In a completely sane and common sense driven society, abuse, physical and verbal, wouldn’t exist. Violence wouldn’t even be considered. It’s as simple as that.
No ifs, no buts.
Society has failed. Any violence, however small, is proof of that. Any small outbreak, or allegation, of such should be universally condemned and squashed. That should be the end of it.
We all know that is about as far from the truth as you can get.
Football, in particular, has a massive problem. And it’s for that reason, not the defeat or the manner of it, that Everton’s loss to Manchester City has left a bitter taste in my mouth.
The Liverpool Echo has reported that an 8-year-old disabled Everton fan got told repeatedly that he should have been drowned at birth. Instead of universal condemnation, some people are questioning the validity of the claim. I suppose that doesn’t even matter, the fact that one of the first responses is “football fans” rather than shock and disgust implies that it’s not an accusation that’s completely out of the realms of possibility.
Football fans are meant to be scum, and football fans are proving that correct rather than trying to change it. There is no place, anywhere, at any point, at any time where that kind of abuse is allowed.
We need to stop the apologetic nature we’ve created. We have to stop letting cases like this go because they are part of “lad” culture or because “it’s what you should expect if you sit in the wrong end”.
Yes, sport creates high emotions. But that’s not a reason to abuse innocent human beings. How is it ever acceptable? How was it ever?
Why is our generation repeating the mistakes of the 1980’s, rather than trying to change them? Why is the word “atmosphere” used to bemoan a lack of violence at sporting events?
Talking about violence, a video has emerged from the City match of an Everton fan being repeatedly punched, with the stewards doing very little to help. Furthermore, there were reports of a scuffle following the first leg. It’s sick, it’s disgusting and it’s wrong.
And please don’t come back at me with the “isolated incident” crap. This may well be that, but that doesn’t excuse it. Stop trying to excuse violence rather than doing everything you can to stop it. Anyone that looks at events and thinks “oh, football” or anything else which apologises and ignores it is, quite frankly, as bad as the perpetrators. Any incident of violence or abuse is wrong, and it needs to stop. One is too many.
In football, this kind of behaviour is brushed aside as rivalry related or because they were sitting in the home end. Why? For a start, rivalries are awful. We’re all human beings who share an interest in a sport. That’s it. We aren’t clans who need each other’s land to survive and we aren’t opposing political parties vying for power. We’re normal human beings who work for a living and spend our hard earned cash on viewing football matches. Why then, would you go there and want to punch the shit out of someone? I don’t understand it and I never will.
And, in other sports fans mingle with each other. There are rarely reports of violence. So, there shouldn’t be a home or away end. Normal human beings can watch sporting events between their opposing sides without wanting to punch the crap out of each other.
Quite frankly, I’m fucking sick of being grouped in with football crowds. People assume because I’m a football fan, I’m ok with this aberration. Well, I’m not and I’m not friends with anyone who is. Anyone I know who thinks any of this is ok, isolated or not a problem, is not a friend of mine. Yes, everyone is entitled to his or her views. But those views shouldn’t hurt or intimidate other people.
There’s no discussion here, no debate. This is wrong and this needs to be eradicated.
So, how do we prevent further violence at football matches? We need to change the culture surrounding it. We need to stop telling children that violence is ok, that abuse is “banter”. Friendly ribbing of your closest is perfectly fine, abusing innocent children because of their football team, is not. It can be done, it can be dealt with, but until it is we all need to group together and admit that football has a problem, and find a way to deal with it.