Much sports were in consideration after the Queen’s death. They should learn from this | football

DrIn the Middle Ages, executioners would take off their white robes decorated with a red cross, kneel on the ground, and then vigorously whip themselves in public displays of enthusiasm. Some sports seem to be taking notes. Since the Queen’s death, we’ve seen the FA stop grassroots football, the Premier League ask for 70-minute applause to celebrate the length of Elizabeth II’s reign, and British cycling oddly asks people not to ride during the state funeral, before that. fast spinning performance. These are some of the biggest monsters in British sports. They looked like a fritt.

Frit because such decisions were not based on common sense, sentiment, or government advice – which emphasized that there was no obligation to cancel or postpone events during a period of national mourning – but a vague and undefined feeling of desire to do “the right thing”.

However, no one was ordering the sport to stop. Indeed, when I spoke to senior officials on the night of the Queen’s death, their expectation was that most of them would continue, including the Premier League. Twelve hours later, the fear of error had convinced football, boxing and cycling to pull the plug.

why? This is partly due to cowardice and respect towards the royal family, not only in sports but throughout society, which seems timeless. Perhaps the best explanation for what we’ve seen in the past 11 days was given by a senior BBC News executive, more than 25 years ago, when asked by the Guardian about the Queen Mother’s death plans. He replied, “The view is that the people you upset by not overstating her death would be upset for longer – and with greater consequences – than the people you would tease if you overdo it.”

However, this has been the blueprint for every major royal funeral since then.

In one breath, cover your ass. With the next, bend your head. The silent majority is cursed.

But there was certainly a silent majority for a modest and unflashy response–a minute’s silence, along with a few well-chosen words of tribute–before the break. The day after the Queen’s death, when I asked on Twitter if the sport should continue, more than 90% of respondents answered in the affirmative. While surveys like these don’t always indicate the mood of the audience – a sports writer tends to have a lot of followers who love sports, after all – the general attitude across social media has been that sports should go on.

The third Test between England and South Africa resumed on Saturday 10 September but there was no football played on that day. Photo: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

While that, Football was the first to close its doorsalthough its decision meant that those children who were starving during the pandemic were unable to play, and those who depended on match-day income found themselves out of work at short notice.

One dad told me he went on a ride with his son and daughter, only to find that all the goal posts were locked together so they couldn’t be used. When two Sheffield & District Fair Play League teams posted photos of a friendly match they played on the same day, the league president accused them of “disrespectful and shameful behavior” for ignoring the grassroots ban. But at the same time, matches continued in the local cricket, hockey and rugby clubs.

Football’s defense, officially at least, was that other sports paused events on Friday to allow mourning, while not having such an opportunity. But three sources at the Ministry of Culture, Digital, Media and Sport meeting insist that Prince William’s role as head of the FA has been brought up as a factor as well. Another consideration, not expressed publicly, is the potential reaction from the right-wing media if it spoils football.

But football should have had more backbone. There will always be idiots following the game, because there will always be idiots in society. In a hundred years’ time, some Celtic fans may still hold banners critical of members of the royal family. There may still be a pocket of Liverpool fans booing the national anthem. The next day some leaflets will foam and evaporate. So it goes.

What made football’s decision seem strange, as writer Patrick Kidd pointed out, was that in 1952 it was the only sport not abolished after the death of George VI, with matches continuing, prefaced by the national anthem and Stay With Me. It was a “simple and sincere appreciation”, the FA said.

Of course there will always be differing interpretations of how the nation is mourned. However, those see the England and Wales Cricket Board and the European Tour golf as both symbols of rugby You got it right by gathering crowds together During that first weekend not to postpone her preparations.

As the Rugby Football Association explained in a statement, it also emphasized that the vast majority of fans wanted to play: “Rugby, at its core, is about community and bringing people together, in good times and sad… With families and friends the gathering will help us in this time of national mourning. “. They and others have been proven right.

We can only hope that those less brave were taking notes. The most intelligent people should already draft a copy of this RFU statement when King Charles III dies, as well as a reasonable plan for how they will react. Sticking with that tired old cliché, and keeping calm and going, probably isn’t a bad place to start.