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PostSubject: Klanfield   2012-01-08, 18:46

The insult seemed to strike Tom Adeyemi with the force of a sniper's bullet.
He froze, then strode back to the byline from where the jibe had come; an isolated figure staring
into a sea of hostile faces. He made a brief, helpless gesture, then he
turned away again, the tears spilling down his face.

And in those deeply disturbing moments, the ugliness of racism confronted the people who control Liverpool Football Club.




Flashpoint: Adeyemi reacts with disgust after alleged abuse was directed at him


For this incident in the 80th minute
of the Liverpool-Oldham FA Cup tie was not something which could be
brushed aside as a trivial misunderstanding. This was a bright,
intelligent and plainly sensitive 20-year-old being called, according to
witnesses, a ‘******g black b******’.




Both sets of players, including the
Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard, helped to control and console him,
but humiliation had been inflicted upon a distraught young man.


Those of us who covered football
across the country some 30 years ago will recall with revulsion that
this kind of outrage was encountered on a weekly basis.


Football grounds were frequently squalid, unpleasant places in which racist
abuse was routinely bellowed.
But the world has moved on, standards have changed, and conduct which
was merely despicable in past decades is now practically unthinkable.


Which explains why that vile eruption at Anfield on Friday evening is a cause for real concern.



That's him: Adeyaemi points out the culprit while Latics manager Paul Dickov looks on (below)


Now, it goes almost without saying
that the overwhelming majority of people who watch Liverpool genuinely
abhor racism. The same applies to those who make the decisions at the
football club.

It was the nudge-nudge, nose-tapping reaction of a man who is not remotely as clever as he imagines



But, after events of the past few
weeks, those decision makers — and most obviously the manager, Kenny
Dalglish — must surely be asking themselves some pointed questions.


The details are well-known. The
accusation that Liverpool’s Luis Suarez racially abused Patrice Evra, of
Manchester United, during a 1-1 draw at Anfield in October was publicly
prejudged by Dalglish. Evra’s credibility was clumsily traduced, while
Suarez was portrayed as a paragon.


In a woefully crass gesture, Dalglish
and his players paraded in supportive T-shirts. A siege mentality was
cynically created, persuading a number of supporters to believe that the
world was persecuting their club.














Then, after a long and remarkably
exhaustive inquiry led by a QC, an FA commission concluded that the
accusation was indeed well-founded, and Suarez was fined and suspended
for eight matches.


It was at this stage that Dalglish
and his superiors could have defused the tension with civilised
contrition. Instead, and in the face of all the facts, they opted for
dim truculence.


There were murmurings of prejudice,
questioning of the FA’s credibility. When Suarez released a particularly
evasive statement, Dalglish described it as ‘brilliant’.


At every stage, the manager played to
the public gallery, piling on the sense of paranoia. He plumbed the
depths on Wednesday evening, when he told a Press conference: ‘There’s a
lot of things we’d like to say and a lot of things we could say, but
we’d only get ourselves into trouble. But we know what has gone on.’




Siege mentality: Liverpool have been criticised for the way in which they handled the Luis Suarez race row affair





It was the nudge-nudge, nose-tapping reaction of a man who is not remotely as clever as he imagines.
What did they want to say? Who was
stopping them from saying it? What trouble could they possibly invite?
And why did they not say it to the inquiry?


By propagating such nonsense, a fine club was demeaned and a notable manager sadly diminished.


Yet again there were indications that
many Liverpool supporters were swallowing the Dalglish line. There was
an unhealthy sense that a terrible injustice had been done. After all,
their Kenny had as good as said so.


Which brings us back to the events of
Friday evening. In his moments of retrospection, does Dalglish ever
wonder if his own posturing might have helped create a climate in which
intolerance could thrive? Has he considered offering an apology on
behalf of all the people he represents? And will he ask his decent
supporters to turn in the racist?


His answers would be interesting. Who knows, they might even spare another young man the suffering of Tom Adeyemi.



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the deeb
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PostSubject: Re: Klanfield   2012-01-08, 20:34

Quite a good article, there's only one thing I'd change about it....


the words


All would be true if it was the first time there had ever been anything racist shouted from the stands in an English football ground. Disgusting though it was, and cowardly, as it's unlikely this individual would've shouted that out in the street. But there's been worse abuse towards footballers


Just a shame one or two commentators have completely missed the fact that Liverpool had a player who experienced the worst racist abuse a footballer has ever had to put up with - John Barnes. Who was his manager? Kenny Dalglish. Barnes and Dalglish were at Newcastle and Celtic together.

Anyway, here's the response from the disgustingly bigoted world of Anfield



Liverpool
Football Club has been forthright and resolute for many years in its
stance against racism and any form of discrimination.







The Club has worked actively to combat discrimination and has been at
the forefront of social inclusion and community activity in football,
winning awards and commendations for its work throughout the world. And
this Club is determined to continue its part in working with the game's
ruling bodies and the other organisations active in this area.

Whatever
the outcome of what is now a police investigation, all of us are deeply
sorry for what happened on Friday night and our players and our Club
pass on our sincere regrets to Tom Adeyemi for the upset and distress he
suffered as a result of the matter at hand.

Our supporters are
renowned throughout the world for their outstanding commitment, passion
and fairness. They are drawn from nationalities across the globe with
widely diverse backgrounds and heritages. The actions of any one
individual do not represent our fans. Their stance on these issues is
just as resolute as the Club's. We have a very clearly stated public
stance on discrimination and intolerance with dedicated staff that work
hard daily on programs in this important area.

Regarding the
incident that occurred on Friday evening, we have given Merseyside
police every possible assistance we can and will continue to provide
the necessary support to their investigation in order to ensure this
particular incident is dealt with properly. We will continue to take the
strongest possible action(s) against unacceptable behaviour during our
matches.



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