Black Lives Matter badges disappeared again from Sky Sports’ Premier League tonight after returning for a day – after the BBC branded them ‘political’ and banned them from screens.
Sky is allowing pundits to make their own decisions about whether they wear the badges – with Patrice Evra ditching it on Tuesday, but Ashley Cole continuing to wear it on Wednesday.
Tonight Roy Keane, Graeme Souness, Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards were seen without as they analysed Premier League clashes Manchester City vs Liverpool and Sheffield United vs Tottenham.
Jamie Redknapp, who hasn’t worn the emblem since Tuesday, was also seen without a Black Lives Matter badge as he discussed tonight’s fixtures in the studio.
The Premier League has distanced itself from the anti-racism movement, but players in today’s matches still had ‘Black Lives Matter’ patches on their sleeves after George Floyd’s death in the US in May.
Footballers also ‘took a knee’ in solidarity with the movement prior to kick off.
Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane ditched the Black Lives Matter badge in tonight’s Premier League coverage
Jamie Redknapp, who hasn’t worn the emblem since Tuesday, was also seen without a Black Lives Matter badge as he discussed tonight’s fixtures in the studio
Graeme Souness (pictured), Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards were also seen without as they analysed Premier League clashes between Manchester City and Liverpool, and Sheffield United and Tottenham on Sky Sports
Pictured: Micah Richards, who didn’t appear to wear a BLM badge in tonight’s coverage
Since the league resumed on June 17, Sky Sports presenters have worn the badges with the campaign phrase after all 20 clubs agreed to emblazon ‘Black Lives Matter’ on their shirts for all matches following the Covid-19 outbreak.
Players and officials have also ‘taken the knee’ before every match so far, a symbol adopted by US athletes to protest police brutality and racism in 2016 and now used in BLM protests across the world.
However, concerns have been raised after a series of tweets by BLM which criticised Israel and called on the British government to ‘defund the police’.
The Premier League said it recognised ‘the importance of the message that black lives matter’ – without referring to the organisation’s name in upper case – but made clear that it ‘does not endorse any political organisation or movement, nor support any group that calls for violence or condones illegal activity.’
Chiefs are not expected to ditch the BLM badge on shirts, having drawn a distinction between BLM’s cause and the group itself.
The BBC yesterday banned pundits and guests from wearing BLM badges, with a senior source at the corporation telling the Daily Telegraph bosses decided they did not want ‘visual symbols of support’ for the movement to be worn on screen.
David McGoldrick (right) of Sheffield takes a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement prior to the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Tottenham Hotspur
The Premier League has distanced itself from the movement, but players in today’s matches still had ‘Black Lives Matter’ patches on their sleeves after George Floyd’s death in the US in May
Roy Keane (right) working for Sky Sports during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Last night Ashley Cole (pictured) was seen wearing a Black Lives Matter badge in Sky’s coverage of Bournemouth vs Newcastle and Everton vs Leicester
Rio Ferdinand (pictured) and Martin Keown also yesterday continued to wear their badges as they analysed the clash tonight between Arsenal and Norwich on BT Sport
On Sunday’s Match of the Day, neither Alan Shearer or Micah Richards were wearing Black Lives Matter badges.
The BBC source told the Daily Telegraph: ‘The BBC cannot be seen to support any kind of cause over another, and Black Lives Matter is certainly a campaign.
‘Therefore we wouldn’t want anyone on-screen to be wearing visual symbols of support. Our presenters and guests can discuss Black Lives Matter, and we’ve reported on it in depth.
‘We’re not impartial about racism. But wearing badges on screen – as with any other campaign – would be a step too far.’
On Tuesday night, Sky Sports pundit Patrice Evra chose not to wear a badge before Jamie Redknapp followed suit.
The following day, David Jones and James Collins both opted to wear the emblem in coverage of Bournemouth vs Newcastle and Everton vs Leicester.
Matt Le Tissier said he had only worn the badge after being asked to do so by bosses at the broadcaster, while stressing he ‘could not support’ the cause’s anti police and capitalist aims.
James Collins is wearing the Black Lives Matter badge along with a badge praising the NHS that has a small blue heart on Wednesday
Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane and Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson after the match, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease
Players for Tottenham Hotspur are seen with Black Lives Matter badges on their sleeves today
He had, along with fellow Sky pundit Jamie Carragher, appeared on air wearing a BLM badge.
However, on Wednesday nights coverage David Jones, James Collins and Ashley Cole were all still wearing the badges in Sky’s coverage of Bournemouth vs Newcastle and Everton vs Leicester.
The Black Lives Matter logo was also shown on the broadcaster’s pre-match graphic.
Rio Ferdinand, Martin Keown and Jake Humphrey also continued to wear their badges on BT Sport as they analysed the clash between Arsenal and Norwich on Wednesday.