Naga Munchetty shuts down criticism of BBC over BLM
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Naga Munchetty, 46, caught up with football fan Billy Grant, who has been following England’s home and away matches for over 30 years. He discussed confronting a football fan who booed the players for taking the knee ahead of their friendly against Romania at Riverside Stadium last weekend.
Billy went on to say the person in question also went to hit a fellow England fan in the crowd after he was confronted about his booing.
He said: “There was basically a welling up on people who said, ‘Can you go away? We don’t like what you’re doing, we hate what you’re doing, can you stand aside?’”
Naga’s guest added he told the culprit that his booing had made him feel uncomfortable.
“In the end, he left and went somewhere else,” Billy continued, adding that other fans called the person out about his behaviour.
The BBC Radio 5 presenter then asked her guest how he knew the person who was booing was being racist.
She queried: “Maybe, and this is what a lot of fans have said who have said they boo, they don’t like to see their football team being political.”
In response, Billy said football bosses had used politics as an “excuse” to avoid highlight the importance of racism awareness.
He added he had spoken to football bosses, who said racism is political and can’t be mixed with the sport.
Naga went on to read out listeners’ reactions about their conversation.
She quoted one listener as saying: “Typical BBC trying to portray people who boo as racist and violent, ridiculous.
“You are just propaganda merchants. I find it so funny you think it will work.”
Hitting back, Naga said: “Well Mr or Mrs anonymous, if you just heard me then, I did put the point forward that perhaps someone was booing because they felt that their football team was making a political statement and wasn’t necessarily racist.
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“However, Mr anonymous or Mrs anonymous or Ms anonymous, what you will have heard from Billy’s story or Billy’s experience is that the person who was booing then tried to strike out at somebody who was older.
“So maybe, just maybe, you may think that is violent.”
England manager Gareth Southgate has urged fans to stop jeering his team and said those booing “aren’t understanding the message”.
He added: “We feel more than ever that we are determined to take the knee throughout this tournament.
“We accept that there might be an adverse reaction but we’re going to ignore that and move forward.
“The most important thing for our players is for them to know we are totally united on it.”
Marcus Rashford said after the game: “We believe it is the right thing to do so we will continue to do it.”
The Naga Munchetty show airs Monday to Wednesday from 10am on BBC Radio 5.
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