squad, who came together and did the country proud, and I’d rather leave it at that.”
“I believe we should work together as a society and begin by accepting that no one wants to see racism, and that if we accept that everyone has the proper attitude and approach on this, we will progress a long way as a country.”