Seven European soccer associations have pulled out from plans to wear LGBTQ-supporting "OneLove" armbands at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar due to the threat of players receiving yellow cards.
The soccer associations — England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, and Switzerland — stated that they weren't willing to risk "sporting sanctions" against their players, asserting that they were "very frustrated" by the decision.
Allowing Qatar to host the World Cup was a shameful decision, and banning players from showing their support for a severely marginalized group only adds insult to injury. The competition and its stadiums stand on the bodies of thousands of migrant workers and those suffering under abject human rights abuses. This is a disgrace to sports, the LGBTQ community, and champions of human rights alike.
Sports and politics shouldn't mix. While the World Cup has highlighted some ongoing issues within Qatar, Doha has done much to address these and the Arab World has every right to enjoy and take pride in the tournament. The World Cup belongs to the global community, offering a rare and important opportunity to foster a spirit of camaraderie through athletics.
The European football associations' cowardly U-turn only serves to highlight that they're far more interested in virtue-signaling than taking a decisive stance. It's easy to be a social justice warrior when one's own head isn't on the line.