CHRIS SUTTON: I will continue to wear Black Lives Matter badge… equality is more important than organisation’s controversial appeal to defund police
- Distinction must be made between Black Lives Matter message and organisation
- The movement is about equality, not the UK wing’s call to defund the police
- I will continue to proudly wear BLM badge in on TV during the rest of the season
There is a difference between Black Lives Matter the message and Black Lives Matter the organisation.
One is about fighting for equality. The other’s UK wing has courted controversy by calling for police funding to be cut and an end to free trade with Israel.
I’m not one for delving too deeply into politics but for me, that is not what Black Lives Matter has ever been about. This movement has always been about the powerful over-riding message it conveys – that the lives of black people matter as much as anyone’s.
I will continue to wear Black Lives Matter badge. Equality is more important than politics
That is why I supported the campaign in the first place and support it now. That is why players kneel before kick- off and wear badges on their shirt sleeves. That is why if I was in the TV studio today and was offered the option of wearing a BLM badge, I would do so. That’s my personal choice.
I can understand why others might not want their shows of support to be misconstrued. We saw Sky Sports pundits decide against wearing theirs on Tuesday, while Matt Le Tissier has spoken about the politics of it.
Premier League players may release a statement distancing themselves from that side of the BLM movement in the coming days, too, amid concerns about its ideology and political ambitions.
That might be a good way of keeping the message on point. So many times over the years we have talked about racism and inequality in this country, then it has faded away. This feels different. This campaign has built a head of steam and I don’t want to see it disappear.
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