High school students have suggested introducing a “multicultural stand” at Blackburn Rovers Football Club, as part of a Premier League community initiative which has angered Rovers fans.
The five pupils from Darwen Vale High School were narrowly defeated when they represented Blackburn Rovers Community Trust in the Premier League Enterprise Challenge regional play-offs recently. The grassroots initiative required all six teams to pitch ideas to “address diversity” in their fan base.
The Lancashire team’s plan focused on having a multicultural stand at Ewood Park by renaming the Family Stand as the Community Stand to attract people from a wider cross-section of the community. They also suggested converting an existing media room into a multi-faith prayer room so people can pray whilst matches are on as well as offering halal and kosher food to fans.
Liam Bedford, Rovers’ Premier League Enterprise co-ordinator, believed the panel of judges liked the ideas and confirmed the club was now considering bringing in halal and kosher food to supporters attending games at the League One club.
“I think this shows if you give kids the chance to think of ideas then they come up with them,” he said.
“Our community inclusion manager Ilyas Patel is in contact with suppliers to see about the halal and kosher foods and also food-tasting outside the ground.
“Ilyas also says some people have to pray five times a day and there have been times when he has had to go onto the concourse at different grounds to do it.
“The media room is no longer used as press stuff is done at Brockhall so a multi-faith prayer room could make use of it, but these were only the kids’ ideas.”
But disgruntled Rovers fans have labelled the initiative politically correct “liberal tripe” and “virtue signalling at its finest”.
Commenting on the Lancashire Telegraph, one reader said: “Go take your liberal tripe somewhere else. You are implying that football is non-inclusive when in reality you couldn’t be further from the truth.
“The UK is one of the most tolerant countries on earth. Focus your BS on less tolerant countries, but no you won’t do that will you? It’s virtue signalling at its finest.”
“This tripe which they are teaching kids at school is nothing more than brainwashing in the name of political correctness by liberal morons. What next? Gender neutral toilets in every football stadium?” another fan said.
A third Rovers supporter continued the criticism, saying: “Sorry but don’t we already have full multiculturalism at Ewood? I’m pretty certain that there are no ‘White’s Only’ areas in the ground, in fact I would put my annual pension on it.
“What we definitely don’t need is a standalone section devoted to the altar of multiculturalism creating segregation for those who think themselves better.”
And another poster, called ‘lemnats’, summed up the general mood adding: “Judging by the comments, this idea seems to have brought the opposite effect of racial harmony. Things like this tend to widen the gap, not narrow them!”
Standing up for those without a voice in Britain
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