October 27, 2021

Milne News

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Junior Soccer Players in Australia Forced to Take a Knee in Support of BLM

3 min read
Junior Soccer Players in Australia Forced to Take a Knee in Support of BLM

Parents are outraged as their 13-year-old children were forced to take a knee by the referees in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before a match between Ringwood City Soccer Club and Manning United Blues FC in Melbourne, Australia.

Teams of 13-year-old soccer players were told to take a knee before a match as part of a Black Lives Matter protest, with parents outraged that officials are ‘turning the game into a political statement’. 

Ringwood City Soccer Club and Manning United Blues FC played a match on Thursday in Frankston, Melbourne.

Before the match, players were asked to take a knee by referees, which has become a global symbol of support for the Black Lives Matter racial equality movement.

A parent from one of the clubs said it was wrong that the young teenagers were forced to take part and slammed the show of solidarity as ‘bizarre’, according to the Herald Sun.

The highly political statement went alongside a minute’s silence before the baffled teenagers started their match.

‘I don’t think kids understand the politics behind it all,’ a parent said.

‘As a parent it would have been nice to be able to consider it and discuss it beforehand.’

Ringwood City Soccer Club vice-president Danielle Hine said it should have been discussed prior to the game so juniors could understand what was happening.

Mark Giuliani, president of Manning United Blues FC, told Daily Mail Australia it was brought to the club’s attention that the minute silence wasn’t requested by their club or Ringwood City Soccer Club – but by the referee.

He said the club made inquiries and contacted Football Victoria and it was ‘now up to them to determine what actions should be taken’.

‘The club doesn’t have a stance on anything that is political or religious,’ Mr Giuliani said.

‘We have a committee meeting this evening and have discussions with parent groups involved off the back of that. We are a sporting club, we are here to put players on the field and make sure they have a fun time.’

Football Victoria said the match was not officially sanctioned by the organisation and was instead a friendly game organised by the clubs. 

The organisation said in a statement they were informed that referees had requested players kneel a few minutes before kick-off. 

‘Football Victoria respects the right of individuals or groups to undertake such actions, however, this request was made directly by the match official without any involvement or awareness by Football Victoria,’ the statement said.

‘Any suggestion that this initiative was undertaken at the direction of Football Victoria as a publicity stunt is inaccurate.

‘FV is investigating the matter further, as it is our expectation that clubs and players would agree in advance of the game to be a part of any action.’ 

Other sports, such as AFL (Australian Football League), have taken a knee in order to support the Black Lives Matter protests.

Over the weekend thousands of Australians took part in Black Lives Matter protests in Sydney, Newcastle, Darwin, Adelaide, Perth, and Brisbane.

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