WHow do you let hot air out of a balloon? With words. In a press release from a soccer club. Les Ferdinand, England international in the 90s, had to justify the behavior of the Queens Park Rangers players on Monday who did not kneel in Coventry last weekend as a sign of protest against police violence – although the game was televised!
Ignorant professionals? Ferdinand, sports director at QPR, was quoted in a message from the club: Kneel down? Have become “good PR”. “The message has been lost. It’s no longer a big difference to a chic hashtag or a nice badge on your lapel. How do we want to go on? Will people kneel down for the next ten years without any progress? “
Lee Hoos, the London club’s chairman, put it in a nutshell: “Anyone who thinks our players condone racism does not understand it. Anyone who answers ‘Black Lives Matter’ with ‘All lives matter’ does not understand it. Anyone who thinks kneeling is enough to fight social injustice does not understand it. “Kneeling, says Ferdinand,” doesn’t change anything in the game. Only actions. “
The annoyance of the London officials about the quickly formed judgments, which can be heard in every word, has a long run-up. In the summer of 2019, when the QPR U18 youths toured through Andalusia on a test match trip, the young players in Seville abandoned a match after racist insults and continued inactivity by the referee.
Continued inactivity became the hallmark of the case. The European Football Association Uefa referred to the world association Fifa. Fifa rejected. Uefa then referred to the Andalusian Football Association. Time passed. Move? Only on clock hands and calendar sheets. Les Ferdinand counted. His conclusion “after more than twelve months”: “Uefa refused to deal with the case, the Spanish association did nothing. How much did the media report? Not nearly as much as about the fact that QPR does not kneel down. “
He recently decided not to give any more interviews on racism in football, said Ferdinand: “The discussion is going in circles.” All around like the clock hands. Uefa then opened the Supercup on Thursday evening with a – metaphorical – colorful balloon: Before kick-off, the cameras showed the anti-racism message.