Calls for Cork fans to abstain from flying the Confederate flag in Croke Park amid violent protests in Virginia
Cork supporters are being urged to abstain from flying the Confederate flag in Croke Park today, following the violent protests in Virginia.
White supremacists brought chaos to Virginia on Saturday as they protested against plans to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee.
The mass gathering sparked a counter-demonstration by others protesting against racism and left one person dead and 19 others injured when a car deliberately rammed into crowds.
Ahead of today's All-Ireland hurling semi-final, there have been calls for Cork supporters to abstain from flying the Confederate flag in Croke Park.
Some members of Cork's Rebel Army of GAA supporters have flown the flag for decades, despite the flag's sinister meaning in the US.
In 2015, Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI) called on the flag to be banned from GAA games. The call came after nine people were killed in a church in Charleston, South Carolina by gun man Dylan Roof, who was pictured with the flag online in the days before the attack.
In 2004, former Cork board chairman Jim Forbes pointed out that most fans aren't even aware of the connotations of the flag. "The only reason people use this (Confederate) flag is because it is red and white, there is no ulterior motive involved,"
The Rubberbandits have led today's call for Cork fans to resist from flying the flag during today's hurling decider with Waterford and many people on Twitter have echoed their statements.
Cork fans, on today of all days, keep the Confederate battle flags at home. A symbol that's demonstrably adopted by racists and Nazis.— Eric Fitzgerald (@mrericfitz) August 13, 2017
Oh, today (and every day) could the odd Cork fan who still brings confederate flags to matches please stop. #gaa— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) August 13, 2017
Please Cork, no Confederate flags today. Hurling is basically the only good and pure thing left in the world, don't stink it up on us.— Fergal (@Fergal) August 13, 2017
Not even asking for them to be banned. Cork people are generally sound, and would probably stop if they had a think about it.— Rubber Bandits (@Rubberbandits) August 13, 2017
Any Cork fan with a Confederate flag today should be banned from the stadium.— Michael McCarthy (@McCarthyMick) August 13, 2017
Cork fans shouldnt have confederate flags and have absolutely no reason to. Not the "rebels" anyone should aspire to be, no place in #GAA— Fíachra McElroy (@Fiachrakme) August 13, 2017