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GEORGE CRAN: Right-minded people squabbling over taking a knee distracts from the real problem – that’s exactly what the racists want

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (c) along with Eli Harold (l) Eric Reid (r) take a knee during the US national anthem.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (c) along with Eli Harold (l) Eric Reid (r) take a knee during the US national anthem.

Racism is a stain on society, a scourge that’s polluting life as we know it and the sports we all love to watch.

Racism is bad.

Anyone who disagrees with that statement deserves a slap (figuratively speaking, of course).

And an appointment with authorities to teach the value of diversity to go along with it.

I am pleased to live in a country where the majority of people are right-minded in opposition to discrimination of all kinds.

That’s my feeling of Scotland anyway, others may not feel that way.

However, I was shocked to see the majority of our rugby team not take the knee before their clash with England in the Six Nations.

Four knelt in solidarity with the anti-racism movement, along with a big chunk of their opposition numbers.

Now, I’m absolutely not going to go all guns blazing and brand those who chose to stand as racists. It’s just not that clear cut.

Coach Gregor Townsend has since said there were no discussions of taking a knee before the game and many of the players may not have been aware it was going to happen. Fair enough, the fault lies with the organisers.

Because it was not a good look.

I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to be someone of Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) descent to see it.

I can only think they’d see people unwilling to take the small effort of showing they are with them in the fight against injustice. Whether that is fair or not, it’s just how it looks.

What concerns me most is the reaction to it.

Clearly ‘taking a knee’ has become political. When I say that I mean ‘corrupted’.

It started as a powerful protest by American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick a few years back. Judging by the way Donald Trump and his cronies got their panties in a twist, by God it worked.

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (c) along with Eli Harold (l) Eric Reid (r) take a knee during the US national anthem.

It should be the perfect symbol to promote anti-racism and anti-discrimination.

However, seeing the reaction and discussions between people following Saturday’s game and the way abuse of all kinds seems to have risen in recent weeks, it’s not working.

Anyone bringing up the organisation Black Lives Matter and Marxism or anything like that is missing the point.

It’s not about showing support for an ‘organisation’, it’s about supporting the meaning of the three-word phrase ‘black lives matter’.

And I hope the ‘all lives matter’ thing is already in the bin because all lives can’t matter until black lives matter, it’s pretty simple.

The fight against racism looks like it’s going to be a long, hard battle and we’re a long way from seeing it end.

It’s almost constant now, stories of footballers being racially abused online.

After seeing the fallout from Saturday, I think it’s a battle we are losing.

Right-minded people are expending all their energy arguing with each other for and against taking the knee.

That’s how the racists win. Divide and conquer.

People are squabbling over politics rather than dealing with the problem.

A new approach is needed.


Sigh of relief at Tannadice

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Lawrence Shankland opened the scoring for Dundee United at Ross County.

YOU could almost hear a sigh of relief from the Tangerine side of the city on Saturday evening.

The 2-0 win at Ross County really eased the pressure on everybody at Dundee United.

Bringing an end to their winless run, getting Lawrence Shankland on the scoresheet and adding another clean sheet to the collection.

More importantly, they stretched eight points in front of County in 11th place.

For weeks, Micky Mellon’s men were sinking closer and closer to trouble but eight points is a very healthy cushion.

They are on 31 points now – 37 points has been enough to finish at least 10th in all but one of the last 10 seasons.

Two wins away from safety is a very decent position to be in for a club recently promoted.

However, a club like Dundee United can’t just settle for that.

Their fans and the money they have spent to get back to the top flight demands more than just survival.

St Mirren may have a whole bunch of games in hand on the Tangerines.

However, I don’t see any reason why they can’t start looking at that top six once more.

Games are running out and they’ll need to repeat the performance in Dingwall on a weekly basis.

It is just one victory so nobody will be getting ahead of themselves.

Doesn’t half take the edge off, though.


Dundee 0 Weather 4

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Dens Park covered in snow in 2014.

THIS lockdown is starting to feel like the dreaded first one when Dundee are concerned.

There aren’t even football matches to keep us occupied right now.

Last night’s game off again to make that three in a row at Dens Park, strangely for three differing reasons – waterlogged, frozen and now snow-covered pitch.

There’s just been no let-up from the weather lately.

It means the Dark Blues will be playing catch-up now, which isn’t ideal.

Games thick and fast during the run-in could be a good thing if the Dee get on a good streak, though.

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This article originally appeared on the Evening Telegraph website. For more information, read about our new combined website.