Manchester United and Manchester City fans may be enemies on the terraces, but they have joined forces to revolt against a ‘woke nonsense’ campaign to cancel the ships on their club crests over claims that they are symbols of the slave trade.
The Premier League giants’ badges both feature three-masted ships – an emblem of the city and more specifically a tribute to the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894.
But Left-wingers say the ship, a symbol of the city also carved into the town hall and the city council’s crest, symbolises the slave trade, and should be replaced by a bee – the poignant symbol used in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017.
The Guardian newspaper, whose founders’ wealth was generated through links to transatlantic slavery, sparked the debate with an article claiming that the ships shown on the City and United badges could be considered an ’emblem of a crime against humanity’.
United and City fans are up in arms. Pilot Mike Goldstein, 57, who has been going to City games through thick and thin for 51 years, said: ‘It’s just woke nonsense. You can’t keep on going back. It’d be like being mad at the Italians for the Roman Empire.’
Chef and United fan Jamie Parkhouse, 37, said: ‘People are rightly asking questions about the slave trade, but this shouldn’t be one of them. The badge is about the Manchester Ship Canal and not slaves. To link the badge and the slave trade is so over the top.’