You’re sick to death of talking about racism? Well imagine how those on the receiving end of racist abuse feel every day it remains an issue in sport and society.
That’s my message to anyone trying to belittle the important act of taking a knee in support of anti-racism.
And, believe me, it’s a message based on true events.
As I took to Twitter to comment on the players who didn’t kneel prior to Scotland’s historic Calcutta Cup win over England, I was greeted by many people, not necessarily racists I hastened to add, who seemed to have a problem with me speaking out against those not partaking in a show of solidarity against not only racial injustice, but all forms of discrimination.
And that’s the key. Solidarity.
Like it or lump it, sport must take a stand against racism with a united front. Most
right-minded people would agree, surely?
Some of the rugby boys chose to kneel last weekend, while others didn’t. As it transpired in the fallout from Saturday, there was confusion leading up to the match about whether or not they would.
Fair enough and that mistake doesn’t make them racists.
However, for me, if sport is to finally learn its lesson from the failed battles against racism past, there has to be a real push from the governing bodies and those who hold power in society to make any action taken consistent, compulsory and very much in public view.
Even if there were no discussions prior to kick off at Twickenham, surely those who stood should’ve realised and followed suit of those who took the knee?
For it is not up to us to decide the best course of action, particularly the often-privileged rugby players, it’s down to the oppressed in society to dictate public discourse on these issues for the betterment of everyone.
As aforementioned, that those actions take place in a public forum is the key.
That is why we are still kneeling and will continue to until the horrible stain and scourge of racism is eradicated once and for all or a new approach is put forward.
I, for one, have decided to embrace taking the knee myself in the press box before any games I attend between now and the end of the season.
I would encourage any of my fellow journalists in a similar position to do so if you believe in the issues being tackled by the current, pleasingly long-lasting anti-racism movement we are seeing in sport, particularly in football.
Hats off to the football authorities for keeping the issue at the forefront of everyone’s mind and, hopefully, more powerful initiatives are rolled out to see real change take effect soon.
As a white person, it’s not possible for me to see this issue through the lens of someone from a BAME background but the simple act of showing solidarity by taking the knee until we exist on an equal plane the world over is no great strain.
Just 10 days back, following their 2-1 loss at Motherwell, it looked like Dundee United were sinking fast.
They and their fans were staring into the abyss of a Premiership relegation dog fight with, basically, no shred of hope to cling to.
I’ve been put through the wringer from a lifetime following my own team, St Mirren, and covering our city clubs for the past four years or so.
I’ve seen it all in terms of tough times and none of the signs surrounding Micky Mellon’s Terrors were good.
Eight games without a win, just one victory in 12 and not looking effective at either end of the pitch.
However, against all the odds, I travelled up to Dingwall last weekend in hope, and the Tangerines didn’t let me down.
The 2-0 victory over Ross County was a huge weight off the shoulders of everyone associated with the club and put them right back in the mix to finish in the top half.
The Buddies are still in pole position, a point ahead of United in sixth, while St Johnstone and Motherwell are circling ominously below.
It’s far from in the Terrors’ hands alone and a tough run in that features both of the Old Firm and Aberdeen only compounds that.
That said, a much-improved performance in the Highlands should give them the confidence that a top-six finish is still very much in their sights.
That starts today when Livingston come to town.
I’m sure most Dundee fans would agree it’s not easy being a dark blue at the best of times.
However, with their team out of action for two weeks now, it must be torture.
The weather hasn’t been kind to James McPake’s side with their Championship clash against Ayr United having been postponed three times now, with the Inverness game, also at Dens, and Dunfermline today following suit.
Watching the Dee at the best of times can be akin to hard labour but, when there’s nothing else to do because of lockdown and with Dundee in a serious promotion push, it must be doubly frustrating.