A very odd story today came to my attention today about Millwall fans and a game to commemorate the abolition of slavery (found via The Offside):
Millwall fans are ready to boycott their club’s friendly against Sierra Leone at The Den next month because it is being held to commemorate the bicentenary of the abolition of slavery.
The Daily Mail reports that Millwall fans seem to be upset that their club is being used as a “political football”.
A Millwall Supporters Club spokesman said: “I have been in touch the club and have asked why it was decided to use the game to celebrate the abolishment of slavery.
“I explained that all fans would agree with that but Millwall FC or its fans have no links with slavery at all. Slavery was abolished over 100 years before we were even founded, many fans see the association as our club being used as a political football.”
The last quote seems like a curious statement: why the defensive wording that “Millwall FC or its fans have no links with slavery at all”? Was someone actually suggesting that they did? I mean, I know they have a bad reputation, but I didn’t think anyone thought the Lion’s Den was once home to slaveholders.
And I always thought Millwall fans were proud that “no-one likes us, we don’t care”. So is this a reasonable protest about “political football”, or could it be taken as cover for something else?