Sky Sports has come out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement after one of its competitors, BBC, has ruled that its broadcasters and guests cannot wear badges in support of Black Lives Matter on air.
The news comes at a time when the Premier League has returned to television and a number of players have shown their support for the movement amid widespread protests against police brutality.
“Sky Sports is committed to doing more to tackle racism, highlight racial injustice and support communities impacted by racism,” the company said in a statement Thursday, via Variety. “Our support is for the moral cause and campaign, that Black Lives Matter, rather than for any political organization.
“We support the Premier League, its clubs and players who are making a powerful collective statement, that Black lives matter and there is no room for racism. Sky has made a number of commitments to tackle racial injustice and support anti-racism. As part of this, some of our pundits have chosen to wear Black Lives Matter badges on air and others are choosing to support the anti-racism cause in many other ways.”
Sky Sports will also be broadcasting a cricket match between West Indies and England on July 8 which will feature both teams wearing Black Lives Matter logos on their shirts.
BBC, meanwhile, says that they do not allow badges from their presenters as part of a longstanding policy.
“The BBC cannot be seen to support any kind of cause over another, and Black Lives Matter is certainly a campaign,” a BBC source said. “Therefore we wouldn’t want anyone on-screen to be wearing visual symbols of support. Our presenters and guests can discuss Black Lives Matter, and we’ve reported on it in depth. We’re not impartial about racism. But wearing badges on screen – just as with any other campaign – would be a step too far.”