As the first Black Lives Matter protests began to take place in the UK, following the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, several organisations and individuals quickly saw that they could jump on the movement’s bandwagon.
Shortly afterwards, several organisations had adopted the logo and backed the official Black Lives Matter UK campaign. Even the English Premier League, which normally avoids promoting political causes, said players would wear the organisation's logo on their shirts.
It soon became apparent though that the Black Lives Matter campaign in the UK is not just interested in anti-racism. The movement has backed a controversial pledge to ‘defund the police’, said that its aims include the dismantling of capitalism, and believes that ‘politics is gagged of the right to critique Zionism’.
Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for those who had supported the Black Lives Matter campaign to realise they might have backed the wrong horse. With that in mind, below are the best reverse-ferrets so far:
The Labour leader started off with a strong show of support for the campaign, when he decided to take a knee in Parliament alongside his deputy, Angela Rayner.
After being confronted though with some of Black Lives Matter’s policies, such as their pledge to defund the police, Starmer suddenly got cold feet. The former public prosecutor ended up arguing that it was ‘a shame’ the Black Lives Matter movement was getting ‘tangled up with these organisational issues.’
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) June 29, 2020
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tells #BBCBreakfast it’s "a shame" the sentiment behind the Black Lives Matter movement is getting “tangled up with these organisational issues" and it’s "nonsense" to call to ‘Defund the Police’. pic.twitter.com/7ydITWGZWN
Starmer can hardly have been surprised though that Black Lives Matter wanted to defund the police, considering it was the clarion call of the US movement. Perhaps the ‘forensic’ Labour leader isn’t that interested in the detail after all.
The English Premier League
In June, the Premier League announced that all of its players would wear the Black Lives Matter logo on the back of their shirts for the first 12 matches of the restarted season. The league released a statement saying ‘We, the players, stand together with the singular objective of eradicating racial prejudice’.
After BLM UK posted its diatribes against Zionism though, the League has been forced into a humbling reversal. On 30 June, it released a statement clarifying that it does not ‘endorse any political organisation or movement’ and that it was ‘aware of the risk posed by groups that seek to hijack popular causes and campaigns to promote their own political views.’
Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan had already risked looking foolish when it came to the Black Lives Matter movement, after supporting his son’s decision to break social distancing rules at the protests, despite his own hard-line stance on the lockdown rules.
The presenter has now been forced to distance himself from the official BLM campaign itself – and attempted to argue that the ‘Black Lives Matter political organisation’ and the protests are very different things…
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 29, 2020
I agree with him.I support the #BlackLivesMatter protests for racial equality & justice - but the Black Lives Matter political organisation stands for some things I don't agree with incl defunding the police. They're different things. https://t.co/4HogLei7Yd
The Beeb has been gushing in its reporting of the Black Lives Matter protests, but has paid rather less attention to the aims of the official campaign group. Mr S wonders if that might be about to change now. The Telegraph reports that the corporation has ruled that staff should not wear Black Lives Matter badges on air, as it is a political campaign.
Football pundit Gary Lineker has been a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement since it came to the UK, but he came unstuck when asked about the UK organisation’s recent tweets about Zionism. Asked if he endorsed those views, Lineker hastily replied that
‘Whilst I’m thrilled that you seem to value my views, I’m also slightly bemused. You can vocally support something without endorsing everything that they may say.’
Sky Sports pundits
Following in the footsteps of the Premier League, several Sky Sports pundits decided to wear Black Lives Matter badges on air when commenting on recent games. On Tuesday though, former footballers Patrice Evra, Jamie Redknapp and Gary Neville had all stopped wearing the BLM official logo. Meanwhile, pundit Matt Le Tissier reportedly said that he had been asked to wear the badge by bosses at Sky Sports, but did not support the campaign’s far-left policies.