Sky Sports pundits Jamie Redknapp and Patrice Evra ditch Black Lives Matter badges

Patrice Evra and Jamie Redknapp ditched their Black Lives Matters badges during Sky Sports punditry duties on Tuesday night – as the Premier League insisted its support for the movement is not political.

The competition, its clubs and players have thrown their weight behind the cause, which seeks equality for black people across the globe.

BLM demonstrations have taken place in cities around the world following the death in police custody of George Floyd in the United States in May.

Premier League players’ shirts bore the slogan in place of their names in the first round of top-flight matches after the competition restarted amid the coronavirus pandemic.



Jamie Redknapp ditched the Black Lives Matter badge on Tuesday night

Players and staff also showed their support for the cause by taking the knee before kick-off, a stance they continued ahead of Brighton v Manchester United on Tuesday night.

But at that game, Redknapp and Evra along with host Kelly Cates and commentator Gary Neville were not wearing the badges during Sky’s coverage.

Redknapp and has fellow Sky Sports pundits have previously worn the badges since football returned, although fellow Sky star Matt Le Tissier recently suggested he would review whether to wear the badge.

Players will continue to wear Black Lives Matter logos on their shirt sleeves until the end of the season but the league said this support had no connection with political groups connected to the movement.



Patrice Evra was also spotted not wearing the badge

One group, ‘UKBLM’, which has raised more than 1 million pounds ($1.2 million) through a gofundme appeal, calls for the dismantling of capitalism, has tweeted about defunding the police and made a series of social media posts about issues concerning Israel/Palestine.

The Daily Mail has claimed that Premier League captains are considering making a statement on the matter after the Premier League distanced itself from the movement.

Speaking to MPs at a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee evidence session, top-flight chief executive Richard Masters said: “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. As I said we’re living in special times at the moment.



Redknapp wore the badge previously – including at Aston Villa vs Sheffield United

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“On this occasion we have decided to support (the players). That doesn’t mean to say whenever players on an individual or collective basis want to do something that the Premier League and clubs will be duty-bound or willing to support it.”

He added: “I don’t think it sets any particular precedent and, going back to the point about political messaging, I think it might become slightly torturous, but it might be possible to support Black Lives Matter, the sentiment, without being seen to be supporting any political organisation.

“We are an apolitical organisation, we don’t support political organisations. I think we are happy to support the players, we think it’s the right moment to do it, and for the first time I feel players, managers, league and clubs are on the same page on the issue of discrimination, and that feels to me like a positive step.”

source.



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