Football has been known to unite the country on its best days – unfortunately, Sunday night was not one of those.
A brutal way to end what was an amazing run to the final, having lost what many thought was coming home.
If it had come home, we would have seen jubilation on the streets, followed by weeks of heavy drinking and singing Sweet Caroline in true English fashion. This could have been the summer that it came home…
Instead, it is the summer where our players were racially abused for missing penalties – something that should never happen. Now, it is quite understandable that people are angry about the penalties, but racially abusing people is not an acceptable way of taking this anger out.
Publically criticise the manager, criticise the way that the players acted throughout the tournament if you like, but do it based on their performances, not because some happen to have more melanin in their skin than others.
Unfortunately, kneeling has made the situation worse, despite the players’ best intentions of tackling racial inequality – which is, of course, commendable. The kneeling, however, is associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, which has had the unfortunate consequence of legitimising this Marxist endeavour, bringing even more vile racists out of the hole they came from.
Any other choice of protest would have caused less backlash from the country. The boos when the players kneeled were nothing to do with not wanting racial equality, but rather with not wanting a Marxist movement to spearhead it.
Racism is unacceptable. Supporting England is not a choice you make based on them winning or losing. Football, however, has now become a sport that divides rather than unites at an international level. We must now find a new way to tackle discrimination – one that can be apolitical to all sides of the aisle, to avoid stoking up the fires that we are trying so desperately to put out.