The hype across the nation in the days leading up to and including match day yesterday Sunday 11th July was great with people of all socio-economic backgrounds rooting for the England team against Italy for more reasons than one. Black and Brown people because we had at least six players who are descendants from the Caribbean and the White people because their new captain represented a host of values and abilities they were confident would have brought home the cup. Well, fate favoured the Italians and England lost on penalties. Penalties attempted by Black players. Did they deliberately throw the penalties? I think not! Were they competent enough to have been awarded the opportunity to shoot the penalties? I think so! But did we (rational people) think that their would have been a cry for their heads on a stake because they failed to get the ball into the back of the net and seal England’s winning fate after 55 years? Certainly not!
Well it’s done and England lost to a stronger team, Italy. Do Italy deserve it? No because they commited fowls in an attempt to intimidate the players showing fear and weakness. Some of the fowls bordered on bullying or even racism…The monkey chants and social media vitriol suffered by the Black players is totally unacceptible and an eternal stain on the reputation of English fans everywhere. Many criticised the gestures of Black players taking the knee at matches in recent time in solidarity of the brutal killing of George Floyd and other Black and Brown people killed while in police custody in both America and the UK. But do we now see the relevance and importance of showing solidarity for the oppressed and against the oppressers? In this country once you do something that is pleasing to the White establishment you are accepted but the moment one runs afowl of what is expected one suddenly becomes reviled, cursed, demonised and dehumanised.
For the young Black players that worked so hard to qualify for the finals…putting everything on the line to play on a national level before millions of endearing fans and hating racists in an attempt to bring joy to a nation deeply divided by race in a pandemic. Does anyone stop to think how they feel today? Do their feelings matter? I think this nation owes them a debt of gratitude and should recognise that their feelings and lives matter as well! Let’s face it, the majority of the people criticising and blaspheming against the Black players don’t have the talent or skill to perform at that level so they should really…Shut It!