Woke theatre doesn't make a blind bit of difference in football, Mark Dolan says

More talented black managers in the Premier League and in the boardroom would be a positive start.

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The highly talented Paris Saint-Germain player Idrissa Gueye finds himself a marked man, for refusing to sign up to a rainbow campaign before a match in France, supporting LGBTQ+ rights. He sat the game out as he didn’t want to wear the rainbow symbol on his shirt. No fuss, it just wasn’t for him. A devout Muslim, this way of life goes against his religious views.

These are not views I share. I'm a libertarian, and within the law, you can dip your brush wherever you want to, as far as I'm concerned. But for not participating in yet another act of virtue signalling in the world of football, this guy’s career is now under threat. The Senegalese striker faces an investigation from the football authorities and possible punishment, maybe even the sack. Why? For not signing up to the woke corporate groupthink, which is destroying the free world. This is the thing about extreme political correctness, you will never be ideologically pure enough and failure to comply will result in ridicule, attack and the possible loss of your livelihood.

All of this is a bit rich coming from the football authorities, who are part of a multibillion-pound industry, in which some players take home over a million quid a week. And of course, all of these right-on football bosses will be in Qatar at the World Cup this summer, where being gay is a criminal offence. Their hypocrisy is sickening.

As with the pressure to take the knee, which a number of black players have refused to do, this is another example of forcing people to back certain campaigns, which therefore diminishes their meaning altogether. I've got no problem with players supporting any number of campaigns, and racism and homophobia are in my view pure evil, but the coercive way in which celebrities and often now the public are now forced to toe the line of any campaign, is pointless.

This sort of campaign is all about making football look like a really caring sharing game, and it’s about pleasing corporate sponsors, who want to pretend to be caring sharing organisations, but who are in fact motivated by profit, not a desire to make the world a better place. Like apparently woke Hollywood film studios, that take out gay scenes for the Chinese market, in order to protect their billions. They say one thing and do another.

I don't share the view of this young footballer, who is not supportive of gay rights, but it's a view he's entitled to have and in some ways he has shown a lot more balls, than any other players on the pitch. Football is a game that here in the UK, has just one gay footballer to speak of in the whole country.

So how is that campaign to be gay friendly going? That's alright, stick a rainbow on your shirt and it's problem solved. Just as taking the knee, was enough for these organisations to do their bit for racism, rather than taking tangible steps, to tackle the real scourge of racism in our society.

More talented black managers in the Premier League and in the boardroom would be a positive start.

But in this shallow, hypocritical world, once you’ve signalled your virtue, real action is not required. It’s what I would call woke theatre that doesn’t make a blind bit of difference and could even backfire as we saw with booing fans in regards to taking the knee, some of whom may be horrific racists, but many others are hardworking people, making ends meet, who simply don’t want to be lectured by multi-millionaire footballers, who are probably off to a spit roast sex party straight after the game. As they glug thousand quid bottles of champagne.

Here in the west, we've allegedly got free speech and freedom of thought, but the football authorities investigating this young player, for simply having an opinion, should be handed a red card, sent down the tunnel and given an early bath.