Taking the knee

I TOTALLY agree with Mike Taylor (HAS, June 10) about footballers taking the knee and feel that this action has served its purpose.

I never really agreed with it in the first place as I don’t like politics where sport introduces a side issue.

I would not boo myself but I would understand some of the reasons why there was booing and not all of it would be down to being a racist. I wonder how many of the players taking the knee genuinely wanted to do so or were pressurised into it by a PC manager, as I believe Gareth Southgate.

There is so much political correctness in sport, you only have to look at the ECB and especially Gary Lineker.

Taking the knee originated because of certain out-of-control police officers in the US, not this country. The only comparable incident I can think of in this country was the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in 2003. I still can’t understand why no police officer was taken to task for this shooting.

If such incidents involving police were regular in this country, I would agree to some form of protest.

I would certainly agree to taking the knee if it was the only form of bringing home to people the ongoing killing of millions of innocent babies by abortion. Do the babies not have a right to life?

I would also highlight the ongoing killing of Christians in Africa and Asia and also of Muslims in China.

Incidentally, the originators of Black Lives Matter had a left wing agenda. This does not detract from their original purpose but now I believe that purpose has been achieved, why is it still being pursued?

Thomas Ball, Barnard Castle.

Taking the knee 2

GIVEN the boos that echoed around Middlesbrough’s Riverside when England players took the knee, I fail to understand their discontent of those who booed.

As with the majority of the crowd, I am not a member of an ethnic minority and therefore have no concept of what it is like to endure racial abuse and discrimination on a daily basis. From slavery onwards, our education system promoted the view that our “black Commonwealth cousins” were lesser beings and as such should be treated differently.

The result is that prejudice is widespread within our society, as demonstrated within the housing and jobs sectors.

Therefore this persistent discrimination needs to be challenged and it should also apply to other disadvantaged groups.

Many say it should be ‘all lives matter’ and not just ‘black lives matter’. This means that when challenging discrimination they are patently adopting the same side of the argument. Everyone wishes to be treated fairly and to do so it means there should be an equality of access, opportunity and outcome.

This would ensure society benefits from everyone having the chance to fulfil their potential. So the next time you or your family feel you have suffered an injustice, consider what it is like for members of the ethnic communities who for hundreds of years (both here and in the US) have been condemned for demanding their basic human rights. It also raises the question which minority will be vilified next and are you a member of that one?

For those who booed, and all those agree with them, how can ethnic minorities receiving social justice make the lives of the majority any less fulfilling? We should adopt Martin Luther King Jnr’s view and “judge a man not by the colour of his skin but by the content of his character” – and thereafter treat them accordingly.

Tom Parkin, Howden-le-Wear.