5 weeks on, and even with the Metropolitan Police on discover after their incompetence in July, strife has erupted once more, with England’s united entrance on taking the knee incapable of deterring Hungary’s “Carpathian Brigade” of fascist hooligans.
It’s little marvel that rising numbers of black gamers are questioning what the endgame is. Wilfried Zaha has stopped any involvement at Crystal Palace, describing the motion as a “degrading” image of subjugation, as has Brentford’s Ivan Toney. Tony Burnett, head of Kick It Out, acknowledges that the message has turn out to be diluted.
The pervasive sense of helplessness was neatly captured within the Wembley aftermath by John Barnes. “Soccer can do nothing to alter racism,” he argued. “Taking the knee isn’t going to change anything.” It would seem, at first look, an unduly fatalistic verdict. However a single telling picture from a ghastly night at Wembley, Kane’s posture framed towards that grim Hungarian banner, demonstrates that taking the knee is fated to maintain dividing the very viewers it seeks to unify.