Boris Johnson opposes the prohibition of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot | sport

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Boris Johnson has criticized a review by the authorities of the unions of rugby in the song Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, saying that the emphasis should be placed on the “substance” of efforts to combat racism.The Guardian revealed on Thursday that the Rugby Football Union was studying the appropriation of the song by the English fans, saying that many of them were unaware of its origins as a song about slavery and examining its context after the events of Black Lives Matter.

When asked if he would support a possible ban of the song, Johnson said that he thought that the problem was a distraction.

“My only thought on this whole issue is, frankly, what people need to do, I think, is to focus less on the symbols of the discrimination or anything like that, all of these issues that people raise now about the statues and the songs, etc “, he told Sky News during a visit at a school in Hertfordshire.

“I can see why they are very emotional, I understand that. But what I want to focus on, it is the substance of the problem “, continued the Prime minister. “I want to make sure that it is a society where people can progress on their own merits, achieve fantastic things, and not subject to prejudice or discrimination. “


The protesters anti-racism should “focus less on the symbols,” says Boris Johnson – video

Johnson has used an article for the Daily Telegraph on Sunday to discuss the statues, saying that he “would resist with every breath in my body” to any attempt to remove the statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament square, a decision that no one has yet proposed.

After the examination, the RFU could urge the English fans not to sing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, which the author credited is Wallace Willis, a slave was freed of the Oklahoma of the Nineteenth century.

In other comments during the visit to the school, Johnson said that most of the people barely knew the lyrics of the song.

“Before you start complaining about Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, I would like to know what are the other words “, he said. “You are going to” Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, coming for to bring me home “, then everything turns off. How is it going? This is my question.

“I certainly do not think that there should be any prohibition of singing this song. My curiosity is the reason people don’t seem to know the rest – I’d like to hear the rest. ”

It is thought that the song was sung for the first time at Twickenham, the rugby team of England, when Martin “Chariots” Offiah was playing in the tournament, the Middlesex Sevens, 1987. The following year, he became a popular refrain among English fans when Chris Oti has managed a hat-trick against Ireland.

The former English international Brian Moore has said that he did not understand why the song had become so popular with spectators.

“This has been sung in rugby clubs when I was still a foal and well before Martin Offiah and Chris Oti do not play in the senior rugby “, he tweeted. “It has been sung because of the rude gestures that accompanied it and without thinking of its origins. The world has evolved and, rightly so, things that were normal should not necessarily be now.

“If today’s environment had been known, it would perhaps not have been sung. Among the other reasons why the RFU encourages people not to sing it, one of the main is that most of the people know only two verses and it is the shit as song national because it has no connection with England. “

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