Nadhim Zahawi defends Black Lives Matter slogan in Premier League

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Business minister Nadhim Zahawi has defended the Premier League’s use of the Black Lives Matter slogan.

Following the death of George Floyd, players wore shirts bearing the anti-racism rallying cry in place of their names as the competition restarted amid the coronavirus pandemic.

talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer asked the Conservative MP whether it had been a mistake for the a-political football competition to support the words attached to a political movement.

Mr Zahawi responded: “I don’t think it’s a mistake. We’ve had terrible instances of racism in football both domestically and internationally.

“Clearly it’s something that the Premier League needs to embrace and do something about.”

His comments come after the football league clarified that adopting the slogan was not an endorsement of the political organisation or movement behind it.

Chief executive Richard Masters was asked by MPs at a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee evidence session whether the campaign would open the door to other forms of activism in the future.

In the past, gestures such as Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola’s wearing of a yellow ribbon in support of Catalan independence have been met with a fine.

Mr Masters responded: “We are drawing a clear distinction between a moral cause and a political movement or agenda.

“Whilst there might be difficulties sometimes dividing the two, our position is clear: politics no, moral causes yes, when agreed.”

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