Delingpole: English Sport Is a Woke Joke Which Deserves to Go Broke

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22: (EDITORS NOTE: FACE IN PHOTO BEING HELD DELIBERATELY COVERED BY SISTER) Renu Begum, eldest sister of Shamima Begum, 15, holds her sister's photo as she is interviewed by the media at New Scotland Yard, as the relatives of three missing schoolgirls believed to have fled …
Getty Images

Which of these two things is the more unforgivable sin you could commit as a teenager?

a) sneak off to Syria to become a jihadi bride wedded to a savage death cult; become a ruthless, armed, enforcer of discipline dispensing brutal punishments for the tiniest transgression; tacitly endorse beheadings, crucifixions, mass rapes, enslavement, torture etc.

b) tweet some immature, stupid sexist and racist stuff on Twitter

The answer, apparently, is b). While the mainstream media has been bending over backwards to rehabilitate (the potentially still hugely dangerous jihadist) Shamima Begum, it has been far less forgiving towards fast bowler Ollie Robinson who has been suspended from international cricket by the England Cricket Board ‘pending a disciplinary investigation into racist and sexist tweets posted in 2012 and 2013.’

You can read the tweets here. They’re the sort of stupid nonsense thousands of teenagers might put out, perhaps in a drunken moment, on their social media. (Robinson was 18 and 19 at the time of the offending tweets and, like many young professional sportsmen, going through a bad boy phase). The idea that he should be suspended from his livelihood, just because some offence archaeologists have decided to dig up this old material, ought to horrify and infuriate anyone who supports English sport.

And that horror and fury should be directed at the imbeciles who make all this possible: not the players themselves but the insufferably woke sporting bodies such as the England Cricket Board, the Football Association, and the Rugby Football Union. They’re all as bad as each other: whether the issue is the race-baiting shenanigans of Black Lives Matter or whether it’s the rights and wrongs of the vaccine, the grey men who run these institutions will always take the most politically correct line.

The sports commentariat are just as bad. Here, for example, is the BBC cricket commentator Jonathan Agnew getting splinters up his bum as he tries to sit on the fence.

But part of the investigation has to be that Robinson is not the same person now as he was then. It is not simply a case of taking him away from the England team for a little while, then bringing him back. It has to be a proper process.

This is a very poor show from Agnew. Privately educated (Uppingham) and a former country and England cricket player, Aggers poses in his BBC radio commentaries as a stalwart of the old tradition, passed on by his even plummier and posher predecessor in the commentary box Henry ‘Blowers’ Blofeld. A key part of that tradition, surely, is a recognition that the job of professional cricketers is to play decent cricket, not to audition to become future saints. ‘Aggers’ ought to be representing the fans in this debate, not half-heartedly defending the woke English cricket board or the repellant troublemakers who tried to make mileage out of a young man’s ancient Twitter feed.

Most sports fans hate it when politics intrudes into their favourite game. That’s why, for example, the England football team were noisily booed when they took the knee on Sunday night before a friendly game against Romania.

And rightly so. Competitive sport is about winning. The very last thing you want to do before a match begins is see the supposed heroes who are representing your country kneeling in a position of surrender.

I would agree with Laurence Fox – that we should withdraw our support for any England teams that submit to this woke, virtue-signalling nonsense and root for the opposition instead.

The problem is that the rot is so widespread that even foreign teams are taking the knee. At Sunday’s match, all but two of the Romanian team took the knee too.

So maybe we should just boycott all professional sports altogether. At least until they wake up and listen to the people without whom they’d never have all the fast cars and expensive houses and spit-roasting sessions on team away jaunts: the paying fans.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.