Almost everyone still agrees that black lives matter. They're just not sure about Black Lives Matter. It's six weeks since Marcus Thuram took a knee after scoring for Borussia Monchengladbach against Union Berlin. His was the only such gesture in the Bundesliga that weekend though Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho wore a T-shirt in memory of George Floyd and Weston McKennie of Schalke 04 an armband.
Things have snowballed since then. The following week several Bundesliga teams followed Thuram's lead while the week after that every team took a knee and wore the words 'Black Lives Matter' on their jerseys as the Premier League restarted.
The jerseys are back to normal now but the Premier League has continued to preface every game with the collective genuflection associated with the Black Lives Matter movement. It's the only league to do so although individual players have taken a knee after scoring in La Liga and Serie A.
But a change in attitude towards the Black Lives Matter movement itself seems to have taken place. It appeared to begin a fortnight ago with Sky Sports pundit Matt Le Tissier expressing his disagreement with some of the organisation's beliefs and implying he'd only worn the badge in studio because he'd been told to.
All Sky guests had been wearing the BLM badge but on the following Tuesday pundits Jamie Redknapp and Patrice Evra and host Kelly Cates went without them during coverage of the Manchester United-Brighton game. During last weekend's Soccer Saturday, host Jeff Stelling, Le Tissier, Paul Merson and Clinton Morrison wore badges supporting football anti-racism charity Kick It Out instead.
On Thursday of last week Crystal Palace distanced themselves from Black Lives Matter when stating: "We do not endorse any pressure group or body that carries the same term in its name, and we strongly believe that organisations should not use this important force for positivity and change to push their own political agendas." Spurs appear to be taking a similar stance with director Donna-Maria Cullen complaining that: "A value-based political action is being hijacked by those with their own political agenda."
Black Lives Matter UK's attacks on the Israeli government's treatment of Palestinians and its aims of defunding the police and dismantling capitalism have caused some of their erstwhile supporters to think again.
Criticising Black Lives Matter for 'using' or 'hijacking' the death of George Floyd for their own political ends is a bit rich. The organisation was highlighting such deaths and their causes when football clubs had no interest at all in the subject.
It was English football which rushed to align itself with Black Lives Matter rather than the other way round. The idea that BLM has somehow been opportunistic and dishonest is unfair. Of course it has a political agenda. It's a political group seeking political change.
Black Lives Matter is a radical organisation whose worldview is influenced by black activists such as Angela Davis, George Jackson and Assata Shakur who largely regarded Martin Luther King as a sell-out, and also by Marxism and by the anti-imperialist writings of Frantz Fanon.
This is who they are. Nothing about the organisation has changed since the Premier League decided to wholeheartedly embrace it. Black Lives Matter are not the ones being hypocritical here.
Criticising the movement for not being a bit more United Colours of Benetton is a bit like complaining that the Dublin football team don't score enough tries. It displays a total misunderstanding of the nature of the game.
It's also oddly reminiscent of the reactions of those people who pretended that David Cullinane shouting 'Up the RA' after the general election or Mary Lou McDonald expressing her support for the IRA in this newspaper were in some way betraying the party's new voters. Of course they support the Troubles-era armed struggle. They'd hardly have joined Sinn Féin if they didn't.
You cannot expect Sinn Féin to change their core ideology to please people who've only just hopped on their bandwagon. The same goes for Black Lives Matter who, like Cullinane and McDonald, seem to have got people's goat simply by being honest about their beliefs. The title of the American musical, I love you, you're perfect, now change, comes to mind.
Le Tissier also deserves credit for honesty and for seeing the contradiction inherent in a bunch of wealthy middle-aged men pledging tacit allegiance to an organisation which wants to dismantle capitalism.
After all, match analysis panels are largely made up of people who've done extremely well out of capitalism. Today's players do even better out of it and probably don't have any desire to see the system replaced either.
Black Lives Matter's positions on these things are outside the political mainstream. Yet these positions have only come under scrutiny because so many organisations decided that embracing the movement was the handiest way to exempt themselves from accusations of racism as the protests about the death of George Floyd swept the globe.
If anyone's been 'using' and 'hijacking' in this case it's the clubs who are now backing away from BLM. The very radicalism which made Black Lives Matter such a potent force in the fevered days following George Floyd's death probably makes them an unsuitable long-term partner for basically conservative corporate entities like Premier League clubs.
That means football will have to pursue its own anti-racist policies without contracting the job out to Black Lives Matter.
Former England soccer international Eniola Aluko has suggested one way in which meaningful change could happen when asking for something like the NFL's Rooney Rule to be used across British sport with the aim of achieving 30 per cent of Black and other ethnic minority inclusion on the boards of governing bodies.
The current figure of three per cent is ludicrously low. As is the number of black managers in the top four divisions of English football which currently stands at five despite the fact that more than a quarter of Premier League players are black.
A version of the Rooney Rule, which stipulates that at least one black candidate be interviewed for coaching jobs, was brought in by the English Football League two years ago, but resisted by the top flight. Objections to the rule on the grounds that, "these things should be decided on merit," betray the assumptions of those who make them, Is it really merit that has led to the appointment of a mere handful of black managers, most of them at the lower end of the league?
Even then, the Rooney Rule may not be the panacea it's cracked up to be. After its introduction in 2003, the number of black head coaches had increased from three to eight by 2011. But now it's back down to four and the percentage of assistant head coaches has increased by a measly 0.6 per cent over the 17-year period.
These things can be complicated. Lewis Hamilton's call for Formula 1 drivers to take a knee before the Austrian Grand Prix met with only limited support.
But this might have less to do with ambivalence towards racism on the part of the drivers than with the fact that Hamilton's megaphone diplomacy on the issue seemed designed to alienate people. Though of course his sense of isolation and frustration in an overwhelmingly white sport may have contributed to the way he approached the matter in the first place.
Meanwhile in America, the pitfalls of taking your moral lead from sportsmen were illustrated when star Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson tweeted, among other things, that, "The Jews will blackmail America. They will extort America, their plan won't work if the Negroes know who they were," which he claimed was a quote from well-known font of wisdom Adolf Hitler (it wasn't).
Former basketball star Stephen Jackson, who as a friend of George Floyd has been prominent in the recent Black Lives Matter protests, defended his namesake on the grounds that "He's speaking the truth." The contributions of both players showed, not for the first time, that an ability to do great things in the sporting arena does not automatically imply intellectual brilliance outside it.
The Premier League took the easy way out when hitching its star to Black Lives Matter. Any falling out will be the fault of the League, not the movement.
Black Lives Matter, the organisation, may no longer be flavour of the month with the bandwagon brigade. But black lives matter, the idea, matters more than ever.
It's a lot more than a six-week wonder.