Leeds United v Rotherham United on 10 Feb: Leeds defender Connor Roberts makes a tackle Photograph: Simon Davies/ProSports/REX/Shutterstock

It’s taken The Guardian about five years, I reckons, to pick up on this phenomenon. My son and his mates were doing ‘Brexit tackles’ well before the start of the pandemic!

In one TikTok post, football content creator Kalan Lisbie, with tongue firmly in cheek, walks viewers through “how to do the Brexit tackle”. He informs us that “the first thing you need to do is pretend like you’re going to boot the ball away and not tackle. Second thing is that you want to rotate those hips and as soon as you rotate, you want to take absolutely everything … and then just clean him”. A commenter on another video notes that school football is now more like WWE.


There’s a healthy dose of irreverence in there too – you have to admit, there’s something very funny about one child barking “Brexit means Brexit!” to another in a muddy park. You get the sense they’re having fun at older generations’ expense. Ask any parent of a tweenager or older: no one is better able to comprehensively make fun of, or call attention to, adult flaws and hypocrisy.

By adopting “Brexit means Brexit” and transforming it into a symbol of almost dangerously rough play, you get the sense that children are holding up a mirror to the adult world. They’re using it as a joke, to be sure, but it’s a timely reminder that politicians’ words and political stances extend far beyond the immediate context, seeping into the fabric of our children’s lives.

Source: The Guardian