November 17th, 2011
Racism In Football: Just The Facts, People
As is our usual policy when it comes to matters of extreme seriousness in football, we choose to plead the fifth amendment. For those not familiar with the United States constitution, it reads as follows:
‘No Kickette staffer should be forced to comment on a footballing situation that may or may not involve crime/infidelity/buffoon-like behaviour, on the basis that they are completely ill-equipped to deal with such matters and will invariably panic and say something that will get the site sued and/or look really stupid.
They shall instead maintain a dignified silence until everyone else has had their chance to act a fool. Only then are the ladies of Kickette obligated to provide
factualinformation to their readers, so they can’t be accused of ignoring it.’
Or something to that effect.
So first, we present the recent allegations of racism in football in chronological order as we remember it:
Case No. 1: Luis Suarez vs. Patrice Evra
Image: REUTERS/Phil Noble.
15.10.11 The FA launches an investigation into Patrice Evra’s claims that Luis Suarez racially abused him several times during Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Anfield, after the matter is raised in referee Andre Marriner’s report.
17.10.11 PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor offers to mediate between the players after Evra tells Manchester United he wishes to pursue the case.
22.10.11 United and Liverpool told by the FA not to comment on the issue further because of the potential to ‘inflame relations’ between the clubs.
28.10.11 Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish calls for a quick conclusion to the affair, claiming he has seen no evidence of racism at Anfield.
Case No.2: John Terry vs. Anton Ferdinand
Image taken 26.10.2011 in London. Credit: James McCauley.
23.10.11 Rumours begin to circulate on the internet of an alleged racist slur by Chelsea defender and England captain John Terry towards QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during a match at Loftus Road.
24.10.11 John Terry says he is ‘disappointed’ with the allegations and states that ‘people have leapt to the wrong conclusions’ about the video. He claims that ‘he would never say such a thing’ and he was merely repeating an accusation from Anton Ferdinand that he had. According to Terry, the matter had apparently been resolved after the match during a private discussion between the players, and it was all a ‘misunderstanding’.
25.10.11 John Terry welcomes an FA probe into the matter after QPR make an official complaint.
26.10.11 The FA announce they have no plans to suspend John Terry as England captain during the enquiry.
30.10.11 Anton’s brother and Terry’s England team-mate Rio Ferdinand reportedly tells friends that in his opinion, John Terry’s remarks were ‘blatantly racist’.
31.10.11 AF releases an official statement through the QPR website, stating he has ’very strong feelings on the matter, but in the interests of fairness and not wishing to prejudice what I am sure will be a very thorough enquiry by the FA, this will be my last comment on the subject until the enquiry is concluded.’ He added (via The People): ‘I didn’t know racism still existed in football until last weekend’.
01.11.11 The Metropolitan Police request extra match footage from broadcaster Sky as they formally begin investigating the incident after receiving a public complaint. AF retweets supportive and not-so-supportive messages he has received.
05.11.11 It is reported that JT will make the squad for the upcoming England friendlies vs. Spain and Sweden.
07.11.11 He will not captain the side against Spain though. Frank Lampard will have that honour while JT warms the bench. He will return for the Sweden game.
14.11.11 Terry states in an England press conference that as captain it is his responsibility to ‘face up’ to the matter. Journalists are prevented from asking the player any questions relating to it by an FA representative.
15.11.11 He captains the England NT in their 1-0 defeat of Sweden at Wembley Stadium.
Case No.3: Robin van Persie vs. the Internet
Image via dirtytackle.
29.10.11 Robin van Persie scores a hat-trick in Arsenal’s 5-3 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. After the second goal, he celebrates by running towards the fans, brushing his left shoulder and raising his arm towards them. Social networking sites ‘explode’ with allegations that the celebration was in fact a ‘Nazi salute’.
30.10.11 RvP takes to his Twitter account to respond, claiming that it is ‘totally ludicrous to suggest that (his actions) were anything other than a showing of joy and celebration and to claims anything else is insulting and absurd.
Case No. 4: Sami Ameobi & The Twitter User
Image via twitter.
30.10.11 Newcastle United striker Sami Ameobi tweets an image of his favourite boot-porn (above). Twitter user and language aficionado @johnnyphipps, responds with this.
01.11.11 A police investigation is launched after Newcastle United report the message to Northumbria Constabulary.
03.11.11 Two seventeen-year-old boys are arrested by Northumbria police on suspicion of ‘malicious communication offences’.
Case No.5: Sepp Blatter vs. the World
Image: SAMUEL KUBANI/AFP/Getty Images.
16.11.11 The head of the world governing body of football claims in consecutive interviews that ‘football does not have a problem with racism on the field, and any incidents should be settled by a handshake’. He later claims that his comments were ‘misunderstood’ and that he has been “personally leading this battle against racism”. Rio Ferdinand is stunned.
As we said before, it isn’t for us to throw ourselves into the fray (our manicurist would kill us, but we’ll let you all do it on our behalf.
Do you think there is a problem with racism in the game? Is it up to domestic leagues or the world’s governing body to investigate such matters? Anything else to add without insulting or targeting anyone specifically?
Just remember, we’d like to to conduct yourselves with a lady-like level of decorum. Otherwise we’ll be forced to unleash the Comments Moderator of Death (and occasionally Doom).