Football Players Protest British Monarchist Anthem

Football players in Northern Ireland have shown their disapproval of the UK’s monarchist anthem by bowing their heads when it was played.

The protest by members of the Cliftonville team happened when the anthem was played at the Irish Cup final in May.

The Irish Football Association had refused a request from the team that the monarchist anthem not be played before the match. It had not been played when Cliftonville reached the final in 2013.

The anthem expresses support for the UK’s feudal head of state and is repugnant to republicans.

Most Cliftonville supporters are Irish nationalists and therefore oppose the inclusion of the six counties of Northern Ireland in the UK monarchy.

The protest was similar to the protest against racism that American football players have made by kneeling when the American anthem is played.

Some Unionists described the protest as “disrespectful” apparently oblivious to the disrespect for republican citizens systematically expressed by the British state through its promotion of monarchist symbols and events.