World Cup: Journalist suggests England lost because Harry Kane ‘stood for LGBTQ+ rights’
A right-wing journalist has blamed England’s World Cup loss on Harry Kane supporting LGBTQ+ rights.
TalkTV’s Mike Graham tweeted the bewildering take shortly after England lost their quarter-finals match against France on Saturday (10 December).
In the post, he listed off several of Kane’s campaigns leading up to the football tournament – including attempts to stand up for LGBTQ+ people in Qatar – and then proceeded to blame said campaigns on the England team Captain’s penalty miss.
“Gareth Southgate allowed England players to lose sight of their mission to play politics,” Graham wrote without a hint of irony.
The England team Captain botched what could have been a game-saving penalty kick in the 84th minute during the England v France match, finalising the score at 2-1 to France.
While several people blamed the loss on poor performance or simply bad luck, so-called “anti-woke” pundits such as Mike Graham have put the blame on a nebulously defined “politics.”
Of course, Graham fails to mention the fact that, since 1966, England has lost every single World Cup tournament with or without the team captain mentioning the archaic LGBTQ+ rights of the country they’re playing in.
But in the case of the 2022 Qatar World Cup, it’s a subject that simply couldn’t be avoided by officials and players alike.
It is illegal to be openly gay in Qatar, with punishments ranging from up to seven years in jail, or the death penalty under Sharia law.
Twitter users jumped at the chance to inform Mike Graham that, in actuality, the World Cup is always political considering that it’s an international sporting event with $229 billion behind it.
“Potentially the worst take I have ever seen,” one user wrote.
“If only he didn’t care about [LGBTQ+] rights,” another user sarcastically wrote. “he’d have scored that penalty.”
Prior to the commencement of the Qatar World Cup, Harry Kane and several other team captains vowed to wear LGBTQ+ ‘OneLove’ armbands as a silent protest to the country’s LGBTQ+ rights laws.
But the football association FIFA threatened those who wore the armbands with sanctions such as an instant yellow card if they were to go through with it.
“FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play,” a November statement by the football associations of England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland read.
“As national federations, we can’t put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions including bookings, so we have asked the captains not to attempt to wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup games.”
But in defiance of the ruling, non-competing officials, journalists, and politicians wore the armbands while attending World Cup matches.
Reporter Alex Scott was commended after wearing the armband during a BBC Sport broadcast.
“Alex Scott, a queer woman of colour, wearing the one love armband just shows that she has so much more courage than anyone walking on that pitch today,” a user tweeted.
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