January 9th, 2012

Liverpool FC: And The Heat Goes On…

Liverpool claims racism assault

Images: Getty Images.

In a story heading straight for our ‘hell no’ files, 27-year-old Liverpool winger and England international, Stewart Downing, was arrested on suspicion of assault early Sunday morning following an altercation with a supposed ex-girlfriend (rumoured to be Donna the doorstep dramatist Moloney) at the Cross Keys pub near Middlesbrough. According to several reports one conspicuous report, Downing is said to have punched a 32-year-old female – a big no-no in most sensible people’s books.

Obviously Downing’s arrest drew a difficult week for Liverpool to a cringeworthy close. Two days after the club did their best to put the whole Luis Suarez mess to bed, they found themselves in hot water over yet another alleged racial incident on Friday. Forty-eight hours on from that, and at least one arrest and a formal apology later, this series of unfortunate events may give the club cause to reconsider their unequivocal support of both their players and fans.

Kickettes, without getting into the details of any offence in particular and making us shout at you, where do you stand on the general issue of clubs publicly backing their players in serious matters? Is it always appropriate or do recent events indicate that in some cases, it might be smarter in the long run for a club to stay off the record?

And to our dear Liverpool-flavoured Kickettes, cookies & milk care packages are on their way.

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30 Responses to “Liverpool FC: And The Heat Goes On…”

  1. Leya_S says:

    Speaking generally, I do believe that clubs should stand behind their players….to an extent. If there is an overwhelming amount of evidence supporting accusations of wrongdoing, then the club needs to find some middle ground where they recognize that they player messed up and can advise him on what to do to try to somewhat remedy the situation, but that they don't just abandon him like "that's all you, buddy."

    Speaking specifically, I honestly think that the FA were just WAITING for Luis Suarez to do something like this. Not saying that I expect this from him, not saying the Evra is innocent (because he's not), just saying that Suarez has a little bit of a past history of being…shall we say, brash (giving the finger to fans, biting other players, that infamous world cup handball…). So he's pretty much the easiest scapegoat for them. With all the other racial allegations going on, focusing this one and painting Suarez as the devil was just too easy for them, IMO.

  2. Red_Girl says:

    Jermaine Jenas's other half tweeted an entirely different account of this. That it was some girl unconnected to Downing who pushed his girlfriend and then him. I would have thought Downing is innocent until proven guilty – and luckily for him it's the police and not the FA investigating, so it will be decided on evidence and not on one person's word. LFC fans are furious about the injustice of the Suarez case and the FA stoked it – now they have an FA Cup 4th round tie to deal with and my fear, and that of my Man U friends, is that they'll reap what they sowed.

  3. Rosa says:

    So Downing hit his ex in a nightclub. Did she go flying over the bar?

    Sorry, had to.

    • Nora says:

      That's a completely classless comment to make.

      Apparently Downing has been bailed out. Reports are saying that he was only trying to break up the fight between a friend of his and his ex and got arrested for being in the situation. Here's to hoping his implication is nothing more than that.

  4. GermaninLondon says:

    Let's face it ***isms go on in football with lip service paid to campaigns to "stamp them out" by the associations, when they could not give a toss, but it's good publicity. It's been going on for decades. remember the hooliganism of the 70s & 80s – not just in England, but across Europe? They planned the European Cup Final for a stadium that was falling to pieces and Peter Robinson & LFC told them so PRIOR to the game – what happened? MANY people died, English clubs were blamed for a European-wide problem, and banned from European competition at a time when English clubs had won 7/8 (1977-1984) of the previous European Cups. It was a way of spreading the money to other FA's across Europe. This will go on. SAF is 70, no obvious successor, MUFC have been losing, so ban the LFC player but not the MUFC player. The Suarez ban may/may not be right – I do not know – let us see the evidence he was convicted on – but if Evra was also participating in ***isms, ban him also: all or nothing: justice for all. But, there again, the Hillsborough families have been waiting 23 years for justice, so don't hold your breath. Justice is not a concept FIFA, UEFA, the FA grasp/

  5. Jen says:

    I'm patiently awaiting my cookies and milk!!!! My poor Reds are really having a tough time lately off the field. I thought our brilliant win against Oldham was completely marred by these new racist accusations. I have NO tolerance for racism, but feel that we(LFC) aren't the only team this is an issue for, yet we seem to be singled out for it, time and again.
    As for Downing—WTF. He's such a cutie, and seems so mild mannered, I can't imagine him punching anyone(other LFC players seem more the type-just saying). This is the last thing we needed, and I feel so sad that it has happened, both for morale and personal issues within the club.
    Come on you Reds!! We will get through all of this, become a stronger, better, more conscientious team.
    YNWA!!!

    • mata says:

      You're club's just going through a rough patch, that's all, things will get better. Fine club with a fine history and I have a lot of respect for Mr. Dalglish, he seems a good guy.

  6. Bella says:

    After defending Suarez based on the abuse going both ways and also the linguistic issues, I realize that I was not looking at the big picture. Many fans – of LFC and otherwise – aren't reading 115 page reports. Nor for that matter are many of the journalists who have summed up the decision for their readership. LFC would have done a good job to encourage Suarez say something like this straight away: "Racism has to be stopped both on the pitch and in the stands so, whether or not the word I used has the same implication in my language, it is used as a racial slur in English and I will never use it again. I apologize to Evra for my part in the insulting exchange between us and know he would join me in saying that we all have to do our part by showing respect both off and on the pitch."

  7. Bella says:

    Correction, sorry…that would be "LFC would have done a good job encouraging Suarez to say this:"

  8. Bella says:

    After defending Suarez based on the abuse going both ways and also the linguistic issues, I realize that I was not looking at the big picture. Many fans – of LFC and otherwise – aren't reading 115 page reports. Nor for that matter are many of the journalists who have summed up the decision for their readership. LFC would have done a good job to say this straight away: "Racism has to be stopped both on the pitch and in the stands so, whether or not the word I used has the same implication in my language, it is used as a racial slur in English and I will never use it again. I apologize to Evra for my part in the insulting exchange between us and know he would join me in saying that we all have to do our part by showing respect both off and on the pitch."
    He's said all these things in snippets before and since the incident and it would have shown his own and the club's character, but more importantly it would have done a great service to the anti-racism campaign. As things stand, this has been mishandled by all responsible parties from the post-match meeting with the officials on.
    I should have taken into account the possible response of racists in the midst of all of us to the events and often dodgy coverage, when considering my own opinions. LFC have to make it right although I'm not sure how at this point.

    • mata says:

      The problem is that there are many people who like and admire Suarez, and who feel that he has been hard done by in this matter, and they are very, very angry right now. And part of that anger is the result of what appears to be two different standards in this case. Suarez made a racial slur and is being demonized as a result (dear god, someone told me that there have even been death threats against his wife and baby daughter!) while nothing has been done about Evra's behaviour. So I don't think LFC can make this right on their own, MUFC need to be involved as well, and sadly I just don't see that happening.

      • mata says:

        Both of these players need to meet and look one another in the face and be made to understand the impact of what was said. Man to man. Then they need to apologize to one another, Suarez for his racial slurs and Evra for his slurs against Suarez's family and South Americans. Evra should also aplologize to the referee he unfairly accused of being racist for showing him a yellow card. Suarez should serve out his ban and Evra also deserves some sort of punishment. I think this would defuse a lot of the tension and anger, but I just cannot see the likes of Ferguson allowing one of his players to admit to being anything less than perfect.

        • mata says:

          The problem is that right now, as I see it, everyone is a loser in this. Fans and players have become more polarized, reputations have been destroyed, and what has been achieved? Have we really delivered a blow to racism in football? I fear not.

          One thing is clear, football clubs need to follow the lead of other employers in developing workplace policies and providing education to employees (i.e. players) about the unacceptabiility of all forms of prejudice (racism, homophobia, etc.) in the workplace, because things are a mess, whatever Mr. Blatter may think. And education is and will always be the best weapon against prejudice.

          And I know it's my pet rant, but "fans" who subject players to grotesque racial abuse should be thrown out and given stadia bans, though I can't see that happening because these idiots also bring in $$$$$.

          • April says:

            I will agree with this last comment of yours. Everyone needs to put club rivalries aside and look at the big picture here and see that everyone is at a loss. This is a very sound statement about what more actually needs done to help reduce this type of behavior, on and off the field. And I adamantly agree on the part of educating about all forms of prejudice (would love some attention to reducing sexism in the game as well).

  9. Kat22 says:

    As I don't know what happened with Stewart Downing and his ex, I wouldn't like to comment. As 'Anonymous' pointed out above, it's only the 'Daily Mail' that seems to have run with the story at the minute. Not the world's most reliable paper by a long stretch.

    As for the racial abuse by (a) Liverpool supporter(s) – don't these people realise how much they are damaging their club's reputation? Especially at this time? It's an unfortunate fact that people always remember the bad things. Thousands of supporters could be behaving impeccably, but it's the few that spoil it for everyone else that will be remembered.

    Aside from that racism in football really needs to be stamped out! Heard on the news earlier on that Dani Alves had to suffer some abuse at the weekend too.

  10. April says:

    I think that Liverpool FC is actually doing more to damage their reputation with some recent comments than they are helping with any sort of unwavering support. If their own fans won't be willing to take a deep breath and state the truth, then I am gonna do it for them: their fans and business partners deserve better.

    They had at least come out with a statement against the alleged racist chanting, but regarding the FA decision on Suarez, would have been perfectly fine in still supporting the player but playing the bigger of the parties. A simple "I disagree with the findings and results of the report, but we've accepted the ban and we're moving on" would have gone a long way for Dalglish.

    The whole Downing situation… I don't have enough information to say much of anything, but of course if he is found guilty, or the other party in the abuse is, that is terrible news. It is more that it is coming during a very uncomfortable time for the club. Some fans of other teams have been reveling in LFC's recent problems and PR failures, but I just find the whole thing to be terribly unfortunate for the club's history, reputation, their fans, and all fans of the game.

  11. Guest2 says:

    I eagerly await delivery of my milk and cookies. I'll be in my bedroom…under the covers…waiting for all of this to go away.

    Honestly, though, I still support my club. I want them to win, but these latest rounds of wtf*ckery just makes me cringe.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I'd just like to point out that both parties were arrested (domestic abuse goes both ways) and the only source that says Stewart hit his ex-gf is the Daily Mail (everyone else just quotes them). We will probably never know what exactly went on,

  13. mata says:

    If you truly believe in someone's innocence isn't it your moral duty to speak up and defend him? Even if it means you are going to expose yourself to criticism? The problem is those managers like Ferguson who always insist that their players are perfect reagrdless of the circumstances; Rooney can elbow people in the head and it's just a "witch hunt" to suggest that he should have been booked; Evra can subject Suarez to the most disgusting misogynisitic sexist abuse aimed at his sister but he's as pure as the driven snow.

    • Nora says:

      Everything about this, very well said.

    • Gigi says:

      I've been wondering about that. Why didn't Evra get called out on the things he said to Suarez as well? I get why Suarez was suspended, but nothing for Evra? Of course it's not acceptable to be racist, but it's perfectly ok to be sexist? It's like they're waiting for another Zizou headbutt to happen.

      • mata says:

        I don't think organizations like the FA and FIFA genuinely care at all about issues like racism and sexism in football, they're far to absorbed with vital issues like banning snoods and poppies! I also think that much of the anger in the Suarez/Evra matter is the result of this double standard. Evra also behaved very badly with his sexist remarks. And when he was shown a yellow card later in that now infamous game he accused the referee of being a racist, saying "you only gave me a yellow card because I'm black". If any other player had impugned the integrity of a referee like that he would have been shown a straight red and the incident would have been investigated. He need's to be punished, if the FA is going to retain any credibility whatsoever, IMO.

        • littlegreenpea says:

          Even as a United fan, I'd have to say I agree with all of these statements. The entire situation was stupid, and no matter what happened, it was totally unneccessary. I'm sorry it ever happened, and I kind of feel bad for Liverpool. Not too much, of course. But I'd rather root for them than Manchester City. Who, by the way, lost this weekend to United ;) And I do admit that Sir Alex Ferguson does make out his players to be perfect. I just like Manchester United because of Chicharito, though. I don't really care about the other stuff… :)

          • mata says:

            I think everybody loves that little cutie, regardless of which club they support, just wish there was more to go around!

  14. Guest says:

    At least he hit the target.

    • mata says:

      Sorry, but I find that remark in just too poor of taste to be funny.

      • Caitlin says:

        Couldn't agree more!

        Other than that, I don't really know what to say…it's been a dire start to the year.

        Oh, Kickette, could you maybe include some alcohol in those care packages? It might help ease the pain…