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The Labour claim that it is hypocritical for Boris Johnson to condemn the racist abuse directed at some England players when he refused initially to criticise the fans who booed them for taking the knee (see 12.50am) is widely shared today on progressive Twitter. Here are some comments on this from journalists and commentators.
From Sathnam Sanghera, the Times columnist and author of the acclaimed Empireland
I’m sorry but when you look at the racist abuse faced by black #eng players & see watermelon emojis alongside monkey/banana emojis, & you remember our PM referring to ‘watermelon smiles’ of Africans, and writing about ‘flag-waving piccaninnies’, you know he’s part of the problem
I know this is something we’re meant to overlook as hilarious Boris banter, but he thought this crap and actually wrote it down. Most of us manage decades in journalism without being massive racists? And I don’t remember an apology.
As you’ve spent years blowing the racist dog-whistle, Mr Johnson, don’t act all surprised when the dogs start barking.
Good to see the widespread support for Saka, Rashford and Sancho. If we really want to follow that up as media outlets, let’s stop using Boris Johnson’s condemnation without including the proper context of his own racist slurs that empower the people targeting young black men.
Worth remembering that government sources were just this weekend briefing hard against a senior journalist & trying to block her getting a job at the BBC. Her “crime”? Standing up for a young black colleague. The anti-racism narrative needs some work guys.
Tories like Johnson and Patel repeatedly refused to #SayNoToRacism when people were booing taking a knee, and now they’re acting as if their stance didn’t encourage racism in football. pic.twitter.com/m6JSmYGHIw
Boris Johnson and his sidekicks refused to condemn the booing of England’s players because they knew the racists responsible are an important part of their support base.
In doing so, they legitimised today’s racist avalanche – and underlined why taking the knee was so important.
Scientists say they have detected irregularities in the blood of long Covid patients that could one day pave the way for a test for the condition, the BBC’s Panaroma reports. There is more detail in their story here, and even more on BBC One tonight.
Scientists say they have detected irregularities in the blood of long Covid patients that could one day pave the way for a test for the condition
More on #BBCPanorama tonight at 7:35pm on @BBCOne or afterwards on @BBCiPlayerhttps://t.co/lZICCQEkVY