Football is happy to virtue signal for everyone except Jews

The Jewish community will not forget the FA's failures


LONDON - MARCH 09: The nearly complete Wembley Stadium rises above local buildings on March 9, 2007 in London. The Football Association is expected to receive the keys to the GBP757 million stadium in the next few days. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

October 14, 2023 13:29

It’s easy and always appropriate to regard football - and footballers (indeed most mainstream sports) – as being driven largely by commercial factors. When Jordan Henderson signed to play in Saudi Arabia, for example, no one should have been in any way surprised because hypocrisy is part and parcel of modern sport.

And in any case, the idea that we should look to successful sports figures for moral leadership has always been bizarre.

Yet we do – and they are usually only too happy to go along with this and make virtue-signalling statements on major events. As are sporting bodies which want to be seen in what they think will be a good light.

So when George Floyd was murdered in the US, expressions of support, solidarity and anger were near universal, with teams taking knee and bodies like the FA pledging to campaign and work against racism.

When Ukraine was invaded there were statements and expressions of support. And – here comes the hypocrisy – when the World Cup was played in Qatar (chosen by football itself as the venue) there were statements and expressions of support for the LGBT community.

But those campaigns disappear when the issue is murdered Jews.

The issue of the Wembley arch not being lit in the colours of the Israeli flag is both ridiculous and important. It's ridiculous because in the context of 1200 people being murdered and 100 kidnapped by a terrorist organisation, who gives a damn about an arch over a football stadium?

But it matters because of what has gone before. In all those previous examples, the FA took the decision to bathe the arch in symbolic colours. I happen to think this kind of virtue signalling is silly. But once you go down that road, the route you take matters. And the FA have now made it abundantly clear from their actions that when it comes to go dead Jews, their attitude is 'meh'.

Given how it has been keen to display its solidarity over Ukraine, George Floyd and Qatar, there is no plausible for the FA's moral cowardice other than it does not consider it worth the possible reaction from those who do not consider a dead Jewish baby to matter. From, in other words, those who support terrorism.

Presumably, the FA thinks this is the path of least resistance. And to the extent that those who do think dead Jews matter are not going to do anything other than express their anger - as I am doing now - the FA is right.

But in every other sense, it is wrong. And most of all, we will never, ever forget, how the FA has behaved. Not ever.

October 14, 2023 13:29

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