22.12.11

Q. When is a Racist Not a Racist

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A. When he plays for Liverpool Football Club

Anybody else, playing for any other club would be rightly vilified for directing racist comments towards an opposing player, but not in Liverpool. No, in Liverpool, they are a persecuted folk hero, whose name is sung from the rooftops, and whose manager wears a t-shirt bearing the image and name of a proven fascist.

If you or I acted in such a way during the course of our workday, we'd likely be dismissed for gross misconduct, but not Luis Suarez. Instead, we have his team mates, including the very black Glenn Johnson, proclaiming him as the Scouse Victor Jara. Fans, in their loyalty to a player, may be just about be forgiven for taking such a view, but any employer willing not just to overlook overtly racist behaviour, but to actively and enthusiastically support it, can only be described as institutionally racist.
Fascism has no place in modern society, and should not be celebrated as though the perpetrator has plucked a baby from a burning building. Matters aren't helped, of course, by Kenny Dalglish fervently proclaiming his support for Suarez. Indeed Dalglish has stated openly that the FA should consider punishing Latics and their fans for booing Suarez throughout last nights game. Sorry, Kenny, but the day fascists aren't subjected to a steady torrent of abuse is the day we may as well stop all the pretence about us being a fair and free country. King Kenny? King of the Gobshites, certainly.

Will we see Dalglish, and the rest of the pathetic excuse for a football club he is a part of, turning up at the next BNP rally to cheer on all those who have been convicted of racial hatred? For me, there's no distinction between the two. You're a racist, or you're not, in the same way that you're black, or you're not.
Indeed, instead of looking at Wigan Athletic, the usually weak-kneed and subservient FA should make a stand, and consider punishing Liverpool for their actions since Suarez' punishment was announced. The club are openly indicating that they are happy to have a racist on their list of employees, and will even go so far as to support his views.

It surely can't be just me who sees how wrong that is?

The John Terry case will be another milestone in how the FA deal with such incidents. Anybody who has seen the YouTube videos is under no illusions about what Terry did and didn't say. You don't need to be an expert in lip reading to clearly make out the words "fucking black cunt", and the fact that Terry is vehemently denying the accusation is almost beyond belief. Or at least it would be, had football clubs not blindly supported their players during such times, leaving most players thinking that they are somehow special, and immune from criticism for actions that the general population would rightly be looking at a court date for.

I've been watching football since before I can remember, and had my first season ticket in 1978, aged 13. Still, there are times when I really hate football. I'm not so naive to think that racism has never been an issue in football, and Latics fans have been some of the worst in years gone by, but those days should be gone. That we still have to discuss the rights and wrongs of an overtly racist act, by an overtly racist footballer leaves me dismayed.

Until the FA start cancelling the registration of players found guilty of fascist behaviour, instead of fining them the equivalent of 3% of their wages for every game they miss, then I fear the cause will remain lost.


        
 
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