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Manchester United and Man City face pressure to change club crests over claims of 'links to slavery'
20 April 2023, 13:05
Manchester United and Man City are facing calls to change their club crests following suggestions the boats on them are linked to slavery.
An article first published in The Guardian says the ships featured on both badges are not related to football but instead originate from how Manchester made its money in the early 19th century.
Manchester's coat of arms, which features on both clubs' crests, features an image of a ship, and is also carved into the city's town halls.
A discussion over the link between the club's crests and slavery is "welcomed", according to Ged Grebby, CEO of Show Racism the Red Card.
Meanwhile, a reader letter to the publication read: "As someone from the diaspora of Jamaica, I have been on a mission to hopefully force the change and removal of slave ships featured on both Manchester City and Manchester United’s club logos, plus the City of Manchester council."
But there has also been pushback against calls to change the badges, with Labour MP for Blackley and Broughton Graham Stringer telling The Sun that "Manchester had nothing to do with the slave trade".
"People from the city at the time of the US Civil War in 1861 protested against slavery. This is one of the craziest campaigns I have ever seen," he said.
Meanwhile, Conservative MP for South Ribble Katherine Fletcher said Mancunians are some of the most "welcoming" and so such links do not exist.
Other critics have pointed out that Manchester United was founded in 1878 and Man City in 1880 - decades after Britain abolished slavery in 1807.
LBC has contacted Manchester United and Man City for comment.