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Basketball England makes up some fake history for its Black Lives Matter take a knee campaign

Tom Winnifrith
Tuesday 10 November 2020

For now, Basketball England is rowing back a bit on its menacing campaign to get 13 year olds to take a knee for Black Lives Matter. It seems that too many parents said they did not want to defund the police, abolish capitalism, boycott Israel and close down jails. But Basketball England reserves the right to reconsider the position and will do so at Christmas after “consulting with members”. Ahead of that consultation, it has lied to its members about the whole basis of taking a knee. That, I suggest, rather devalues the “consultation.”

BE states in its newsletter:

The origins of ‘taking a knee’

This year athletes across the world in a variety of sports have taken a knee before the start of the first whistle as part of a silent protest against racial inequality and injustice.

Kneeling has, historically, been a way to show solidarity in support of human rights amid political turmoil.

The action can be dated back to the civil rights movement in the United States, where the likes of Martin Luther King Jr and other activists kneeled after protesters were arrested during a march to the Dallas County Alabama courthouse on February 1, 1965.


No sirs… Historically, taking a knee has been a way of showing deference, sometimes to monarchs but more normally to God. For centuries, we have knelt in prayer to the Lord.

Dr King did indeed call on his followers to take a knee back in Alabama in 1965. Dr King was a minister, a devout man who believed in God, and when he and his followers took a knee, it was in an act of prayer. It was nothing to do with protesting or showing solidarity but it was an act of worship, asking God for support in a tough time.

The take a knee protest for civil rights dates back only as far as Colin Kaepernick who started protests of kneeling during the national anthem in American football games in 2016.

I am afraid that for Black History Month, Basketball England scores a fail on this paper.

An honourable organisation would run a correction ahead of the “consultation.”  But I suspect Basketball England will simply go ahead with that process now that it has brainwashed its members with fake history.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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