Former footballer Matt Le Tissier is warning that the assault on free speech in Britain is making the country more akin to Communist China.
The former Premier League star admitted that he had not had much interest in politics until he was “awakened” to the threat of cancel culture during the covid lockdown.
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Being critical of the covid restrictions, vaccines mandates and lockdowns and questioning why so many athletes have been suddenly collapsing, and some even dying with heart problems, has led Le Tissier to being shut down.
He argues that it is important to have open debate and to be able to disagree.
The Express reports: The Southampton star added: “I felt I had to speak out even if it cost me work then so be it. It might cost me a few friends, I don’t think I have upset anyone to that point yet.
“I didn’t like what I was seeing which was the stifling of any debate that went against the Government narrative.”
He went on: “That’s what is frustrating me, the censorship, the shutting down, the Government almost taking over every television station and threatening rhythm if they don’t conform to the Government narrative.
“When I was growing up, that’s what we were told was bad about China. Now we are living right through that in this country here and I don’t want to live in that world.”
Mr Le Tissier, who played for Southampton for 17 years and then became a feature on Sky Sports’s Soccer Saturday show, spoke to the Sunday Express to announce his new livestream show on the GETTR social media platform.
He joined GETTR in January after becoming disillusioned with the way people were being cancelled and censored on other social media platforms like Twitter “for innocuous things”.
“I like to have a bit of a laugh, I love to express my opinions and I like to hear people’s different opinions as long as it doesn’t come with abuse.
“The content on GETTR is very respectful. It has been a very different experience and far more enjoyable than being on Twitter.”
The end of his contract with Sky Sports also played in with the cancel culture issues.
“It’s fairly simple. Our programme was five middle aged white men.
“I don’t have a problem with diversity if it is proportional representation. What I do have a problem with is when you stop employing people who are the best person for the job because they are not the right colour.
“That’s a whole different debate. Again it’s nuanced. If you try to have that debate though you get labelled as a racist and they shut you down. I’m not comfortable with that because I’m not a racist.”
He added: “I got labelled as an anti vaxxer. I have had every vaccination I could have had until this one. Because I have chosen to wait a bit for some long term safety data which there was none of , because I took that decision suddenly I’m an anti vaxxer. Just get real!”
He also warned against the Government’s online harms bill, suggesting that it could be used by extremists tio shut down free speech further. He said: “There’s a lot of things I see that look good on paper but when you see the ramifications of it you get scared of how it could be used.
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