Thursday’s game between Everton and Newcastle had a unique disruption when a fan ran onto the field. Pitch invaders aren’t a strange occurrence, but you don’t see invaders tie themselves to the goal post around their neck too often. So, why did the fan tie himself to the goalpost?
Louis McKechnie used a cable to tie his neck around the goalpost and donned a bright orange shirt that read “Just Stop Oil.” It took several minutes and a crew of around 10 people to cut McKechnie loose and drag him away.
An Everton fan came racing on the field to take a swing at McKechnie after he had been cut free from the goal post.
Someone came on the pitch and started to batter the pitch invader in the everton game pic.twitter.com/S25NvtVu4H— (@38B4BYY) March 17, 2022
So why did McKechnie do this?
The protest was a calculated move from the organization “Just Stop Oil,” which calls on climate change action to prevent future catastrophe. McKechnie filmed himself before the game explaining why he was doing the protest, his nervousness ahead of the game and Just Stop Oil’s mission.
"It's 2022 and it's time to look up, time to step up and not stand by. It's time to act like it's an emergency" pic.twitter.com/YjBQalRBpk— JustStopOil (@JustStop_Oil) March 17, 2022
McKechnie’s stunt was done to garner as many eyes as possible and that mission was accomplished. The punishments for his protest include the 21-year-old being charged with pitch encroachment, aggravated trespassing and a banned for life from any future soccer games or televised events in England and Wales.
Just Stop Oil has employed these new tactics of young activists disrupting televised events. Before McKechnie, another protestor tried gluing themself to Arsenal's goal post but was dragged away before the game was stopped.
Sorry to have interrupted your game, but no one listens unless we do crazy shit like this.This beautiful game, like your lives, will be disrupted by increasingly extreme weather events in the years to come.
Kai, 20, a Law student at the University of Manchester, said: pic.twitter.com/hVcH0ooM1o
— JustStopOil (@JustStop_Oil) March 16, 2022