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The England Football Team Was Defeated In The Euro 2020 Final But They Have A Chance To Win The Culture War 2

By Sana Noor Haq, CNN The Euro 2020 tournament has become a national conversation point in the United Kingdom, but not just because of sport.
When England lost in a penalty shootout to Italy in the final, Wembley Stadium in London had held seven Euro 2020 matches, an advantage that helped persuade English fans that “footballs coming home,” a reference to the chorus of the “Three Lions” song composed when England hosted the European Championships in 1996.
England’s players kneeled before each game’s kick-off both before and throughout the tournament, an act Gareth Southgate’s squad claimed demonstrated their support for anti-racism.
Several spectators booed the gesture, most notably in two pre-Euro 2020 friendly matches and again during England’s first match against Croatia.
That was a sound that Premier League players were all too acquainted with, as they had gotten a similar reception ahead of the FA Cup final between Leicester City and Chelsea in May, when players also took the knee.
Priti Patel, the UK Home Secretary, accused the national team of “gesture politics” by kneeling in June.
She told GB News it fans had the right to boo players, adding, “that’s a choice for them, quite frankly.” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as well as other members of his government, did not denounce such fans.
But, after Italy’s penalty shootout victory over England, some fans’ rage erupted in the form of online racist abuse directed at England players Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, and Jadon Sancho, who all missed penalties.
Patel tweeted that the abuse had “disgusted” her, prompting England international Tyrone Mings to criticize the UK Home Secretary.
“You don’t get to build the fire at the start of the tournament by calling our anti-racism message ‘Gesture Politics,’ then pretend to be disgusted when the same thing you’re campaigning against occurs,” the 28-year-old wrote on Twitter.
When CNN contacted Patel and the Home Office, they declined to comment on Ming’s post, pointing instead to her tweet and remarks in the House of Commons on Monday condemning the racist abuse aimed at England players.
Johnson and his cabinet are suddenly immersed in a culture war that might have electoral ramifications.
READ: Germany’s Olympic soccer team storms off the pitch during a friendly match over alleged racial abuse ‘Undeclared war on woke And Johnson, according to political expert Tim Bale, may find himself on the wrong side of history if he tries to exploit culture conflicts to consolidate his grip on power.
“It’s easy to see why they did it,” he continued, “since they themselves are waging an unofficial war on the woke.”
According to the opposition Labour Party, the government’s initial inactivity served as inspiration for the continuous racial insults directed at players.
“Let me be clear,” says the speaker.
In a tweet, Deputy Labour Leader Angela Rayner said, “The Prime Minister and the Home Secretary gave license to the bigots who booed England players and are now racially insulting England players.”
“@BorisJohnson and @pritipatel are arsonists whining over a fire they put out with gasoline.”
She went on to say, “Complete hypocrites.”
Similarly, at the weekly Prime Ministers Questions session, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer claimed that Johnson had given racism “green light” and was attempting to “spark a culture war” over the issue of players kneeling.
Ian Blackford, the Westminster leader of the Scottish National Party, went even farther, pointing to remarks Johnson made when working as a journalist, especially his earlier use of racial language in a 2002 Daily Telegraph column.
Johnson has now apologized for offending anyone.
“Can the Prime Minister tell us what consequences he thinks would be appropriate for someone who posts racist information, and it’s astonishing even to have to say this out loud, characterizing Africans as ‘flag waving piccaninnies with watermelon smiles?” asked Blackford during PMQs on Wednesday.
“This Prime Minister’s record of dog whistling has followed him into 10 Downing Street and is now at the heart of this Tory government,” Blackford continued.
“Prime Minister David Cameron made it plain before England’s first game that he wanted to see everyone rally behind the team to cheer them on, not boo them,” a No. 10 source said.
On Friday, a representative for 10 informed CNN.
“He has also made it plain that people should feel free to express their respect and opposition to racism in this country in any way they see fit,” they added.
“Racism in any form has no place in our society,” the spokesperson continued, “which is why we are adopting harsh new rules to force social media companies to crack down on it.”
‘I feel we are in jeopardy,’ several Tory supporters have said, implying that the party has blundered on the kneeling of England players.
According to the Guardian, Albie Amankona, a co-founder of Conservatives Against Racism For Equality, wrote to Tory MPs on Tuesday, claiming that “too many” had “fundamentally misinterpreted the gesture.”
Even when supporters of the kneeling movement claim it has nothing to do with it,” Amankona told BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday.
“We should have listened and changed our minds, and maybe not been so vehemently opposed to it,” Amankona continued.
“Just as we can’t be connected with calls to defund the police, we urgently need to challenge our own attitude to people taking a knee,” former minister and prominent Tory backbencher Steve Baker wrote in a statement to MPs on the Conservatives Against Racism For Equality group, according to the Guardian.
A new generation of footballers is proactively using social media as a tool for increasing social and political participation, demonstrating how people in power can be held accountable in a much more public glare than ever before.
“Anybody who works with young people […] understands that theyre quite intelligent,” said Professor Bale, adding that footballers are “far more socially aware than perhaps they were a few years ago.”
“Therefore it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone […] that they’ll have opinions and will voice them passionately,” he says.
Before taking to the field at Euro 2020, England’s young football stars raised awareness about other problems that are important to them.
Marcus Rashford led a campaign against child hunger in June 2020, after the United Kingdom announced that it will not distribute free school meal vouchers for poor children during the summer vacation.
The government then overturned its judgment.
Former United States President Barack Obama lauded the Manchester United forward.
President Barack Obama for his efforts to alleviate child hunger.
Jadon Sancho, a winger for Borussia Dortmund, teamed up with Nike a year ago to establish a state-of-the-art football pitch in south London to help young players develop their footballing skills.
Other England sportsmen, including captain Harry Kane and Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount, have taken to social media in the last week to speak out against Rashford, Sancho, and Saka’s racist insults.
Before then, Premier League teammates Jack Grealish and Jordan Henderson had argued that the team should take a knee in protest of inequity and racial injustice.
“Hate will never triumph,” Sancho wrote on Instagram in response to the racist abuse he had received. “I am delighted of this England squad and how we have united the whole nation in what has been a traumatic 18 months for so many people,” he added, adding that the good messages “far exceeded the negative.” Saka also acknowledged the abuse on Instagram, stating, “I don’t want any child or adult to have to…”
I could tell right away what kind of hatred I was about to face.
“There is no place for racism or hate of any type in football or in any other sector of society, and by the majority of people getting together to call out the people sending these messages, by taking action and reporting these comments to the police, and by driving out the hate by being kind to one another, we will win.”
Fans and locals alike, on the other hand, deluged the image with messages of love and support, congratulating him for elevating the nation’s spirit and carrying himself with grace.
“Although the substance of the vandalism is not considered to be of a racial character, we are keeping an open mind as to the reason behind defacing the artwork,” Greater Manchester Police (GMP) added in a statement on Thursday. Superintendent Richard Timson, district commander for GMP’s City of Manchester division, said: “On Monday morning when we observed the damage done to the mural in Wigan, we were shocked.”
“I’m at a loss for words,” the footballer said on Instagram.
In his book “The Moral Importance of Sport,” Jan Boxill argues, “Sport mirrors or reflects society, its virtues and vices, but, unlike a mirror, it is active; it changes what it is a reflection of.”
If the previous several months have taught us anything, it’s that sport will always be a microcosm of society, reflecting shifting social mores among voters.
“The days of politicians telling athletes and celebrities to stay out of politics are long gone,” Bale argues, “particularly when they aren’t parroting the line that those politicians approve of.”
“With social media, they have a direct route to the public.”
Politics and sport are now inextricably linked, whether that is a good thing or not.” The-CNN-Wire ™ & (c) 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company
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