Blue Peter warned woke brigade could come for them next as Man Utd and Man City urged to revamp crests

Paul Coyte says calls to change the Manchester club badges are 'nonsense'

GB News
Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 20/04/2023

- 17:28

Updated: 21/04/2023

- 08:13

The Manchester clubs are facing calls to change their badges over perceived links to the slave trade

Woke calls for historic Premier League club badges to be replaced over fears of offence have been slammed by a sports reporter.

Manchester United and Manchester City are facing calls to consider updating their iconic emblems due to perceived links to the slave trade.

The Premier League giants’ badges both don three-masted ships, which according to a report in The Guardian, could be considered an “emblem of a crime against humanity” as a result of perceived links to the slave trade.

A report called on the clubs to replace the ships, which are specifically a tribute to the Manchester Ship Canal, with a bee, a symbol used in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing in 2018.

Paul Coyte speaks on GB News about the Manchester United-Manchester City debacle

Paul Coyte criticises calls to revamp the club badges of the Manchester clubs

PA / GB News

Sports reporter Paul Coyle has blasted the calls, and warned other institutions could be at risk in the future of being subject to demands from the woke brigade.

Speaking on GB News, he said: “This ship is obviously because of the Manchester Ship Canal. That’s why they’ve got the ships on the badges.

“What are people going to do? Are they going to say they’re glorifying Lucifer because there’s a Red Devil on the front of Manchester United’s?

“It’s a ship with three masts which probably would have been used in the 17th, 18th century, surely it’s nonsense.

“Do we now look at Blue Peter and think there’s three blue masts on that ship as well, what is that telling us?”

Historians claim Manchester adopted ships as an emblem in 1842 at the earliest, which is 35 years after the slave trade had ceased to be a lawful operation.

Manchester poet Lemn Sissay questioned the use of ships in the club crests, telling the paper: “If slavery is part of what made Manchester great, then Manchester needs to know it and name it, from the ships on the football shirts to the cotton mills of the Industrial Revolution.

“We are all looking closer and the day will come. The question for those dragging their feet is this: are you going to be part of the problem or part of the solution?”

One reader called for a campaign, saying: “As someone from the diaspora of Jamaica, I have been on a mission to hopefully force the change and removal of slave ships featured on both Manchester City and Manchester United’s club logos, plus the City of Manchester Council.”

The calls have been met with criticism from others, including ex-Coronation Street star Charlie Lawson, who tweeted: “WTF are The Guardian on about?!! Man Utd and Man City to change their club badge?!! What a w***y newspaper!!”.

Man United historian Iain McCartney told the Daily Mail says he believes nobody who supports either of the Manchester clubs has ever associated the emblems with slavery.

He said: “I think it is all akin to a mountain being made out of a molehill.

“Yes, the ship is there due to Manchester's heritage and yes, the cotton trade went a huge way to make Manchester what it was and what it is today. Yes again, the cotton is clearly linked to slavery.

“Slavery was a cruel thing, with countless numbers suffering one way or the other, there can be no denying that, but the cotton fields part of it is a thing of the past.

“It is from a bygone era when the world was totally different. People did make vast fortunes out of slavery, through cotton, sugar etc. I think that has as much to do with the thinking of many as the actual slavery itself.

“But should United, City and the city itself change their club crest and coat of arms to appease a few? I think not.

“I don't think there is anyone who supports either club who has ever considered the badge as a link to slavery and refused to buy or wear anything with it on it.

“Neither will any player have refused to sign for one or the other because of the badge and its links to slavery.

“None would have given the matter a second thought or even been aware of it.”

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