Victoria: Parents outraged after junior soccer players forced to take a knee in support of BLM – Daily Mail
Teams of 13-year-old soccer players were made to kneel before a match as part of a Black Lives Matter protest, with parents accusing officials of ‘turning the game into a political statement’.
Ringwood City Soccer Club and Manning United Blues FC played a match on Thursday in Frankston, 41km south-east of the 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 the 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.
Ringwood City Soccer Club and Manning United Blues FC played a match on Thursday in Frankston, 41 km south-east of the Melbourne (stock image)
Before the match players were asked to take a knee by referees to support Black Lives Matter protests around the country (pictured, BLM protest in Sydney on June 6)
‘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.
Players take a knee before the round two AFL match between the Sydney Swans and the Essendon Bombers at Sydney Cricket Ground on June 14 (pictured)
Black Lives Matter protesters rally in Melbourne’s CBD on June 6 (pictured) as the movement gained traction across Australia, with a focus on the treatment of Aboriginal people
‘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.
Players take a knee in support of Black Lifes matter during an AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne on June 14 (pictured)
‘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, have taken a knee in order 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.
Sydney’s protest was unauthorised, but more than 1,000 people defied public health restrictions to attend.
Black Lives Matter has a key goal internationally of defunding the police, the movement says on its U.S. website.
The protests gained international recognition after the death of American man George Floyd on May 25.
Mr Floyd died during his arrest after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Ringwood City Soccer Club for comment.
Greater Western Sydney Giants and the North Melbourne Kangaroos players, coaches and umpires take a knee is support of the Black Lives Matter movement on June 14 (pictured)
This article originally appeared here in https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8492739/Victoria-Parents-outraged-junior-soccer-players-forced-knee-support-BLM.html