GB News: Dan Wootton hails F1 for removing taking the knee – ‘Worse than empty gesture’

Jeremy Vine discusses GB News presenter taking the knee

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Many drivers have taken the gesture before races over the last two years, but bosses have announced this will stop for the 2022 season which kicks off in Bahrain next month. GB News presenter Dan Wotton and his panel were supportive of the move arguing that it did nothing to combat racism and was meaningless.

Conservative commentator Calvin Robinson supported F1’s decision and blasted taking the knee as ‘worse than an empty gesture’ and applauded F1 bosses for funding Formula One engineering scholarships for underrepresented groups.

He said: “I think F1 has taken the right stance here in actually doing some positive action, trying to make a difference.

“Taking the knee is worse than an empty gesture, it’s divisive because a lot of people really don’t like it in their sport.

“Sport is supposed to be unifying, if you’re doing something at the start of the game that’s messing that up it’s not a good place to start.

“So, I’m pleased to see some anti-racist campaigns putting their money where their mouth is rather than getting down on a knee.”

Former Daily Star editor Dawn Neeson broadened the discussion to include taking the knee in football.

She pointed out the hypocrisy of England players taking the knee and supporting a pro-LGBT campaign in Premier League games but then playing in the world cup in Qatar later this year despite the country’s poor human rights record.

She said: “It has become an empty gesture, I’m not that convinced it was that meaningful a gesture in the first place.

“How many young black lives have been seriously helped by a load of pampered privileged sports stars taking the knee.

“How many of those pampered privileged sports stars actually believed in what they were doing?

“Wear your rainbow laces, take the knee but then fly to Qatar and earn a load of money playing in the world cup. It’s sheer hypocrisy.”

Author and Journalist Rebecca Reid argued the idea of taking the knee had moved from a form of protest to a ritual.

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She said: “Taking the knee is supposed to be a protest so you don’t need to have a slot where you’re invited to do it.

“If you feel that’s important and you need to do it – it’s a protest. Do it. But you don’t need someone to pull out a red carpet for you.”

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