There seems to be some confusion when it comes to facts and opinions these days, regardless of the subject matter.
At some point, I don’t know when but it became enough to just have an opinion. The opinion did not have to be informed and when challenged on said opinion, no factual evidence was needed to back it up.
Instead, what we now have is a society full of people who think that their opinion is valid regardless.
Numerous black players have come out and said they do not like people singing about their genitalia, and why would they? While we are at it, I will never understand those who are fighting for people’s rights to sing these songs.
“My enjoyment of the game isn’t the same without a song about another man’s downstairs mix up accompanied by a banner” . What a strange hill to choose to die on.
From a historical point of view, imagery like that which we saw at the Genk game was used to dehumanise black men along with the implication that they were dangerous and would rape white women as they were merely animals. That’s why it always has and always will be racist imagery.
Do I think for a second that the majority, if even any Liverpool fans sing about Origi in the way they do and create banners like they did to belittle him? No, I don’t. I believe they see it as a strange compliment but what they are trying to achieve is irrelevant compared to the damage they are actually doing.
“Divock would just laugh” is a popular retort. I doubt that very much but that’s not the point. It’s not just Divock affected here, it’s every black male and indeed people of every sex and every race.
Why everyone? Because whether you realise it or not, racism negatively affects us all.
Some Manchester United fans had a song for Lukaku which the striker did not appreciate for obvious reasons. Certain fans reacted by continuing to sing the song despite the striker asking them not to. It’s not just us and United of course, it’s prevalent sadly among many clubs.
The Bernardo Silva incident that I’ve spoken about in a previous piece is similar in that, while Bernardo’s intention was not to be racist, he posted racist imagery.
Racism comes in many forms and one is the oxymoronic “positive racism” and that’s what we have at play here.
You’re not flattering these players, you’re dehumanising them and by continuing to defend this racist imagery you become part of the problem.
People can mistakenly say racist things or post racist imagery without necessarily being a racist. If you do so, the best thing to do is listen to the people who are telling you it’s racist and why and then apologise, retract your statement or image and educate yourself and learn from it.
Bernardo Silva and some fans of Manchester City, Manchester United and now numerous Liverpool fans are making excuses for and trying to justify racism and by doing so are inadvertently fostering a racist attitude that is becoming more and more visible in English football and English society as a whole.
So if your opinion is that banner wasn’t racist, you are simply wrong. It’s your choice you can either accept it move on and be part of the solution or you can be a foil for racism.