The following day, the 25th of April to be precise, Darron Gibson followed some of his Manchester United team mates in creating a twitter account. Just two hours later it was shut down after Gibson received a colossal amount of abuse from other members of the twittersphere. I won't lie to you, Darron Gibson isn't my favourite player either. It doesn't seem right however, to heap abuse upon somebody because you simply don't like the cut of their jib. Criticise a player by all means. Criticism can be constructive and I find the over analysis is half the attraction of football. The mindless abuse directed at Gibson was just plain unpleasant. Unsurprisingly, some of the named and shamed claim to be Manchester United fans.
|We support someones local club|
Confession time. I'm not from Manchester but I do support Manchester United. "Golly gosh!" I hear you cry, "A Manchester United fan who isn't from Manchester?" Unbelievable isn't it. Neither my Mother or Father are from Manchester either. Nor their parents. I haven't even bothered to invent some tenuous link via my great great great uncle's dog. And here's the real shocker: I could care less about where someone is from in relation to the team they support. I still consider myself a United fan first and foremost. Coming from the South West but supporting a Northern team has been a bone of contention since the day I decided I wanted to be Ryan Giggs when I grew up. Does choosing another team over your hometown club really matter anymore? People move about the world more freely and Sky Sports and the Internet mean there's much more access to the Premier League. It's no wonder the Premiership is the worlds most watched association football league when you think about it.
That said, the point of this post isn't for me to come out of the 'glory hunter' closet. It's to express my utter disappointment in my fellow 'fans'. The likes of Iain Macintosh and Dave Hartrick have expressed much better then I ever could why the moronic taunts about Munich, Hillsborough and Istanbul are totally unacceptable. However, not everyone seems to understand that such chants are not acceptable. The day after 'United' aired, the same old 'Munich' taunts were heard at Manchester City vs Blackburn. It's not just limited to Manchester United. Every time most clubs get within a sniff of Liverpool Heysel and Hillsborough are rubbed in their faces and even after a show of respect as both sets of Old Firm fans remembered those who lost their lives in the Ibrox tragedy, hostilities have resumed between Celtic and Rangers with Celtic manager Neil Lennon being targeted with a parcel bomb.
Let's be honest. Despite the Kick it Out campaign it's hard to ignore the persistent racist, homophobic and abusive chanting still heard all over the world. Most of the Football Clubs involved don't seem to be doing enough to stamp it out. They and everyone involved in football need to take the Copa Del Racism and run it over with the tolerance bus.
|Let's hug it out.|