Jeremy Vine panelists discuss racist abuse of England team

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During Tuesday’s Jeremy Vine, one of the main topics of discussion was about England’s loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final. England lost the game after a tense penalty shoot-out, which led to football players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka receiving racist abuse online. The panel discussed whether the Government was to blame for the racial abuse. Although, it quickly took a turn when Samuels said she “didn’t approve” of the football players taking to the knee before the game as she claimed it was “overblown”. She claimed it is not the right way to protest racism and it “wasn’t enough”.

“It can’t be freedom of expression for the players and not the fans,” she began.

“I personally wouldn’t boo but I feel like on a principle basis that there has to be that kind of balance.”

“Look,” Smith chipped in. “Boris Johnson and Priti Patel had a choice.

“Do you want to be allies of people who have experienced racism and say it’s a problem?”

Turning to Samuels, the former MP said: “Yes, I agree taking to the knee isn’t enough.

“But [those] who are making a public gesture and showing a leadership against racism.

“They had a choice about which side to be on and they chose not to be on the side of the people that were challenging racism.

“Therefore, they are partially responsible for the people who felt it was okay to be racist.”

Hitting back at Smith, Samuels disagreed: “No. I don’t think so.

“Well, actually towards the start of the game, the Prime Minister did urge people, not to boo.

“But you also need to think why the knee has been made into such a controversial issue.

“That is because of the context of the BLM protests and the fact they began kneeling with BLM on their t-shirts and that’s how that link has been made.”



Later on in the discussion, Smith went on to point out there is evidence the Government are “hypocrites”.

“When they thought they were getting on the right side of a culture war by calling kneeling and Black Lives Matter, gesture politics,” she added.

“They were happy to do that. When they knew the vast majority of the country were disgusted about the racist abuse that our tea, were facing, all of a sudden…”

Samuels quickly interrupted before Smith could finish her sentence, as she said: “So you think Priti Patel and Boris Johnson sending monkey emojis calling people the N-word is okay?”

“I don’t think that,” Smith hit back. “But, they had the opportunity to take a stand.”


The segment sparked a strong reaction with viewers, with many taking to social media to share their thoughts.

“So, Dominique. If taking a knee is not the right way to protest racism, what is?” one quizzed.

Another penned: “Dominique saying people booing the taking of the knee are not racist. I know people who boo it, and I can confirm they are racist. it goes hand in hand. I can understand why it makes people so upset.” (sic)

A third added: “Dominique Samuels aka ‘political commentator’ is against taking the knee because she thinks ‘it’s not enough’. You cannot find stupid if you looked for it with a touch.”

Jeremy Vine airs weekdays at 9.15am on BBC One.

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