I'm neither English nor a soccer fan, but if you're both, then here's a real moral dilemma for you.
On the one hand:
More than 1,200 workers have been banned from flying England flags on their own cars by managers - over fears they could deemed as racist.
Employees at the housing association were sent a group e-mail warning that decking out their personal vehicles with the St George's flags could "discriminate" against those who don't support England during the World Cup.
Managers at Bolton At Home in Greater Manchester, which manages 18,200 council houses in Bolton, insist cars owned by their workforce must remain "neutral" in order to treat all its "customers with respect and without discrimination."
OK, so soccer is a race now. Who knew?
But on the other hand, just up the road in Scotland:
High street retailer HMV has withdrawn "Anyone But England" World Cup posters and T-shirts from its Scottish stores following complaints they were racist. . . .
The Campaign for an English Parliament (CEP) contacted police about the "insensitive and provocative" items which, their website claimed were "criminally irresponsible."
The CEP said: "We understand HMV have agreed to withdraw their insensitive and provocative 'Anyone but England' window displays and T-shirts from their Scottish stores following complaints from members of the public and a complaint by the CEP to Fife Police for incitement to racial hatred."
So, in a nutshell:
- If you support England in the World Cup, you're a racist.
- If you oppose England in the World Cup, you're a racist.
I guess the only racially sensitive thing to do is to declare, "A pox on both your houses."
But when soccer fans become the moral equivalent of an identifiable ethnic group, political correctness has gone to seed. I don't think this sort of thing would ever fly in Canada during hockey season. But shhh - don't give the HRCs any ideas.