Crystal Palace become first Premier League club to publicly distance themselves from Black Lives Matter amid controversy
CRYSTAL PALACE have become the first Premier League club to distance themselves from the Black Lives Matter UK movement.
Prem chiefs have agreed they will not ditch the Black Lives Matter badge on club shirts – because it was designed by Troy Deeney and his partner.
That decision was taken after League bosses came under pressure over the badge following a growing backlash against the aims of the movement.
BLM leaders have posted their beliefs in defunding the police, overthrowing capitalism and “targeted sanctions in line with international law against Israel’s colonial, apartheid regime”.
Sky Sports pundits Jamie Redknapp and Patrice Evra recently ditched their BLM badges for a live broadcast.
And the BBC have reportedly told presenters not to wear the badge after the campaign was accused of “hijacking” George Floyd’s death for political reasons.
While Palace insist they DO back the “ethos” of the cause, they today issued a statement drawing a definitive line between football’s adoption of the anti-discrimination message and the wider demands of the movement.
Palace said: “As people will have seen from our first home game, we have placed banners over our seated areas at Selhurst Park that read: BLACK LIVES MATTER.
“We stand proudly alongside members of the BAME community, our players and employees, and behind the ideals and ethos of ‘black lives matter’.
“However, we would like to make clear that we do not endorse any pressure group or body that carries the same term in its name, and we strongly believe that organisations should not use this important force for change and positivity to push their own political agendas.
This week BLM was accused of “spreading hate” after pledging support for Palestine amid Israel’s plans to annex the West Bank.
The UK arm of the movement put out a series of messages on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on its Twitter account.
But Jewish groups and human rights campaigners said the anti-racism group’s tweets were “failings”.
BLM’s comments come as Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, plans to annex Jewish settlements within Palestinian occupied West Bank – forbidden in international law.
The BLM UK account wrote: “As Israel moves forward with the annexation of the West Bank, and mainstream British politics is gagged of the right to critique Zionism, and Israel’s settler colonial pursuits, we loudly and clearly stand beside our Palestinian comrades. FREE PALESTINE.”
“We want to be part of a world that is fair, inclusive and open to all.
“As an organisation, we recognise that we need to do more, and we will do more to contribute towards this goal.”
The Eagles’ statement is in line with the Prem’s own official response to the criticism fired at chief executive Richard Masters by some MPs during his appearance in front of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee on Tuesday.
The decision of players to “take a knee” at kick-off when football resumed after the coronavirus lockdown was widely applauded.
As a sign of backing for the campaign that mushroomed after the death in the US of unarmed Floyd, the names of players were replaced by “Black Lives Matter” for the opening 12 games.
All top flight shirts have been adorned with a BLM badge designed by Watford ace Deeney and his partner.
These will be worn for the duration of the resumed season.
That remains the Prem policy with no plans to change the stance despite the growing controversy.
The League still believes it is right to have gestures in support of anti-discrimination measures.
And one of the key reasons is that the badge itself was designed by Deeney and his partner and is NOT a product of the BLM movement.
League chiefs remain adamant that it was specifically designed for Prem players to wear and is a clear symbol of a commitment to fight racism rather than being the logo of a political organisation.
The civil rights group came about in response to extreme police brutality which culminated in the shooting dead of three African-American men in 2013.
The movement was founded by three community organisers and civil rights activists – Alica Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi.
The three women had first met through an organisation which trains community organisers.
It began with a simple hashtag – #BlackLivesMatter – before people began taking to the streets to protest against inequality and violence.
Organisers say the movement’s mission is to “eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities”.
Black Lives Matter regularly campaigns against institutional racism and violence towards black people.
By: Martin Lipton Title: Crystal Palace become first Premier League club to publicly distance themselves from Black Lives Matter amid controversy Sourced From: www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/12010366/crystal-palace-distance-themselves-blm/ Published Date: Thu, 02 Jul 2020 10:41:40 +0000