Arsenal are a great club. A world class organization that promotes social consciousness, great attacking football, and tries to do things the right way. Arsene Wenger is a representation of this, a manager who chooses to remind his players of the qualities that they possess to counteract the media’s fetish with downgrading them. But my friends, there is a menace at the football club that has been silently spreading its darkness right under our noses, and if not for one brave man, we would have never known.
Vic Akers, the “kit manager” at Arsenal, in cooperation with the totalitarian captains and vice captains of the club has been for years –maybe even decades—silently oppressing the rights of the other players to choose their desired sleeve lengths. And were it not for the brave Mathieu Flamini, the world may have never known this dark, and venomous secret. The fact that such an issue like this has managed to escape our immediate consciousness is a testament to sinister approach of the oppressors and how invested they have been in their violation of basic human rights –the right to short sleeves. This violation has become so embedded in our minds that even now, when Wenger calls the culture of the other players wearing the same sleeve length as the captain “tradition”, we simply shrug our shoulders.
Where were the calls for tradition when Arsenal decided to move to the Emirates? Or is tradition just a forgotten hymn in the chorus of big money and fancier stadiums? Why was tradition ignored when Arsenal chose to splash the cash on a luxury German attacking midfielder? As a club known for frugal spending, the tradition would have been to spend on a nimble French youngster who would surely leave after developing at the club, but again it seems that tradition only applies when it is used to silence.
It is always the same with these dictators: They lord their own beliefs and paranoia over the people and then try to convince the general public that it’s just tradition. Sexism has no place in society, but you will see many saying that “it’s the way it has always been” or that women were made after men, thus are secondary. Racism as well is always justified in this manner, but rarely do we notice till someone, be it Martin Luther King, Betty Friedan or Mathieu Flamini stands against it.
How much longer will we stand by and watch this injustice happen?
Wenger –most likely as the puppet of the infamous Vic Akers--stated that Flamini will never cut his sleeves again and that he does not approve of it. Typical dictatorship, trying to silence revolutionaries. But the call is on us as a people, the power is with us, are we willing to stand idly by as one of our modern heroes is buried under the powers his oppressors and tradition? Are we any better than they are if we allow such a heinous act to pass unperturbed?
I know the heart of man shall not stand for this –the greatest issue of our generation. Together we can overthrow the regime of Vic Akers who dubiously hides behind false doctrines like his creation of the Arsenal Ladies team and an OBE award. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
A revolutionary idea is usually one with its sleeves rolled up.
-Navjot Singh Sidhu