GB News presenter Guto Harri provoked outrage among regular viewers after he took the knee live on air in an unexpected gesture of solidarity with the England football team.
Following the Euro2020 final, Harri said it made “sense” that footballers should take the knee on the field and that racism has “no place in modern Britain”.
He said he had “underestimated how close to the surface” racism still is in the country.
'It's about what's right and what's not right about a country'— GB News (@GBNEWS) July 13, 2021
Guto Harri says that 'politics is about gestures, not just about managing public services', as he explains his reasoning behind taking a knee to Mercy Muroki. pic.twitter.com/MsU9HvpH9g
“Racism has no place in football and no place in modern Britain”
In one fell and incongruous swoop, Harri went down on one knee, and clumsily declared his support for the England team’s stand against racism, urging his fellow presenters to join him in the action.
“With the benefit of hindsight, I may have underestimated how close to the surface the racism still was. I actually now get it and, so much so, I think we should all take the knee – why not take the knee now,” he began.
“It’s a gesture, but it’s an important gesture. For them to be there as footballers on the field makes sense.
“Racism has no place in football and no place in modern Britain and those people think that being English is okay with being anti-black people are completely misguided and they need to know that there is no space for them in normal, acceptable society.”
“They deserve to lose what’s left of their diminishing viewers”
Harri’s move has been met with a torrent of bizarre and antagonistic condemnation from GB News’ audience, claiming the channel had fallen into the jaws of the “woke” agenda from which it supposedly sought to break free.
Anyone seeing a change in @GBNews?— Mr.Essex 🏴 🇬🇧🍥 (@kieran1980_uk) July 13, 2021
Started off so well, but might as well be watching Sly News or the Beeb now!
Looks like they are being hijacked by Lefty Liberal Twat presenters.
Very disappointed 🙄
THOUSANDS TURN-OFF @GBNEWS AS THEY BEGIN VIRTUE-SIGNALLING TO VIEWERS AND TAKE-THE-KNEE!— Brexit Defence Alliance (@ActionBrexit) July 13, 2021
WHAT HAPPENED TO @afneil's PROMISE OF ANTI-WOKE JOURNALISM? #GBNEWS IS NO BETTER THAN THE BBC. THEY DESERVE TO LOSE WHAT'S LEFT OF THEIR DIMINISHING VIEWERS. pic.twitter.com/QaIKPrBzOO
Mings vs Patel
The segment within which Harri took the knee was a discussion of Tyrone Mings’ accusation that Priti Patel had “stoke[d] the fire” of racism in the UK.
You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens. https://t.co/fdTKHsxTB2— Tyrone Mings (@OfficialTM_3) July 12, 2021
In a similar vein, The Sun has been slammed today by social media users for telling victimised England players “we’ve got your back” in the wake of England’s defeat in the Euro2020 final.
Meanwhile, GB News viewing figures continue to plummet:
GB News continues its catastrophic collapse. Its audience has halved in a fortnight. pic.twitter.com/tecaD9lAjS— Owen Jones 🌹 (@OwenJones84) July 12, 2021