In 2021-2022, I enjoyed Steve Cooper's run as the manager of Nottingham Forest. They had a number of big Cup wins and had an electric run in the Championship to get promoted into the Premier League. It was Forest's first return to the big stage in over 2 decades.
In 2022-2023, Forest sank to the bottom of the table and barely avoided relegation. Their Cinderella run almost ended as soon as it started as we wrote: Nottingham Forest's Impossible Dilemma.
Yesterday, at the beginning of the Nottingham Forest v Manchester United game, the advertising scroll around the field read END RACISM NOW. At the same time, I watched Forest jump out to a quick 2-0 lead, but the team didn't look the same as I remembered. When I say they didn't look the same, I mean other than Manager Steve Cooper, I didn't recognize the players. (Except Matt Turner, who I also didn't realize had joined the team.) They looked, uh, what is the politically correct term that I am desperately searching for? Less Traditionally English?
Am I a secret racist for noticing?
Let's do some research.
That 2021-2022 team had 16 players from Great Britain. Many of their blokes were well traveled veterans of the English Soccer Pyramid. They were a team you could rally around with their scrappy style of play. But when I think back to watching that team stun Premier League Team after Premier League Team in the FA Cup, that team was mostly Caucasian.
Since then, owner Evangelos Marinakis has torn the team down to its very foundation, signing 26 new players and dumping out almost every single player responsible for promotion. Yesterday, after Joe Worrall red-carded out of the game, Forest had one Caucasian field player.
Now I am an average American. There is no promotion or relegation in the leagues that I follow in this country. I don't care if a player is Black or White, I root for local Cleveland teams, and I mostly root against big market teams in New York and Los Angeles. MLS is overrated and I casually follow the biggest European Soccer Leagues. That's a gross oversimplification, but I made my statements broad for the brevity of time.
With that being said, the city of Nottingham is mostly White with its largest minority being Asian. So let me ask you this question: If Nottingham was promoted 2 years ago with mostly White Players, but then they get relegated with mostly Black Players, is it fair to ask why Nottingham didn't keep their original players?
To make things even more complicated, almost a third of the British population believes in the Great Replacement Theory.
Now do I think Nottingham Forest is being relegated this year? Oh, absolutely not. I LOVE Matt Turner. He will single-handedly keep Forest in the Premier League. But I don't ever remember a team almost entirely flipping races in 2 years. But let's pretend the amazing Matt Turner wasn't on Forest. If they were relegated this year, would the fans hate the players because they were Black, or because they sucked?
Yesterday, in the rain, Taiwo Awoniyi and Willy Bolly put Nottingham Forest up 2-0 and the Forest Fans were going absolutely bonkers. They certainly didn't see race, they saw the scoreboard tilting in their favor against a traditional English powerhouse. Those same fans were very quiet at the end of the match when they lost with nearly a dozen minutes of extra time added.
Let's return to America for a minute.
If there was a mostly White Sports Team and 2 years later that same team was mostly Black, what would happen? Nothing.
If there was a mostly Black Sports Team and 2 years later that same team was mostly White,
what would happen? There would be a Congressional Hearing, the owner would be called racist, and the commissioner of that sport would be grilled by hostile reporters.
And, just to be difficult, what if there was a mostly Black Sports Team, but the Blacks were African-American and 2 years later that team was mostly African? Ahhhhh.....
Does it turn from a race issue to a nationality issue?
Quietly, the Chinese Super League (soccer) has closed its doors to high-priced foreign nationals. In the Chinese Basketball Association, there is a limit of one foreign player on the court, for a team, at a time. Are those policies based on race or by nationalist ideologies?
Don't forget, I said I was from Cleveland, where the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Ted Stepien, once worried if his team was "too Black." Even today Cleveland football fans struggle with the question: Do Browns fans not like DeShaun Watson because he is Black, or because he's an alleged "rapist?"
But in England there's 11 levels in the English Soccer Pyramid. If homegrown talent is a majority White at the lower levels, is the "racist" push back due to race or due to an anti-immigration sentiment. 9 out of 10 English Conservatives believe that there should be limits on immigration.
I say it all the time, most fans love the players when they win and hate the players when they lose. I believe that most TRUE racists are so blinded by color, they don't even watch minority-dominated sports. Where do I think Nottingham Forest will finish this year?
Fred's Premier League Predictions:
I don't base those standings on race or nationality, I mostly based my prediction on REVENUE STREAMS.
Editor's Note: We are convinced that Nottingham Forest's Matt Turner and AC Milan's Christian Pulisic will lead the United States to a 3rd Place finish in 2026's World Cup.
You know what the late Oakland Raiders Owner Al Davis thought of all this talk?