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"Taking the Knee" - why is it mandatory in Scottish football?

Updated: Jul 17, 2021

Watching Sportscene tonight, every game begins with both teams and coaching staff "Taking the knee".

No one is allowed to refuse to do so. Why?

I am not trying to say that the death of George Floyd in America wasn't awful. It was, and it shouldn't have happened. And those that carried it out should be tried in court for it.

However, the gesture of taking the knee is a political one, one that says you support the Black Lives Matter protests. And there is much about the BLM movement that raises awkward questions, for example "to what extent is Antifa involved in it?".

Therefore in my opinion, no one in the UK ought to be obliged to "take the knee" as a mandatory requirement of their employment by a football club.

Now we all know that clubs feel the pressure to oblige because so much of their financial revenue comes from the media who are pushing for all clubs to require their players to carry out this gesture before kick-off. The gesture therefore is to all intents and purposes, mandatory. Most likely the penalty for any player not carrying out this gesture would be termination of employment.

This is ridiculous.

We wouldn't allow a manager of a company to force all employees to cross themselves just because he was a Roman Catholic. There would be an outcry if any manager tried to enforce this.

We wouldn't allow a manager of a company to force all employees to join a Trade Union just because he was a Trade Unionist. "Closed shops" became illegal decades ago.

We wouldn't allow a manager to selectively promote anyone because they supported the same political party as himself. This too would be deemed illegal.

And yet somehow we are allowing the political views of the media to force clubs, and in turn their employees, to visually enact support for a political movement by enforcing "taking the knee".

It is surely only a matter of time before a player tests the system and refuses to do so. The sooner the better in my opinion, because this kind of enforced behaviour must surely break some kind of employment law.

And it doesn't have to be that any player refusing to take the knee is necessarily racist against the black population. He or she may simply not wish to take part in a political gesture, but rather simply keep their employment one based on sport and not politics. I'm pretty sure the majority of professional footballers do not wish to be politicians. And why assume it would only be white players that wanted to defy this mandatory requirement? Maybe some black players feel equally awkward about it.

The fact is we live in a country where there is such a thing as Human Rights and no one should be forced to think or act in any way they do not wish to. It is not a crime to mind your own business and ask to be left alone. It is a crime to threaten to terminate the employment of someone for not wishing to take part in a political gesture.

And finally I would ask the question - since when did the media make up the rules and requirements that govern this country?

I look forward to the day when a footballer Stands Free.

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