Free Speech Union proposes that, as the "simplest solution" the FA should ban any footballers from taking a knee (!) It also argues that fans who boo the gesture should not be sanctioned. But its preferred/proposed free speech solution is a ban on the knee, over a ban on neither.
There is a logic in FSU defending taking a knee (free speech) and defending support of it (speech) and opposition (counter-speech). It is a surprising departure to see its initial proposal being to curtail speech, on grounds it is political.
The FSU - in mooting the proposal to ban taking a knee - are appealing to the rules which were (disproportionately) used by Fifa to ban England & Scotland wearing poppies, until common sense prevailed on not banning the poppy.
On defending booing, the argument is it need not be racist. They defend a anti-racist member

That defence raises a key question: does it *need* to be not-racist booing to be defended?Or should FSU defend racist overtly racist booing&speech, alongside not-racist critiques of BLM?
Eg, FSU have a member who opposes BLM but supports Kick It Out. But an important distinction as to whether they would also defend booing from eg the Millwall supporter who is an supporter of an overtly racist group like Patriotic Alternative, says they boo for racist reasons?
A real world question. In my lifetime, we saw a move to sanctioning overtly racist speech that was common in the 1980s. Some examples of chants are racist and now illegal - but some examples are overtly racist speech that are legal. Some questions that @toadmeister always ducks
Some chants I used to hear are a Public Order Offence (since 1986?). Examples I heard were "Shoot that N-word". "You Black Bastard". Monkey chants & banana throwing (a speech act). I guess @toadmeister @SpeechUnion may support these being banned? (though @spikedonline would not)
But there is overtly racist speech that is not illegal. Eg the chant "Everton are White" sung when Liverpool signed John Barnes would be banned/sanctioned as racist at the ground, though its legal racist speech outside it. (Not been true since 1994).
I am less clear on the legal status of other overtly racist chants I've heard in person, eg "You are just a town full of Pakis" by racist fans against Bradford, or the "I would rather be a Paki than a Scouse" song West Ham fans were singing when they played Everton in the cup.
As it happens the cited Rule 4 (Equipment) does not seem to say anything about kneeling or sitting or turning your back, etc so @SpeechUnion may be under-researched on their factual claims, since it would not seem to apply to this gesture
It is certainly true that not all criticism of BLM is racist. It is also evidently true that some criticism of BLM is racist. It undermines those making the first point if can't acknowledge the second. (Legitimacy of not-racist critique depends on it)
Its also possible to research the question "how much opposition to BLM comes from those with overtly racist views and how much from those with not racist views?"

This is something that I have tried to do. There is a nuanced picture, which offers partial support for both points
The @SpeechUnion position seems an incoherent mess to me.

They should defend the gesture as free expression, ensure its voluntary not compulsory, & defend criticism of BLM/gesture.

They should also clarify whether/when they will defend, oppose or be neutral on racist speech
7% of people disagree with "black & Asian people born in Britain are just as British as white people born in Britain" About 5% for racist reasons. [Explanation follows]. This overtly racist group is strongly against BLM. Racism accounts for nearly half of "*strongly* oppose BLM"
If we take "oppose Black Lives Matter" inc Tend to Oppose (now 20-25%) overt racists are a minority. Two-thirds of 'oppose BLM' say Blacks and Asians *are* equally British. One-sixth not. One-sixth on the fence. White supporters of BLM say blacks are equally British 93% to 2%
I ask "Blacks and Asians are equally British" as an overt prejudice indicator, but can take Q in different ways. 3/4 of No hold anti-minority views. About 1/4 of people who say No (2% of people) have anti-racist views, so may be saying 'aren't seen as equal (unfortunately)'
The fifth of people who say they regularly go to football support players taking the knee, but only by 49% to 41% so this gesture gets a range of different responses from those with mainstream (not racist) views, probably for many different reasons

Anti-racism messages - like the No Room for Racism message - secure broader approval from about 85% of people, with 76% to 4% public support for the idea it is important for national team managers and players to speak out against racism

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