The Premier League and various footballers and commentators have begun withdrawing support from Black Lives Matter (BLM) after Campaign Against Antisemitism exposed antisemitism within the movement.
The Premier League reportedly said in a statement it was “aware of the risk posed by groups that seek to hijack popular causes to promote their own political views” and that “these actions are entirely unwelcome and are rejected,” it added. The statement came after the ‘official’ Black Lives Matter movement Twitter account published an antisemitic tweet accusing Zionism of having “gagged” Britain, among other extreme views espoused by organs of the movement.
On Sky Sports, pundits and commentators Patrice Evra, Jamie Redknapp, Gary Neville and Kelly Cates all opted to stop wearing BLM badges in coverage this week. Matt Le Tissier had already revealed that he had worn the badge because studio executives had required him to do so and that he is reviewing the matter.
The developments came after Gary Lineker distanced himself from the Black Lives Matter movement. The footballer-turned-celebrity was asked by actor Laurence Fox on Twitter as to his views on the Black Lives Matter movement following the controversy this weekend, and he responded: “Why do you ask? I didn’t retweet it and wouldn’t dream of doing so, therefore I can’t really understand what your issue is.”
Other sportsmen are also understood to be reconsidering their support for the movement following numerous controversies, distinguishing between their strongly-felt opposition to racism against the black community and their disenchantment with the Black Lives Matter movement itself.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “We are not surprised that the antisemitic outbursts and revelations of other extremist views from within the BLM movement are causing those who had lent their support to distance themselves. All decent people oppose racism, which is why seeing anti-Jewish racism emerging from within the movement against anti-black racism has been an ugly sight. Prejudice cannot be beaten with more prejudice.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism called out the verified ‘@UKBLM’ Twitter account for its antisemitic tweets over the weekend.