Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Racism

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Something to discuss - You may remember the case of Dave Sibson (a good friend of mine)? Dave is an Everton fan who was fined Ł400, bound over, and banned from every football ground in England for 3 years ? all for calling Louis Saha a "fucking lazy French bastard". This is a racist comment according to the letter of the law . (This ban would have been 5 years if he had not plead guilty.)

So here is a question: IF Suarez and John Terry are found guilty of racist abuse, should they also be banned from football grounds? And IF found guilty, should the ban be 5 years as both have denied the charges?

It seems the precedent has been set ? why should racist abuse on the pitch be treated any differently than racist abuse in the stand?

And as for Blatter ? what a knob! So you can say whatever you want, racially abuse/insult other players on the pitch in the heat of the moment but as long as you shake hands afterwards all is forgiven. The man's an idiot.

John Kelly, Wirral     Posted 17/11/2011 at 09:35:40

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Tom Bowers
1   Posted 17/11/2011 at 14:01:49

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A really good point my friend. Have long thought that incidents on the field of play in any sport should be dealt with the same as anyone in the street. The ice-hockey punch up is a prime example. If 2 guys in the street go at it they would be subject to the law but ice-hockey players are exempt just like bench clearing brawls in baseball.
Regarding brainless Blatter-I have long thought he was an idiot and could never understand how he has stayed in the job so long. Time to get rid of him.
Tony J Williams
2   Posted 17/11/2011 at 14:13:04

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Hopefully the two of them will be banned for 5 years but we all know it will be at most a couple of months and a large fine.

As with Septic Bladder, the man is an idiot but I kind of get what he was trying to say.
Ryan Holroyd
3   Posted 17/11/2011 at 14:16:57

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What was Blatter trying to say then Tony? That you can racially abuse people on a football pitch but shake hands at the end of the match and all is forgiven?
Alex Mullan
4   Posted 17/11/2011 at 14:19:04

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Im surprized Blatter can still talk fluent shite with his foot in his mouth. Hes like footballs equivalent to Silvio Berlusconi. What an idiot.
Norman Merrill
5   Posted 17/11/2011 at 14:23:08

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It will be interesting to see what punishment (if any?) is dished out to Terry & Saurez if found guilty?

And as for Blatter, well I hope it's the beginning of the end for him, a total clown.
Tony J Williams
6   Posted 17/11/2011 at 14:42:04

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I think he was saying that he hates Rio Ferdinand and his brother and I can get on board with that. (before I get called a racist, it has nothing to do with the colour of horse face's skin)
Shaun Brennan
7   Posted 17/11/2011 at 15:00:56

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I think Sep Blatter will hold on. The whole bungs and bribe thing should have seen away with him.
Nick Entwistle
8   Posted 17/11/2011 at 15:13:36

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Just don't get the High Street argument. Environment dictates peoples actions and I've never once seen someone execute a perfect sliding tackle in Gregg's The Bakers.
Dave Lynch
9   Posted 17/11/2011 at 15:28:28

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Suarez is innocent.
How can he not be ?
He plays for the shite and they have never- ever been guilty of anything.
Paul Holden
10   Posted 17/11/2011 at 15:44:21

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Certainly not Heysel Dave - redshites have erased it from their history
Ray Roche
11   Posted 17/11/2011 at 15:54:48

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Tony J Williams
I thought "horse face" was Ruud Van Nistelroy?

Back on topic... so, if I say that Septic Bladder is as corrupt as they come, has his hands in the till, and displays a bias to whichever team slips him a brown paper envelope full of untraceable cash ? that's ok? Providing I shake hands with him after he's read this...
Shaun Sparke
12   Posted 17/11/2011 at 16:00:34

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Look guys, if queen Kenny says that Suarez is innocent then he must be.

It's almost as laughable as when Houllier tried to tell the world that smack-head Fowler was pretending to be a cow when he was snorting the white line on the pitch. You couldn't make it up.
Steve Guy
13   Posted 17/11/2011 at 16:28:59

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Suarez's alleged remarks will be swept under the carpet as a difference in culture or language barrier. Bollocks of course and I hope I'm wrong. If he did call Evra a whatever and it can be proved, he should never play in England again. Ditto for John Terry. In answer to the original post it should be the same law for all but money buys you a lot of justice......
Ray Roche
14   Posted 17/11/2011 at 16:35:23

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Shaun,Steve,
After the way Emre's comments to Lescott were ignored by the FA I wouldn't hold out much hope that the little shit will get his just desserts.
Andrew Ellams
15   Posted 17/11/2011 at 16:44:02

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Nick, I did once see somebody get sent to the back of the queue for shirt pulling in the lunch time rush
Robert Johnson
16   Posted 17/11/2011 at 16:48:04

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Being banned from Goodison for three years, Thats a reward isn't it ?.
Nick Entwistle
17   Posted 17/11/2011 at 16:54:35

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The FA have done their best to smother the Terry situation in marshmallow (just come up with that) and the cops can't get anything out of Chelsea so we'll leave it up to Rio Ferdinand, the Twatter of Truth, to inform us in 240 characters or less.
Shaun Sparke
18   Posted 17/11/2011 at 16:39:29

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I think that all decent people abhor racism in any form. The problem is a question of interpretation and in what context it was said.

Some would argue that there are no grey areas. However, if the remark would have aimed at Ginola for instance, Would the same action against Dave Sibson have taken place? Perhaps it would, but I strongly suggest that the colour of Saha?s skin influenced the decision to cite him for a racist remark.

I know that there is a genuine and valid argument that there is no need to bring up anybodies nationality when insulting somebody but where should the line be drawn? He is French and he can sometimes be lazy, as for his parentage I have no idea.
Michael Kenrick
19   Posted 17/11/2011 at 16:58:24

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Er... that would 140 I believe, Nick.

And I already fixed it to be "their" not "there"... dear me, where wuz yew brung up?
Nick Entwistle
20   Posted 17/11/2011 at 17:01:24

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...and scene to seen. And the regular spacing of my paragraphs! Maybe I could just call in my comments in future?
Alex Kociuba
21   Posted 17/11/2011 at 17:39:02

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"I've never once seen someone execute a perfect sliding tackle in Gregg's The Bakers."

Hahaha! An astute comment.
Barry Thompson
22   Posted 17/11/2011 at 17:48:08

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"I've never once seen someone execute a perfect sliding tackle in Gregg's The Bakers."

Well I have, admittedly he did step on a piece of half chewed pasty that had fallen out of the almost toothless gob of some old minger. Brilliant tackle into the waiting queue though.
Mick Gallagher
23   Posted 17/11/2011 at 18:11:13

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One things for sure the septic racist will still be in charge you only after to remember what happened to anyone dares question him.. He is in charge of one of the most corrupt organisations going. Whos going to tell to resign when there all on the take
Brian Waring
24   Posted 17/11/2011 at 18:25:30

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The problem with the Suarez case, is its one players word against the others.

James Stewart
25   Posted 17/11/2011 at 18:43:17

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Terry and Suarez two first rate idiots. Glad neither play for EFC.
Eugene Ruane
26   Posted 17/11/2011 at 18:34:29

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Agree Brian (24) unless they have him on tape (a la 'big' Ron) it'll all be a big load of nothing. Plus (to be absolutely fair) hasn't Evra got previous with that Chelsea groundsman? HE was banned and fined after that incident wasn't he? (not to say he wasn't abused like).
John Anderson
27   Posted 17/11/2011 at 18:23:12

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The reason Blatter is still running Fifa is because anyone who dares stand up to him is bombed out quicker than he can say "usual account, thank you".

You only have to look at what happened to Bin Hammam, he has the gall... sorry, guts to stand against him; he has been accused of bribery and corruption and had his reputation torn to shreds.
Dave Roberts
28   Posted 17/11/2011 at 19:15:56

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I think the punishment assigned to Mr Sibson is ridiculously harsh. I don't see anything racist in his comment at all. Only the 'f' and 'b' words could be construed as abusive and we could all be banned from footy grounds for that! (Well, I could)

Could he appeal?

If I see somebody who I have paid to see not performing I think I would have a right to complain, vociferously if necessary. If I went to a concert to see Elton John and he couldn't be arsed to finish any of his songs and I called him a fucking lazy English bastard would I be treated in the same way? I doubt it.

As for Terry and Suarez, there is something unsavoury about both these characters but their punishment (if there is any at all) will in no way match the crime. I agree with Phil Neville, I would take the team off the pitch if a player was being racially abused by the opposition and in certain circumstances if being abused by the crowd. England should have walked off the pitch a few years ago in Spain. That would have been sensational news all around the world and the likes of Blatter would never have been able to say what he said yesterday and FIFA and UEFA would have had to do something about it. He (Blatter) could never have said that, in my view, without being somewhat racist himself.

In any case, Suarez should be banned for being a fucking cheating bastard never mind anything else.

(OK I'll send my season ticket back tomorrow for that!)
Shane Corcoran
29   Posted 17/11/2011 at 19:43:29

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Good point Dave Roberts. If he'd called him fat would it have been offensive to overweight people etc. The problem arises from the fact that actual racism is to be abhored and Everton felt they needed to show a no tolerance approach to anything that came close to the topic. Funny though how some think that players should be treated as fans in this incident yet if a player was to hurl abuse at a fan or throw a coin at a fan his head would be called for, yet we were being told not to over-react to the shite that went on during the derby in the stands.
Dick Fearon
30   Posted 17/11/2011 at 20:08:43

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Dave # 27, where I am living use of the term Wog, Ding, Dago, Chink, Jap, the N word or any other well known derogatory pseudonym is definitely out of order.
When used in certain contexts Mick Jock and Taffy are frowned upon. To call an Englishman a Pommy bastard it would be the next step to a passionate love in.
Pom or Pommy are officially recognised by the Australian racial discrimination board as terms of endearment.
To use the word Pom when referring to a Mick Jock or Taffy is asking for trouble.
Dave Roberts
31   Posted 17/11/2011 at 20:50:32

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Dick,

And calling somebody 'French' got him a 3 year ban!!!

Daft, considering he is French!
Peter Fearon
32   Posted 17/11/2011 at 20:58:14

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Why is it that if I call someone a lazy fat red-headed Scottish cunt, that's no problem but what Saha was called - every word of it true on its face - much as I like him, gets you banned?

A lot of this stuff comes down to intent and context and who is doing the calling and a little common sense needs to be applied. When the FA bans the stuff Man Utd fans chant during matches against Everton and Liverpool, I'll take them seriously.

Suarez? Should be banned for life, the lazy, fat, diving, racist Uruguayan bastard.
Kenn Crawford
33   Posted 17/11/2011 at 21:16:11

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Blatter an idiot of the first degree.
Terry ? a skirt-chasing overrated idiot.
Suarez ? an evil ugly diving cheating (did I mention ugly) fucking idiot.

Dave Sibson ? Spot on. I do not know where the racism comes in because when is truth racist. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck... then it muast be a duck. The world has become too sensitized and too PC. God help us all.
Brian Keoghan
34   Posted 17/11/2011 at 21:28:02

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It seems the word Suarez used to Evra was"negrito"which means "small black man".Apparently , he said it about ten times ,prefering the word rather than "Patrice" or"mate"so it was unlikely to be a term of endearment ,especially as they had just clashed in the heat of a Liverpool/Manu battle.Hypocracy seems to be a fellow traveller in the world of racism and I fear we are in are in for a few more dollops before the Suarez case is through.
Chris Butler
35   Posted 17/11/2011 at 22:20:04

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I'm not usually somebody who takes racism that seriously; I accept it's part of human nature. There's always going to be racism, whether you like it or not; most of the people who are racist have only learnt it from their parents anyway.

Both Terry and Suarez denied making racist comments yet later admitted them. Terry comes from a family of scumbags ? his dad is a coke dealer, his mum robs from Tesco, his brother had sex with his best mate's bird when he let him sleep on his couch. He drove the poor man to suicide, and John Terry shagged his best mate's bird...

Back on his racist comment, I don't believe Terry is a racist but I believe he should be rightly punished for the comment he made. In any other line of work, he would of been sacked.

Suarez says he didn't understand the comments he made were offensive. Many Eastern Europeans do not understand that certain words are offensive due to the fact they're regularly used and there's no black people in those countries to be offended. When they find out they are offensive, they never use those words again.

Suarez in an international footballer who has played in the World Cup and in Holland. He should know that using certain words are offensive. He is not some Polish immigrant who has never even spoken to a black person in his life.

It sends the message to people that it's acceptable; personally, I would ban both of them from ever playing football again. It destroys all the hard work people have done to make racism unacceptable in the work place for the last 40 years.
Gary Rowlands
36   Posted 17/11/2011 at 22:35:27

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Next time we play Man United and they chant "you scouse bastards" shall we report it to a steward and get all of the Manc twats thrown out and banned from football grounds for 3 years
Seamus Murphy
37   Posted 17/11/2011 at 23:27:12

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I don't get it... Its ok to call someone a lazy fucking bastard but insert the persons nationality and it's racist!?
Ciarán McGlone
38   Posted 17/11/2011 at 23:43:20

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Fuck me.

Why don't you all club together and buy Mr sibson a medal.

What's hard to understand here? If you call someone a cunt/bastard etc - and premise that on their nationality, then it is a racist offence.

Not that it matters, but this is one of our own players your justifying abusing.
Peter Hall
39   Posted 17/11/2011 at 23:55:41

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Seamus, you've just proved that you do get it. If someone calls Tim Cahill a lazy fucking bastard, that's one thing, if they call him a a lazy fucking Aussie bastard that's an expression of prejudice against Aussies as well as a crude criticism of him.

Or lazy fucking black bastard or lazy fucking gay bastard.

You did get it Seamus. Well done.
Ciarán McGlone
40   Posted 18/11/2011 at 00:06:53

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Haha, nice one Peter.
Victor Chang
41   Posted 17/11/2011 at 23:24:31

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Dick@29, funny how you think it's alright to say "chink" but shy away from saying "nigger" as if abusing the Chinese isn't as bad, and Peter@31, you forgot to say "rat-faced"
Eric Myles
42   Posted 18/11/2011 at 01:49:06

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Ray #11 "Tony J Williams
I thought "horse face" was Ruud Van Nistelroy?"

You're right, Rio Ferdinand is more giraffe faced.
Jason Lam
43   Posted 18/11/2011 at 01:45:26

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I am of Chinese race but lived and raised in the UK for half my life. I'll be honest I've had my fair share of racial abuse in the UK. There was the one where Shaka Hislop got the N word by some Geordies on the street, and only after recognizing their keeper, did they reply, 'Hey Shaka mate!'

From my experience the truth is it's worse everywhere else in the world such as Europe and here in Asia. I've been racially abused by expat caucasians here in Hong Kong! Relatively speaking the UK has a very strong stance against racism which I agree is the only way forward. Other countries are still playing catch up which is unfortunate.
Keith Skidmore
44   Posted 17/11/2011 at 19:51:54

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So in the eyes of our neighbours, Suarez doesn't dive, doesn't cheat, isn't a racist, next thing you know they'll be standing by him because he's not a cannibal... the diving, cheating, ear-biting racist...!!!
Shaun Sparke
45   Posted 18/11/2011 at 08:48:02

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Ciarán, I don?t think anybody is trying to justify using a racist comment, you daft Irish git! But this daft English git thinks it more of a reaction against an over-sensitive issue.

Whether we like it or not, there are degrees of racism. My opening riposte was meant in a light-hearted manner. However, I agree that some people might find it offensive, even if no offence was meant.

It is impossible to stop people using a person's nationality when they are trying to describe somebody as they use it as an easy identifier. For example, there is a German man who lives three doors away from me. Is it racist for me to describe him as a German? Of course not.

If I caught this man letting down my car tyres then I would describe him as that stupid German bastard from three doors away. If that is racism then I am guilty as charged. But if my next door neighbour was to let my car tyres down I would describe him as that stupid baldy bastard. I use the most obvious identifier. I am not saying it is right but there are nearly seven billion people on this planet and it is futile to attempt to educate the whole lot to be nice to each other and not to call each other names.

I don?t think that Dave Sibson deserves a medal, far from it. And I do agree with you that having a go at one of your own players is hardly helpful. But, as you have shown yourself to be more than capable of holding a rational argument, I am genuinely interested to know whether you think the punishment afforded to him was justified on the grounds of it being motivated by racial abuse.
Trevor Mackie
46   Posted 18/11/2011 at 09:09:57

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I'm with Ciaran it really is that simple.
Kevin Hudson
47   Posted 18/11/2011 at 09:14:42

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Dave Roberts,

In post 30, you state the following:

"And somebody calling him "French," got a 3 year ban!!! Daft, considering he is French!"

Question: Using your matter-of-fact logic, would it therefore have been okay for Sibson to call Saha a "fucking lazy Black bastard," instead?

After all. considering he is...etc..
Ray Roche
48   Posted 18/11/2011 at 09:19:42

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I'm a scouser living in Wales. Why is it alright to hear people talk about "scouse bastards" or, usually, "thieving scouse bastards" especially when they don't realise where I'm from...any theft from anywhere is automatically regarded as being done by a scouser, despite statistics showing Liverpool's crime rate as being lower than many other cities, Manchester for instance. Or Cardiff.
Kevin Tully
49   Posted 18/11/2011 at 09:26:26

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Has anyone noticed if we don't win tomorrow, we could be in the relegation zone?

After the free school thread, this has turned into a political forum.

Back to the footy please Ed.
Martin Mason
50   Posted 18/11/2011 at 09:34:51

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Surely "French" isn't a race but a Nation. How can it be racist?
Nick Entwistle
51   Posted 18/11/2011 at 09:45:23

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If the police are looking for a 'black youth' they don't go round racially profiling beret wearing cyclists with striped shirt, onions round the neck and a baguette in the basket.

Tony J Williams
52   Posted 18/11/2011 at 09:45:30

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I think Septic Bladder should be afforded one last chance, this is the man who rightly thinlk womens football would be better if they played in tighter shorts....therefore showing he has some semblance of nous.....
Eugene Ruane
53   Posted 18/11/2011 at 10:09:48

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Kevin Tully (48) - This is a forum for Evertonians to discuss Everton-related issues.

This thread is Everton-related..

As was the (clue) EVERTON free school.

If you want a 'Saturday, should we play Bily or a drunk child?' discussion, why not start one.

(nb: bet you don't get over 300 responses)
Kevin Tully
54   Posted 18/11/2011 at 10:13:55

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Fair enough Eugene, we may as well start on the financial crisis next then.

Didn't quite see how debating the tax laws or private pension funds were Everton related though. Good fun to read mind.
Eugene Ruane
55   Posted 18/11/2011 at 10:22:14

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Kevin, if a topic is about midfield players, but starts to address forwards, do you say "Hey this is moving off topic!"?

No.

That's all that happened with the school thread and it's allowed.

The difference is the 'financial crisis' is not the Everton Financial crisis (although coincidentally, we have one of our own) therefore not Everton-related to begin with.

I'm sure you do see the difference and as I say, you want 'football-related', YOU start the thread.

(by the way, I'd go with the drunk child)
John Audsley
56   Posted 18/11/2011 at 10:45:54

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I can see the headline now on the EFC website:

"BU destroyed as Drunk Child scores winner and signs a 5 year deal"

"EFC break the bank to sign the boy full of cider and black"

It could be one of the three players Fellani has said that EFC want to sign??

Stranger things have happened....................
Phil Bellis
57   Posted 18/11/2011 at 11:21:49

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Guess which word in the following diatribe caused an altercation and breakout of fisticuffs amongst fellow Evertonians in the Lower Gwladys during a derby match in the 80s
"fuck off Rush, yer ugly, big-nosed, Welsh, kopite turncoat twat!".
Nick Entwistle
58   Posted 18/11/2011 at 11:34:27

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Big-nosed people are a minority race and should stand up for themselves.
Tony J Williams
59   Posted 18/11/2011 at 11:46:23

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Nick, they don't need to stand up, you can see them from a mile off ......Cue Life of Brian type scene..... Always look on th .....etc
Andrew Ellams
60   Posted 18/11/2011 at 11:28:27

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Surely precedent has been now set in this country with the people that are jumping up and down about what Blatter has said so now Suarez has been charged, they need to come with a suitably harsh punishment if found guilty. I have a feeling that he may get an extended holiday
Ciarán McGlone
61   Posted 18/11/2011 at 11:55:11

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Shaun,

I don't need a lesson in what constitute racism or sectarianism.

In answer to your question...for me it's quite simple - if you are simply referring to someones nationality/race, then that's not racist.

If you are being pejorative or offensive in reference to their race/nationality, then you are.

I would've thought there's no great difficulty in that concept. The difference turns on whether there's abuse or offence.
Nick Entwistle
62   Posted 18/11/2011 at 12:11:18

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Why are you placing nationality and race together Ciarán?

If you have to, does xenophobia exist in this case?

Ciarán McGlone
63   Posted 18/11/2011 at 12:20:23

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Because that's the law Nick.
Nick Entwistle
64   Posted 18/11/2011 at 12:22:28

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Because the law says so?

You don't tick boxes for health and safety do you?
Eugene Ruane
65   Posted 18/11/2011 at 12:14:40

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Guessing the Suarez 'defence' will be a smokescreen along the lines of (lizard in suit) "While it's true my client DID use the expression 'you fuckingo blacko bastardo',10 times, while snarling and spitting, you MUST understand for him, this is simply a way of saying "dear boy, you're having a simply marvelous game'. Etc.
Rob Hollis
66   Posted 18/11/2011 at 12:32:12

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The law is usually applied subjectively so never expect even handed treatment.

Duncan Ferguson was sent to jail for an offence that would probably have got him ejected from the ground at worst when he was playing in Scotland.
Ciarán McGlone
67   Posted 18/11/2011 at 12:38:26

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I've seen some flippant shite form you over the last few days Nick - but that takes the biscuit.

I'll add a hefty disregard for a wholly justifiable law against racism to your list of foibles.
Nick Entwistle
68   Posted 18/11/2011 at 12:44:20

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If you concede everything to rules and regulations it leaves no room for applying common sense, appreciating circumstance or intent of the individual.

I have some shelving outside the front door of my flat. I place plants there in the spring time. The building's owners send a health and safety letter. Said I had to remove the shelving because 1) it posed a fire hazard in case of passing arsonist 2) It created access problems in case of an emergency.

I emailed them, told them they were talking 'bollocks'. On another visit to review the situation they rescinded. A victory for common sense.

And to this day I have not seen a passing arsonist on the top floor of my secured building.
Ciarán McGlone
69   Posted 18/11/2011 at 13:23:22

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Er, yes, Nick..your little platitude about health and safety is of course entirely relevant to the use of 'common sense (or mealy mouthed justification as I prefer to call it) in cases of racism..

Perhaps you can explain to the untold Poles, Lithuanians, Pakistanis, Romainians etc - that a law which includes nationality as form of racism is an abrogation of 'common sense'..

As for the implication that the law doesn't conisder 'intent' - jebus wept.
Kevin Hudson
70   Posted 18/11/2011 at 13:32:38

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Nick,

Clearly you disagree with Ciaran.

So why not apply some of your "common sense," and just come out & call him an Irish Bastard?
Ciarán McGlone
71   Posted 18/11/2011 at 13:43:00

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Haha...many have Kevin.

Although once I was called a 'Scottish Bastard' in Holland..which was rather odd..
Kevin Hudson
72   Posted 18/11/2011 at 13:46:20

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At first, the locals thought I was Scottish when I worked in Sweden.

They couldn't get their heads around my being English..on account of my Scouse accent. They assumed that I should automatically sound like Roger Moore..!
Phil Bellis
73   Posted 18/11/2011 at 13:56:11

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I work sporadically throughout the year in a rather insular, East End originating community'; they couldn't place my L8 accent (N.B. NOT fuckin Toxteth or, worse, Toccie!)

Someone put it around that I was "flown-in" CID (whistles) and consequently I've not had to buy a pint down there for 4 years
Sam Morrison
74   Posted 18/11/2011 at 13:57:48

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Nick E, equating racism with health and safety, really? Would you happily call Saha a Lazy French Bastard in front of some French people, and lecture them on nationality/race if they took offence?

If Lazy French Bastard is as purely factual as you and others seem to genuinely believe/kid yourselves, why does no-one go on about allegedly useless twats Hibbert and Osman being English?
Nick Entwistle
75   Posted 18/11/2011 at 13:46:42

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What I was referring to (not what you decided to change my view to) was that the implementation of law has no room for common sense should an individual who falls foul of it be subject only to what is written.

I don't know what law you're referring to so I can't. But I would imagine its a law regarding discrimination where race and nationality would share much of the same content.

But that does not mean that Dave Sibson is a racist, but at most, someone who showed discrimination by shouting a xenophobic statement.

'Because the law says so' isn't good enough to brand him a racist. I don't want a view by proxy. I want to know what YOU think. What's your gut tell say?

Nick Entwistle
76   Posted 18/11/2011 at 14:22:57

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To Ciarán that is.

Sam, I was showing a parallel with health and safety that to apply only the letter of the law removes common sense. What humans use when decision making.

I always like to think communication as a way of mutual progression, regardless of view points. Not as something to be won or lost. Why is it people who turn discussions into arguments make stuff up... and then go AHHHHHHHHHHH!
Paul Foster
77   Posted 18/11/2011 at 14:41:00

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The bizarre Health and Safety twist reminds me of the classic Stewart Lee clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmkHLiZMJeU&feature=related
Nick Entwistle
78   Posted 18/11/2011 at 14:41:50

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And Sam, who said it was merely factual? It was derogatory. An insult. Label it xenophobic if you want to. But racist?

And we're dealing with a French guy here. No where else. There's a context, before you bring up Pakistanis like Ciarán did,
Daniel Hutchinson
79   Posted 18/11/2011 at 15:16:03

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Calling someone 'French' in any way, negative or positive, is not racist. This being that 'French' is not a race, it is a nationality. Why on earth he was banned and fined due to racial slur I will never know. The FA needs to go back to school to learn exactly what the word 'race' means.
Shaun Sparke
80   Posted 18/11/2011 at 15:13:26

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Ciarán, this is exactly my point. It is difficult for us to reach a conclusion as nobody except for Mr Sibson truly knows what his intent was. If he shouted? Saha you LAZY French Bastard?. Then the emphasis in on the word lazy. However, if he shouted ? Saha you lazy FRENCH bastard?. Then obviously the emphasis is switched and I would agree with you that he meant to denigrate him by using his nationality as a point of ridicule. Can any of say with any certainty that we know what his intentions were? It is a minefield but it is not as clear-cut as you made out.
Phil Bellis
81   Posted 18/11/2011 at 15:19:37

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How far down the list do you go?

Will there one day be regionalism legislation banning, e.g. fat Geordie bastard, scruffy Scouser, Cockney spiv, thick Brummie, Yorkshire pudding?
Sam Morrison
82   Posted 18/11/2011 at 15:26:28

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Nick, I get what you're saying but I don't think the comparison is valid.

Context here as I see it: use of the word French as pejorative. To dismiss* it (not justify, surely) as xenophobic - well, genuine, real xenophobia is by definition irrational. And unfortunately I don't think there are as many xenophobes out there as there are racists. They surely don't all congregate at football grounds either - or websites for that matter.

*Not saying YOU are dismissing it. But I find the defence that 'he IS French!' lacking... common sense.
James Marshall
83   Posted 18/11/2011 at 15:33:37

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Not one word about ginger hair - the last bastion of accepted racism the World over.

PS I'm not a ginge.

PPS I'm not French.

PPPS I'm not black either.

PPPPS Louis Saha is all of the above.
Victor Chang
84   Posted 18/11/2011 at 15:59:00

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Just read Gus Poyet spouting crap that Suarez isn't racist, it's just that he comes from a country where everyone is racist so it's not his fault. By that reasoning we cant blame the Nazi's for the holocaust, it's just how they were in Germany back then.
Dan McKie
85   Posted 18/11/2011 at 16:23:55

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Abuse is abuse, and putting racism above any other form is just pc crap. Whats the difference between abusing someone verbally over their colour or something else, like weight or massive bucked teeth? Nothing but the huge over-sensitivity to race issues. These are grown men calling each other names at the end of the day. It's pathetic and childish and nothing more. We are hardly back to the Martin Luther King days.
Nick Entwistle
86   Posted 18/11/2011 at 16:31:13

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Sam, call it xenophobia, call it jingoism, anglo-French rivalry, roasting bananas. Whatever.
I just don't understand how people see this as racist.

Read Daniel #79 and then explain.
Dave Roberts
87   Posted 18/11/2011 at 16:05:43

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It may well be that Mr Sibson intended the word 'French' to be derogatory, we will presumably never know his real intention. But that is not the point. The word 'French' is in itself not derogatory and has been clearly considered to be because of its proximity to the words 'bastard and 'fucking'. If I wanted to convert a word describing that nationality into something truly abusive I would use the word 'frog' or 'snailer' which Mr Sibson did not do.

Somebody above made a very good point. What if Mr Sibson had directed his comment to David Ginola? Would that have been considered racist? Nick Entwistle too is right. Racism is evil but we do the campaign against it it no favours by making it look ridiculous. Mr Sibson was not charged with being abusive, he was charged with being racially abusive when there is no clear evidence of any intention to be racially motivated. Mr Sibson did not use the word 'black' or 'nigger' or 'coon' which could have had no other connotations other than a reference to Saha's racial characteristics if he had done so. He called him French which might have been unnecessary, but which cannot be described as racist except by anybody missing the point and assisting the law to be an ass and unworkable.

If we are to beat racism we must avoid confusing it with other things and that is why (Kevin Hudson #47) there is a world of difference between calling a man a black bastard or a French bastard. You don't have to be black to be French nor French to be black but to be referred to as black is a comment and can only be a comment about race and that is what Mr Sibson did not do.

He may have been abusive but not racially abusive. And being abusive at a football match is not usually something you get banned from attending for. That is the injustice.
Colin Wainwright
88   Posted 18/11/2011 at 16:47:31

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People were not enslaved for hundreds of years because they had massive bucked teeth Dan.
Tony J Williams
89   Posted 18/11/2011 at 17:10:57

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They fucken should have been Colin!!!
Nick Entwistle
90   Posted 18/11/2011 at 17:11:50

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Dave, you have an ability to communicate the logical in a clear and concise manner and is something I routinely struggle with. Good post.
Kevin Hudson
91   Posted 18/11/2011 at 17:43:24

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Several people on here deliberately trying to muddy the waters & find an escape clause.

?French isn?t a race. Therefore it?s not racist.?

Their inference being they presume xenophobia is not recognised in English law per se, therefore it ought to escape censure.

Even though quite obviously, it falls under the umbrella of anti-discrimination legislation.

A FIVE year old would know this.

Dave Roberts & friends:

Let me introduce you to Section 28 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

An offence is considered to be racially aggravated if the offender demonstrates, towards the victim of the offence, hostility based on the victim?s membership (or even presumed membership) of a racial group.

In this section, racial group means a group of persons defined by reference to race, colour, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins.

Therefore, none of you have a leg to stand on. Calling Saha a ?lazy fucking French bastard,? is ILLEGAL in this country.

This presumably ENDS the debate. Sibson broke the law.
Colin Wainwright
92   Posted 18/11/2011 at 18:30:48

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Nice one Tony (#89).
Nick Entwistle
93   Posted 18/11/2011 at 18:40:08

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Kevin, but was he being racist? Couldn't give a dam what the law says. He wasn't.

This is where the common sense argument comes into it.

Besides, the inclusion of nationality wasn't for the benefit of the French or any other predominantly white European country I'm sure.

It would be for Asians and Africans who through centuries of colonial oppression, enslavement and the subsequent racial intolerance have found persecution on the streets of Britain.

Shaun Sparke
94   Posted 18/11/2011 at 18:53:53

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Kevin you cannot make an arbitrary decision that a debate is over because you have found a point of law that supports your own viewpoint. If that were the case then Parliament could never open any new debate to create new or repeal existing laws. Any four year old would know that!
Kevin Hudson
95   Posted 18/11/2011 at 18:46:36

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Nick (93)

The law states quite clearly that the offence is illegal, as it classes it as racism.

The inclusion of nationality doesn't exclude the French.

The law doesn't care if YOU give a "damn," about it. You break it, the state has the right to punish you.

My fiancee's year 6 class understand this perfectly.

Tip: Use your "common-sense," to avoid including a person's nationality if you choose to insult them.
Kevin Hudson
96   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:06:34

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Shaun,

The law hasn't been, nor is it about be repealed.

But by all means, you continue debating the virtues of anti-discrimination law..
Nick Entwistle
97   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:06:47

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Kevin,

As I said to Ciarán earlier...'Because the law says so' isn't good enough to brand him a racist. I don't want a view by proxy. I want to know what YOU think. What's your gut say?'

And here's a view by proxy of what I think of those poor dam kids -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izE4_Jd2dOw
Kevin Hudson
98   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:19:17

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Nick, whatever your link is - I can't access it, so your last submission is totally lost on me.

If you disagree with the law, that's your bag.
Shaun Sparke
99   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:18:15

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Kevin, that wasn?t my point. You presumed to end the debate because Sibson broke the law. Others on here are arguing that the law you refer to has been used to label a person as a racist or committing a racist act, and hold a different point of view. It is this basic right to argue and challenge laws that allows us to live in a democratic society.
Sam Morrison
100   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:29:26

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Nick, have read Daniel (79) and my take on it is that it's an evasive tactic more to do with semantics than morals - at which point we disagree, I'd hazard.

But having done as you asked, will you now do as I ask and tell me if you'd feel comfortable describing Saha as a (lazy) French bastard in front of a Frenchman - or women.

I mean, if they're offended, you can say it's just his nationality you object to, right?
Kevin Hudson
101   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:30:20

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Agreed Shaun,

I hereby retract my "ENDS," quote.

Carry on expressing your democratic right to question whether it's right or wrong to be punished for insulting a person, predicating that insult, in part, by their nationality.
Nick Entwistle
102   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:34:21

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Don't answer the question then Kevin. And don't question anything ever. Obey everything. Always obey.
Nick Entwistle
103   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:43:14

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No Sam, it is being derogatory about the French. It was an insult to call him a French bastard. It was a slur. Just not a racist one.
Sam Morrison
104   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:43:59

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Nick, your 'satire' in this instance is off beam. No-one's advocating meek acceptance of the status quo.

Some things are worth fighting for. The right to call someone a lazy French bastard might be one of them for you and Shaun. Not me.
Sam Morrison
105   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:46:53

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Nick that was for 102. To 103 I'd say well I hope we can clarify that to Saha - he'd probably feel much better about it.
Nick Entwistle
106   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:47:38

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Lost me on that one Sam. Making things up too.
Nick Entwistle
107   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:50:04

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No I wouldn't feel comfortable Sam, I said it was an insult - JUST NOT A RACIST ONE!
Andy Crooks
108   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:42:56

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The treatment of Dave Sibson was kind of odd. Rather like seeing someone you hoped would get a good hiding being given a rather worse hiding than you hoped.

"French" is the key word here. "Irish" would have somehow seemed more racist. It might have offended more people, though not me personally.

It seems to me that there appear to be degrees of racism and "French" appears, in the eyes of many, to be a misdemeanor rather than a crime. Frankly, it's either racist or it isn't ? and to me, it is. Let's just hope, if guilty, Terry and Suarez receive comparable punishments.
Sam Morrison
109   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:51:51

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OK OK NO CAPS PLEASE!

Making things up? Not sure what you're referring to. If it was 104 then obviously I was joking.

You say it's not racism, it's a slur against his nationality. I say that's a moot point. You're arguing semantics. The fact remains it was an insult based on where he comes from. That's bigotry. Some call it a 'slur based on his nationality', some call it racism. I'm not sure why it's so important to you to distinguish between them, is it because 'a slur against his nationality' seems more forgivable?
Kevin Hudson
110   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:46:02

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Good news Nick, I finally managed to access your link.

Now I love George Carlin & agree with much he has to say, but this doesn't support your case, at all.

You want my kids to question whether or not it's acceptable to insult the French?

Oh and I agree with Section 28 of the Crime and Disorder Act. That answer your question?

Do I agree with everything Government says? Or media? Don't be ridiculous...

Not the unquestioning drone you would have me pegged as, then.

If you still do not think it was a racist slur, approach a policeman, in the company of a Frenchman, and call him a "French bastard." Then find out for yourself if it IS a racist slur.

Then pat yourself on the back for your discriminating taste & rebellious disregard for the law..
Shaun Sparke
111   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:39:21

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Fair enough, Kevin. I genuinely admire your self-restraint and respect for obeying all the laws of this land. Sadly, I am not so perfect and have occasionally broken the speed limit and yes, I have to admit it, I once vented my anger at Alan Hansen for handling the ball on the line in the 1984 League Cup Final by calling him a cheating Scottish bastard.

It?s nice to know that the law and people who obey it consider me to be a racist. Maybe I should claim all the money back that I have given to various charities over the years to help feed and support starving children in Africa. This was done not to ease my conscience, but because I shared a genuine desire to help out these people.

This in essence is where the dichotomy exists. According to the law, I am a racist, but in reality I am just a normal person who occasionally gets a little irate when I see my football team being cheated. This sometimes manifests itself in the odd inappropriate comment.

I stand chastised and will endeavour to show the same restraint as your good self in future.
Matt Traynor
112   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:51:40

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Kevin (#95), the fact your fiancee is in year 6 - isn't that against the law?
Peter Hall
113   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:45:18

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Jason from China puts it in a context - it is better in UK than most places. Which is borne out here, because there hasn't been one racist position in 100 posts. Yes, people saying let it pass, and yes, people saying don't, but nobody expressing racism or even tolerance. That really is something on a football site.

Kevin @98 and others, I don't think you are putting your legal case well. The point is, not that it IS the law but that there is both reason and consent for the law. The reason is to protect people from the sort of persecution that has been endemic in the past and still is in some places and some groups here. Consent because, we are getting to be a society that wants to leave that stuff behind.

Being a simple and relatively trusting Everton fan of 54 years standing since my first Goodison visit, I disagree with 90% of the football comments on this site. But this discussion has been about freedom of expression, plus and minus, not racism for and against, so I'm sort of glad to be a member.

Until I read the next post probably.
Sam Morrison
114   Posted 18/11/2011 at 20:06:19

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Shaun, I hope you don't think anyone who is siding with the club on this think of themselves as paragons of virtue - I certainly don't.

And I've read countless derogative descriptions of Moyes involving his Scottishness, and Benetiz described as a fat Spanish waiter, without getting in a huff about it. But as it happens to be the topic at hand, we're examining it a little. And you say yourself it's inappropriate behaviour.
Sam Morrison
115   Posted 18/11/2011 at 20:12:38

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er, hope that passed the test, Peter
Ciarán McGlone
116   Posted 18/11/2011 at 19:59:23

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Nick,

Gut feeling?

He's a racist. But I'll tell you what, if that offends your dictionary definition then we can append the term 'in law' to the end of it.

He's racist-in law. Happy now?


As for the daft intellectual semantics about intent, construction and emphasis. The intent is inferred from the entirety of his invective. If didn't want to imply he was being racist-in law (dear me) - then he shouldn't have used the word.

Next you'll be telling me he's not in control of the words that come out of his face.
Colin Wainwright
117   Posted 18/11/2011 at 20:14:29

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It's a dodgy one, I know. Most folk, including me, will look for an identifiable tag, when throwing insults at the match.

Saha can be a lazy bastard. But, I suppose, a lazy bastard is a lazy bastard, whether he's french, or not. Been guilty of it myself but it's uncalled for.

After saying that, Blatter should get banned from attending matches for fucking life. The tit.
Sam Morrison
118   Posted 18/11/2011 at 20:19:56

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Nick - just reread the above and understood your moment of caps-lock rage. I was writing 104 at the same time you were writing 103. If I'd seen it first my post would've been different.
Nick Entwistle
119   Posted 18/11/2011 at 20:20:18

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Sam, I got mixed up on points like yourself so forgive me on that one.

I'm not defending what the guy said, I'm defending him against the accusation of racism. You say its a moot point, but I don't think so to Davie Sibson.

It is vastly different to call someone a French bastard as opposed to e.g. a Pakistani bastard. Surely that doesn't need explanation? One is based on anglo-french rivalry, the other centuries of colonial oppression and the rhetoric of UK individuals using it to show racist abuse. In Australia for example calling someone a 'Paki' is perfectly acceptable in the same was as calling someone a Brit. Here there is a context. Everywhere there is a context!

Kevin, you were implying as its the law, it must be true. Which is wrong. And of course people can argue points of law in court.

As with the kids, if they are taught to just accept authority which I believe you were showing then that is a shame. That was the point of George Carlin, not to get kids to abuse the French!

But again you show yourself accepting only the word of law if a policeman's view is what counts.

Ciarán... you invent things, then deride me for being party to them.
Peter Hall
120   Posted 18/11/2011 at 20:17:08

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Ciaran - gut feeling is he racist? Possibly you are right. Probably it is a common method of speech for him. Like the lady caught on camera putting a cat in a bin - first offence? You're joking.

The problem is (if original poster is correct) that the racist word he used was 'French'. If that is an insulting word we are all going to have to be very careful.

I suspect there was more to it than that but - then - I know nothing. And Mr.Kelly is not very helpful - he could have told us that his 'good friend' hates racism. But he didn't. So I don't think the case is worth concerning ourselves about as we have too little information.

Kevin Hudson
121   Posted 18/11/2011 at 20:30:11

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Re: French & Pakistani. The law doesn't discriminate between the two. It would still be (at minimum) a racially-aggravated offence.

Sibson,as you well know, admitted the charge.
Sam Morrison
122   Posted 18/11/2011 at 20:34:35

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Nick, I agree that words have different meaning in different places. And I take on board you're not defending him.

But what I don't get is this sliding scale of abuse. It's worse to call a Pakistani a 'Pakistani bastard' than it is to call a Frenchman a 'French bastard'? I don't think there is time for the Frenchman in this example to take on board all the relevant history and think, well, I suppose I don't have it as bad as that Pakistani chap. The fact 'paki' in Australia is inoffensive is irrelevant in this instance.

Apologies for being facetious but you get my point. Should these theoretical people debate who got the most shit from the Brits then obviously it's a different kettle of fish. As you say, it's all about context. And that comes down to every individual exchange and the relationship between the parties involved; are they friends, do they 'banter', do they 'get' irony, etc etc. In this instance a stranger in a crowd was shouting abuse.

Is it racism, is it not-racism-but-still-offensive... feels moot to me, but I'm glad we can agree we're merely arguing definitions.
Sam Morrison
123   Posted 18/11/2011 at 20:49:39

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nb I don't presume to judge someone I don't know, and I don't agree with the ban - judging the action and the person are 2 different things.
Ciarán McGlone
124   Posted 18/11/2011 at 20:54:54

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Nick,

You're the one making a big play of the difference between Pakistani and French.

The dictionary definition defence is well at play in your posts, whether you realise it or not.
Kevin Hudson
125   Posted 18/11/2011 at 21:03:28

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Shaun (111)

If you have donated money to Africa, hats off to you for your philanthropy.

If however you consider those recipients "African bastards," and propagate that view, then indeed the law deems you racist.
Nick Entwistle
126   Posted 18/11/2011 at 21:11:31

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Sam, that's cool. We can at least agree to disagree.
But I would call my Kiwi mate a Kiwi-tosser, but to call my Asian mate (don't know what his heritage is) an Asian Tosser would be a massive no no.

Ciarán, I'm lost. What's the dictionary defence? That to cite a country in a slur means just the country and not connected to race? Yes. With the French that is correct. With a Pakistani no. You don't see the difference?

If you don't, we'll just leave it there. We've reached the end point in discussion.
Dick Fearon
127   Posted 18/11/2011 at 21:16:34

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Have I got it right, it is OK to call someone a Pommy Bastard but not if you call him an English Bastard.
Shaun Sparke
128   Posted 18/11/2011 at 21:36:23

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Kevin don?t be so obtuse. You know full well that there is a world of difference between something that is said in the heat of the moment as opposed to a long held belief. Your attempt at taking the moral high ground does you no favours at all. What you are saying is that the law does not discriminate between somebody who actively promotes a racist viewpoint and somebody who mentions a persons nationality in an attempt to offer an easy identifier when giving out criticism. I am not defending the individual for a temporary aberration. However, I am sensible enough to realise the difference between the two.
Kevin Hudson
129   Posted 18/11/2011 at 22:04:55

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Not being an idiot, Shaun, I too understand the differences you relate.

However, you would still be punished for a "heat of the moment," infraction, as Sibson was.
Shaun Sparke
130   Posted 18/11/2011 at 22:08:17

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It doesn't make it right though does it Kevin?
Kevin Hudson
131   Posted 18/11/2011 at 22:12:20

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Goodnight, Shaun.
John Kelly
132   Posted 18/11/2011 at 22:32:21

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Peter Hall #120 - What I can tell you Peter is that in all the years I have met Dave at the match I have never heard him be racist in any comment or seen it with his attitude.
He doesnt believe he is a racist and neither do I - if I did I wouldn't give him the time of day.
I have had converstaions with him since his ban and if he could go back and change what he said he would.
The ban has been truly devastating for him as he has hardly missed an Everton game home or away for nigh on 20 years - travelling home, away and abroad with Everton without any problems at all. (I have heard him have the odd rant about Man Utd)
In effect Everton Football Club was his life - his main passion.
He had his season ticket taken from him by Everton and missed many home games before he had even been taken to court and found guilty - he was still allowed to travel away even meeting his accusers and ignoring them at one particular game.
The whole point of my original post has been missed by many. Dave plead guilty on the advice of his brief - and the judge said if he had'nt he would have had a 5 year ban but due to his plea he only got 3 years.
Both Terry and Suarez have denied being racially insulting. If either but especially Terry are found guilty - Terry because he is being investigated by the Police - will either of them receive a ban from English football grounds?
If not - why not - the precedence has been set - Racist abuse attracts a certain punishment or is it a law for one - the fan - and not the others.
The court decided, to the letter of the law that what Dave said, in the heat of the moment and through sheer frustration of Louis Sahas performance, was racist.
He will have to live with this criminal conviction and I for one think the punishment meted out to him was extremely harsh as I for one do not believe Dave is a racist (and neither do plenty of others) And in Daves case feel a severe warning to his future conduct would have sufficed.
Tom Bowers
133   Posted 18/11/2011 at 22:56:56

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Quite honestly the whole argument is getting out of control. In the heat of an argument or in this case a soccer or sports event players will cuss each other because they think it's a show of superiority or toughness. It's all for the most part bullshit and trash talking. Yes there are without doubts racists everywhere but how do you prove what any of these players said to each other and who said what first to provoke a racist slur if it happened? Could you really depend on a witness on the field other than the referee or the linesman?
It comes down therefore to one word against another so why are these 2 cases taking so long to resolve?
I blame the media for fueling the fire.
Those who are not witnesses cannot possibly condemn either of the accused at this stage regardless of the teams they play for .
If there is proof positive then they should get the maximum punishment.
Sam Morrison
134   Posted 19/11/2011 at 10:02:04

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John, sorry for being party to the o.p getting off-track. As I said above I don't agree with the ban; equally I wouldn't agree with banning Terry and Suarez for 3 years, though I do think punishment should be far more punitive than the pathetic 'one weeks wages' efforts that mean nothing. I do agree that the punishment should be the same for fan and player alike, but taken on a case by case basis, by an objective panel. I can't be objective about Terry and Suarez because I think they're both repugnant.
Ciarán McGlone
135   Posted 19/11/2011 at 10:30:47

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You weren't lost Nick, You did get it.

I never had any doubt that the master of subtext and deeply hidden satire would figure out his own position. Maybe I should rename it the 'Poyet/Entwistle defence' - "I don't think it's racist on the basis of my 'common sense'/"prevalent attidude in some underdeveloped country (delete as appropriate) - therefore it's not!" -

Moving on to John's post. I would say this has probably gone way too far. Sibson obviously regrets what he did and clearly isn't at the end of the spectrum were he'll be holding Klan meetings in Waverley. I don't change my opinion on the nature of his comment - but I do have a certain sympathy for him.

On your primary point John - regarding precedent. If convicted, the Court will almost certainly not ban those players from football grounds. They have mitigating circumstances in that their presence in football grounds relates directly to their employment.


The same regard would have been given to Mr Sibson if he'd been an employee of Everton - although I doubt he'd have lasted in that job for long.

The clubs of these players should be sacking them. Not likely though.



Denis Richardson
136   Posted 19/11/2011 at 10:15:58

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John, I believe that your friend should have been punished but a 3 year ban was very heavy handed. A warning would probably have been enough with a ban suspended for x years so he doesn't repeat the offence.

On the Terry and Suarez issue, if they are found guilty they should also be punished. Just because it is the 'heat of the moment' does not make it right or excusable. They are supposed to be role models for thousands (if not millions) of kids globally and need to act as such. However, in relality, I cannot see them getting more than a ban for a few games at most, as Chelsea and Liverpool are too powerful to have one of their most important players out for any length of time.

On a more Everton note, I am of mixed race and used to live in London and went to most of the London away games in the 90s and early 2000s. I have to admit to being appalled at the racial abuse given out by Everton away fans at opposition black players and our own players (yobo, campbell etc). In fact friends of mine used to ask me how I can support Everton when they are (in their eyes/words) one of the most racist clubs in the Premiership. Thankfully things have gotten a lot better over recent years but lets not fool ourselves into thinking that there are no racicst Everton fans. Our club is not whiter than white here and people need to continue to report abuse when they experiance it and not sweep it under the carpet.

Coming back to the original post, IMO what he said/did was wrong and should not be condoned, but given no prior history of abuse the punishment was/is too much.

Lets also stop with the pedantic its 'xenophobic and not racist'! argument. They are both equally as bad.

Now onto the Wolves game.....
David Mathieson
137   Posted 19/11/2011 at 11:31:31

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Sibson should have received no punishment and the people who are propagating it should be careful what they wish for; restricted speech is a slippery slope... where will it end? Who decides what is in and what is out?

Long live free speech, what many people thought and died for.
Nick Entwistle
138   Posted 19/11/2011 at 11:40:18

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Ciarán, the day you see discussions as communication and not arguments to be won and lost, points scored, who's right who's wrong then you might open your mind a bit more.

Just wondering though, are you based in Ireland? If so that connotations towards citing someone's country are different... such as the Pakistani, and French. Here it's very different. I can call my mate a Kiwi or Aussie but I can't call others Paki.
Ciarán McGlone
139   Posted 19/11/2011 at 12:57:45

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Cute Nick. Very cute.

After 130 odd posts of engaging in a dialetic about the sematics of racism, in which you've failed to concede one point - you now have the audacity to lecture me on point scoring qand having an open mind. OK Plato.

As for your final missive....The fact that the horrible term 'Paki' has evolved as a free standing insult which doesn't require the addition of any other word to insinuate its context - is neither here nor there.

However, feel free to continue to search for that evasive justification. I may just take your advice and go free my insular little mind in the pub.

P.S I'm from Belfast. So i've some experience of sectarianism.
Kevin Hudson
140   Posted 19/11/2011 at 13:10:06

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Nick's "open-minded discussion," now boils down to his complaint that he's not allowed to call someone a "Paki," in the UK.

Even though it's considered hurtful, racist & is punishable by law.

He referenced the UK's negative connotation of the term, distinct to other countries. (eg: Australia)

Therefore if you understand this - then you know WHY "it's very different," in this country.

Clearly rational debate has ceased to work here & I never resort to this, but:

Nick...just piss off. You're a tit.


Mick Davies
141   Posted 19/11/2011 at 13:56:55

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So a guy gets banned from football for slagging off a player who he thinks is not trying hard enough. He swore, which is wrong but does that merit being banned for three years? If so, then grounds would be empty. He called him French: well he is French and when I was at school, being French, or German or English was belonging to a national group, not a race. The gutter press show headlines such as "Frogs" and "Krauts" disparagingly referring to other nationalities in a far more offensive manner, yet their jouno's are not banned from anywhere. As usual concerning football fans, it's a question of "do as we say, not as we do".
Nick Entwistle
142   Posted 19/11/2011 at 17:20:21

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Ciarán, as you know I've been looking for Your justification all a long.
One that has not come forth, other than to say the law says so.
You don't have a reason. And I think you know you're stuck.

Kevin, you're bizarre. And libelous! But mainly bizarre.

You can both on own on this one. Try as I might...
Ciarán McGlone
143   Posted 19/11/2011 at 17:30:29

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You're looking for my justification?

I haven't been trying to justify anything... and neither would I have had to.

I was simply explaining both the legal position, and my position.
Ciarán McGlone
144   Posted 19/11/2011 at 17:39:56

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Oh and by the way, I wouldn't fancy your chances in a defamation case against Mr Hudson.
Greg Anderson
145   Posted 19/11/2011 at 17:40:48

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The point of "politically correct" legislation, including laws against racism, is to dispel the negativity associated with being a member of a historically disdvantaged group, like former colonial subjects. It is not to outlaw all ethnic insults. The French are not a historically disadvantaged group and therefore cannot be victims of anything like racism.

If this is to be a debate about the ethics of ethnic insults, then "the law" is no reliable guide. It is a grab-bag of sundry measures passed in many different times and places by all manner of different ruling authorities in all manner of different circumstances. It is inevitably inconsistent with itself. Yes, it has decisive status in a law court. But if we are just debating what the law is, then there is no debate.
Ciarán McGlone
146   Posted 19/11/2011 at 18:01:07

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I wondered how long it would be before the term 'politically correct' raised its head.

Well done. You win a prize.

The law we are discussing is not a hangover from the Glorious Revolution.
Andy Crooks
147   Posted 19/11/2011 at 18:37:34

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Greg, I said in an earlier post that some people think there are degrees of racism; you are obviously one of them. So who decides? How disadvantaged to you have to be? To say"he's a jew" somehow sounds worse than "he's a member of the jewish faith". But.. jewish bastard sounds worse. The use of the word French is there to exaggerate the insult and seems to me to be racist.
Having said that, the punishment was well out of proportion to the crime. I will be very interested in how Suarez and Terry are dealt with. Both seem to be truly appalling specimens,in fact I think that Suarez is one of the most poisonous pieces of shit ever to have graced the Premier League.
Nick Entwistle
148   Posted 19/11/2011 at 19:25:17

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Andy, the sliding scale idea I get but would only understand if you could explain, which yourself, Ciarán and Kevin have failed to do, how using the word French is racist.

To everyone else, its like you're saying the world is flat. We just don't get it.


Ciarán McGlone
149   Posted 19/11/2011 at 19:44:48

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Everyone else. Ok.
Andy Crooks
150   Posted 19/11/2011 at 20:00:24

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Nick, "Pakistani bastard", "Chinese bastard", "Jewish bastard", "Irish bastard".... Are they offensive?

If they are, why is French not?
Nick Entwistle
151   Posted 19/11/2011 at 20:52:26

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Alright, we'll do it this way round.

All are offensive, including the French, for differing reasons.

Are you really telling me you don't understand this difference?


Nathan Ward
152   Posted 19/11/2011 at 22:10:31

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Isn't the moral of the story to not be abusive to someone for no matter?

Isn't that what those year 6 kids should be taught?

And for Suarez & Terry - if found guilty (and that is a very big IF) they should be receiving very very long bans.
Steavey Buckley
153   Posted 19/11/2011 at 23:55:38

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One time when Britain was a Christian country, they used to say when someone was insulted with an off the cuff remark, "Turn the other cheek."

I went to a football match some time ago when Everton played West Ham; I unfortunately ended up in the West Ham area and had to watch the match without revealing my true allegiance in case of any trouble with the home supporters.

During the match, a West Ham supporter said something that was not accepted by a policemen standing next to him and the supporter was hauled out of the ground. I have never felt so sorry for a football fan in all my life.

This was a man who was just letting off steam. All the policemen had to say to the man was to keep the language down, that's all. He was not bothering me or the other supporters.
Mick Davies
154   Posted 20/11/2011 at 04:02:41

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"Nick, "Pakistani bastard", "Chinese bastard", "Jewish bastard", "Irish bastard".... Are they offensive?"

Andy Crooks, calling anyone a bastard is offensive. Calling someone Pakistani, Chinese, Jewish, French, Irish or Kurdistani is not offensive, if they belong to those national or religious groups. Someone referring to me as British person wouldn't raise an eyebrow, so please tell me what you find offensive about it?
Greg Anderson
155   Posted 20/11/2011 at 06:05:25

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Andy, #147, no, I am not arguing for degrees of racism. I am saying that a truly "racist" statement is only uttered when:

a. the group referred to is identifiable as a "race"

b. calling someone a member of that race has historically been a term of abuse in itself because that race is perceived as somehow "inferior."

It may be possible to argue that "the French" are a race by some definitions. But it is not possible to argue that calling someone "French" has ever been in itself abusive because of the perceived inferiority of the "French". Adding the term "bastard" obviously makes the statement more offensive, but it does not make it any more racist. Nick is right.
Andy Crooks
156   Posted 20/11/2011 at 10:21:57

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Mick, yes calling someone a bastard is offensive. What other reason is there to put their nationality, other than it makes the insult stronger?
Dickie Langley
157   Posted 20/11/2011 at 12:20:08

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@141, good point about the journalists. If they write "Frogs" or "Krauts" (which I'm assuming we all agree are insulting rather than friendly), then why aren't they banned? I don't think there's any hope of that, not while fans are still singing about Munich, Hillsborough, gas chambers, etc. and getting away with it.

On a side note, I was called "English" in France, and it was meant as an insult. As I was working there at the time, and had jumped through all the hoops for being foreign, it was a bit galling (poor pun intended).
Andy Crooks
158   Posted 20/11/2011 at 12:40:07

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Putting someone's nationality in front of a pejorative term is racist whatever that nationality might be.
Nick Entwistle
159   Posted 20/11/2011 at 12:44:11

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Andy, why does offensive = racist when concerning the French?
Ciarán McGlone
160   Posted 20/11/2011 at 12:59:43

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Nick,

Stop asking loaded questions you're not willing to accept a rational answer to.

You're 'common sense' open minded approach, of course trumps everything.

We get it.
Nick Entwistle
161   Posted 20/11/2011 at 14:52:11

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Ciarán, never had one. Your only answer is that the law says so, but no rationale is given. Again, a simple question is passed over for bluff. You have no answer. But that?s the point right?

You of course wilfully misconstrue and deviate from topic to bamboozle people in discussions. You turn them into arguments because the win or lose factor is all important to you. This is your chosen role, as succinct and known as those Marsh and Dodd enjoy on these pages.

In my mind I have you down as a 19-/20-year-old who found a niche in his 6th form debating club. You?re good at it, if win and loss is all you find important. I do sincerely hope though you?re not a 40 something keyboard warrior because this is something you should grow out of.

I?ve bothered for these last few days to try to search for an explanation, some actual opinion, some reason for your stance. And that?s a lot longer than I would normally give you for sure, because I thought it important. But it dawned on me ? I presumed too much, that in the least you believed in your position. You don?t. You are simply a contrarian of no opinion. Doesn?t matter what you say, its your position.

The fact that you choose a fans' forum of your supported club to play out these games is irrelevant, you can and maybe do this on forums of all subjects and interests, but this being your purpose does mean any submission you make is redundant in content.

There are three or so others on your side with this debate. They at best seem a little misguided, unable to understand context and intent but that?s nothing an explanation with hand puppets and crayons won?t rectify. But there?s obviously more going on inside your head. You?ve got a good brain, but no mind.

You will not cede to what has by many been spelt out to you in the most simple of explanations. Explanations that you bend or side-step, unaccepting of their being.

This desire to be the arch-sophist on subjects concerning Everton is all rather entertaining, but to stoop so low as to persevere in labelling a man racist so you can stand tall from your soap-box is nasty and distasteful. You?re a self induced negative. A twit. A piece of toast of failed relevance.
Mark Wilson
162   Posted 20/11/2011 at 15:33:25

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Why is it that, having read all 161 of these posts as I wait hoping to see Chelsea batter the shite, I find myself thinking I'd be proud to sit next to Mr Sibson at any Everton game I attend? He made a mistake in that his probably OTT and yes abusive comment, was picked up by people who live a life of law abiding perfection, never make a mistake and are truly paragons of virtue. That the "law" cannot itself discern the difference between true racism and a momentary slip of good behaviour is, well for me, a chilling indictment of our legal system.

John Kelly your loyalty is impressive and I suspect well earned. But your support merely reflects what most of us living in the real world think and believe. It is beyond belief that the law, our law, can be applied in such a pedantic way with no attention to the reality of each situation. Mr Sibson was not in my view guilty of racism and no amount of legalise quoted here will ever persuade me otherwise. But his abuse in many circumstances could have been intimidatory and hardly a good example to younger fans around him etc so, it wasn't a great thing to lose control in the heat of the moment but it has happened to most of us, probably more than once. A warning would surely have had the desired effect. I hope those who complained are proud of their actions, they may have been genuinely upset, who knows. But if so I'm sure an apology from Mr Sibson would have been equally genuine.

Forgive the irony, but those who live their lives in such a black and white fashion are certainly at best unique, never making an error, never getting anything wrong, ever. But as we know, these paragons of virtue only exist as the ultimate hypocrites.

And before ciaran or anyone else descends on me from a great height, I know more about discrimination than you will have time to learn. But I also know about imperfection and being fallible and when that deserves the kind of punishment that we know makes sense and is simply "right". Metering out the kind of punishment given to Mr Sibson does nothing to help stamp out the despicable racism we know still lurks in our communities and yes even at our football grounds. It does in fact damage those efforts. Suarez and Terry if guilty will be guilty of far far more serious offences but in many ways are likely to have less serious sentences.

Phew.... serious debate, well mostly! But one that screams "life is rarely if ever about JUST being right or wrong. It surely must be about degree and intent and context. This is one of the things that makes us civilised and adds balance to our lives, without it we will all be guilty men and women on many occasions.
Ciarán McGlone
163   Posted 20/11/2011 at 16:28:01

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First I was a box ticker for health and safety, now I'm a twenty year old twit.

You may think you're being dead clever by employing pop psychology and characterising your opponents as club footed morons Nick - but I'm afraid that does you or your argument no favours.

You keep stating that my position is simply based on the law and no more.

Disingenuous at best.

I happen to agree with the law. As I explained above. Nationality is commonly used as a basis for abuse, and I'm quite happy to regard that as every bit as reprehensible as abuse based on skin colour. Therefore I welcome that recognition in law.

If you want to make a distinction between the two, then that is your prerogative. But don't come on here and think that you are the arbiter of whether a nation should be offended by certain phrases, and in what terms they should be offended.

Playing the numbers game is also a shortcut past thinking.
Kevin Hudson
164   Posted 20/11/2011 at 18:02:05

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Football fan gets momentarily irate with player (hold the back page). Nobody debating this issue is immune to proportionality or context. Nor, Mark Wilson, is anyone claiming to live a life of law-abiding perfection, pass themselves off as a paragon of virtue, or suggest that Sibson?s a ?Grand Wizard,? of the ?Klan.?

His reprimand DOES help to stamp out racism, as it reminds everyone of what, in part, constitutes a racially-aggravated offence. It definitively underlines a boundary deemed unacceptable. If anything, it?s clarification for, and a deterrent to, those who didn?t know, and indeed disagree with the law.

Those who hypocritically acknowledge that it's wrong & illegal to insult people on the basis of colour, appear ignorant, perplexed & resentful of the fact the law also applies to nationality & has the right to punish.

Moreover, why should the vocalised assertion of laziness incorporate Saha?s Francophone origin? If there was a professional dispute, would Sibson refer to a French co-worker or client in such a way? Would he keep his job?

Should football ?go easy?, on a recognisably racially-aggravated offence? Permit fans to flout the law? Or arbitrate ?intent,? on the phrase ?You fucking lazy French bastard??

Compare ?Big Ron?s? Desailly remark to Sibson?s words. They are distinct, but both subjectively express frustration at a performance, albeit one that can NOT justifiably include reference to their race or nationality.
John Pickles
165   Posted 20/11/2011 at 18:29:57

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"Firstly you must always implicitly obey orders, without attempting to form any opinion of your own regarding their propriety. Secondly, you must consider every man your enemy who speaks ill of your king; and thirdly you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil."

Oi Horatio! Noooooo! We'll have none of that at Goodison Park.

Read more: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/frenchman.html#ixzz1eGt2BavD
Mike Allison
166   Posted 20/11/2011 at 18:18:35

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I don't think anyone will ever convince me that the French are a 'race'.

Race, in as far as it exists, is mostly about skin colour and ancestral identity and culture. It is not about national borders. France is an ethnically diverse country with members of many different 'races'. If they were a 'race' then no Frenchman could ever be racist to any other Frenchman, as they're the same race. The same would be true of Englishmen. This, I hope we can all see, is not the case.

I believe that this clearly delineates race and nationality as completely separate concepts. We seem to fall down and get confused because we don't have an equivalent word for 'nationalist' abuse as opposed to 'racist' abuse. I therefore believe that Dave Sibson was not being racist in calling Louis Saha "a fucking lazy, French bastard". He was being 'nationalist' or possibly 'xenophobic' (although that word has slightly different meanings so isn't directly equivalent to 'racist').

Ciaran made an important point earlier on. Whilst I think other posters are correct in their assertion that calling a Frenchman French is not an insult, or offensive, it has been established that intent and context are important. With this in mind, throwing 'French' in there alongside lazy is clearly intended as an insult. The mention of his nationality is part of the insult and is intended to be portrayed as a negative part of his description, alongside lazy, otherwise, why would you say it at all? Dave therefore was guilty of something, but I don't think its anything very serious, and agree that a three year ban from football grounds for committed fan is a ridiculous over-reaction. All this assumes this was an isolated incident, rather than the culmination of many others.

If someone shouted calling Saha a "fucking lazy, black bastard" I believe that would be a far, far more serious offence, and what Dave said is not really comparable. This is the key issue for me here. Other posters have mentioned this before, but insulting people based on their nationality is usually seen as a bit of fun, and is often done between friends around sporting events. Speaking personally I take no offence whatsoever from the English-baiting we get from Welsh, Scottish and Australian sports fans on a regular basis. Insulting people based on their race is basically never done for fun, even between the closest of friends.
Greg Anderson
167   Posted 20/11/2011 at 18:34:25

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Bottom line: if we start considering the abusive use of the "French" to be "racist" in itself, we trivialize "racism" as an offense, by extending it to a people almost as responsible as Brits for causing all the historical disadvantages and prejudices which made racist discourse possible in the first place.

If Sibson's language is judged to be "racist," we have no special language left to condemn and hopefully end the far more pernicious, historically conditioned use of "paki", "wog", "kike", etc. as terms of abuse. If we flatten the offence of "racism" in this way to include the use of any reference to "nationality" in an abusive context, including "French" or even "British", we completely lose the sense of a distinction between history's victims and history's villains, thereby defeating the whole point of making "racism" an offence in the first place.
Trevor Mackie
168   Posted 20/11/2011 at 18:51:59

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People are looking at ways of defending an insult, it hardly matters the context, swearing and abuse isn't allowed and the only reason it's not enforced more is the practicalities.

If this gentleman sounded off in and got caught, it doesn't make him "not guilty" because others are at it. Try telling the copper who pulls you for speeding that every one speeds and see how far you get.
Dave Roberts
169   Posted 20/11/2011 at 18:30:03

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I left this thread to itself on Friday but came back to it when I noticed it was continuing.

I have nothing else to add except that (and this is especially for the notice of Messrs McGlone and Hudson) like all things humanity makes, the Law has two faces.

When it protects us, it is our friend. When it misguides us, it is a tyrant and there is little that is more tyrannical than bad law.

I do not remember one post in this thread that supports what Mr Sibson said. I think everybody recognizes his misdemeanor. The argument is about the bad law that interpreted what he said skewedly and unjustly. The courts have to abide by the law as Parliament has made it but that does not mean that the law is always good, true and honest.

Law is most often bad law when it tries to do too much in an economy of words and that is the problem with this law. Your views suggest that when we recognize bad law we have to abide by it without question. That would be very dangerous. And you both are even more dangerous if you think it is good law!

The very fact that nationality has got no biological or physical connection with race should be obvious to anybody who does not have a closed mind, eyes to see with and an intellectual spectrum beyond black and white.

Don't presume, either, to think yourselves clever by telling us what the law says because we know what it says. What we are talking about here is the nonsense of what it says....of what you are saying....and the injustice of Mr Sibson's punishment which ensued.

As the Beagle himself said with some justification in his case '...then the law, sir, is an ass!' And sometimes it is.
Mike Allison
170   Posted 20/11/2011 at 19:20:02

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I agree with Greg (168) and think its a really important point.

Trevor, he got caught sure, but how bad is his crime? That's the debate. I don't think anyone's arguing that he's not guilty (not even him) but the differences of opinion are about the level of his offence. Your analogy is also extremely vague, as there's a big difference between doing 40 in a 30 as the schools are letting out and doing 75 on a motorway in good conditions.

Using your analogy, it's like driving 75 mph on the motorway. Many things are technically not allowed, but are, de facto, tolerated as they cause no harm. I think Dave's offence is far closer to being one of these than being a racist insult that should be punishable by law.

If you got pulled over on the motorway for driving 75mph, having been overtaken by half the traffic as they were going faster than you, then you were prosecuted and banned from driving for three years, you'd feel a bit hard-done-by, surely?
Ciarán McGlone
171   Posted 20/11/2011 at 19:23:31

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Thanks for the lecture on law, Dave. I'm sure it'll come in handy sometime. I'll have to tell the next group of Romanians, Poles or Lithuanians I see being abused, that the law that attempts to protects them is 'dangerous'. For me, thread over.
Andy Crooks
172   Posted 20/11/2011 at 19:23:06

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Nick, I need puppets and crayons. Obviously to describe someone as French is not racist. Neither is it racist for me to say my next door neighbour is black. For me to say my next door neighbour is a black bastard is entirely different.

Greg I agree with you to some extent but who decides what's bad and what's a bit of banter? However, compare Dave Sibson's offence with this jaw-dropper quoted in the Sunday Times today:

Argentinian Fifa delegate and close ally of Blatter's, Julio Grondona said, "I do not believe a Jew can ever be a referee. It's hard work and, you know Jews don't like hard work."

Blatter described him as a monumental man and a friend for life.
Mike Allison
173   Posted 20/11/2011 at 20:08:33

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Ciaran, do you consider that what Dave Sibson did is essentially the same thing as what's happening when Northern Irish people abuse Eastern Europeans? I don't think it is.

I think the whole point about context and intent makes a huge difference now that you've raised that. This could become a thread about linguistics all of a sudden, but I'll settle for saying that language itself has no meaning without context and intent, and that it is those things, rather than which actual words are used, that should form the basis of a prosecution.

Shouting "you fucking lazy French bastard" in the heat of the moment in a frustrated football crowd can remain technically against the law, as can driving 75 mph on the motorway, but what gets prosecuted and what doesn't, and what punishments are appropriate, should be based on far more than the specific wording of the law.
Ed Fitzgerald
174   Posted 20/11/2011 at 20:05:36

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Kevin
I think you are very hard on Mr Sibson. I suspect in a moment's frustration he has called Saha a fucking lazy, French Bastard ? he probably isn?t the only Evertonian to have been driven to such expletives by the mercurial Saha. Whilst he is guilty, the punishment will not deter people from engaging in similar types of outbursts.

I actually don?t think the guy is racist, whatsoever the law may deem it otherwise... but then the law is often an ass! All we will have done is pissed off a really good Evertonian by the sounds of it.

If your fiancée works in education then I am afraid she is going to have to get used a lot more industrial language than that, even if it is Year Six.
Kevin Hudson
175   Posted 20/11/2011 at 22:48:27

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A rather obvious pattern has emerged among those who are bewildered at the 3 year ban.

They bleat about context & intent, followed by an insistence that the French are not a race. They cite the respective skin-colour of Ginola & Saha as winnable proof of this, and accuse people of being unable to differentiate between nationality & ethnicity.

They are then helpfully informed that in the context of anti-discrimination legislation, the offending phrase would apply to both players, regardless of racial affiliation.

They then have it explained to them exactly what the law says, only to respond by mutating the argument, claiming that only un-thinking drones accept this, and that the law is a tyrant, and aggrieved, the inevitable phrase ?PC,? enters the dialogue.

Despite them raising some admittedly good arguments, the neon sign is when the inevitable mockery follows: Mark Wilson refers to his dissenters as ?ultimate hypocrites,? then sarcastically, as apparent ?paragons of virtue,? before insinuating that he lives in ?the real world.?

Likewise Nick, who speaks earnestly about ?discussion,? & ?common sense,? before facetiously declaring Ciaran?s sentiment as evidence of a ?6th form debating,? style, followed by a suggestion that hand-puppets & crayons would facilitate understanding of his views.

Those who agree with the law are regarded as trying to occupy a moral high-ground or lacking discernment.

Semantic interpretation & sliding-scale aside, for me, the bottom line is this: Saha got ?lucky.? 20-40 years ago, the offending phrase may have been a lot more ?colourful,? and arguably wouldn?t have generated as much attention.

The fall-out from this case will serve to remind spectators of where the boundaries lie, even if they abhor them.

Mark Wilson
176   Posted 21/11/2011 at 00:52:29

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Kevin Hudson, I'm sure my "world" is no more or less real than yours and I wasn't being sarcastic in relation to my comment about paragons of virtue. On Saturday I heard a number of comments during the game, all of which on the Sibson scale would it seems result in a three year ban from football grounds around the country. Ok, most were directed in a very short time span at a certain guy we like to call "billy" and I did I think, but can't be sure, detect the odd reference to the country of his birth used, as many here seem to recognise, as an identifying reference rather, I feel equally certain, than as some kind of racist taunt. But clearly others feel differently and apparently Mr Sibsons terrible crime may not have served as the deterrent you seem to think it has.

Oh, and those "neon" signs you refer to are just as quick to light up when the world goes PC crazy and loses all sense of proportion. I stand, or in my case sit, by everything I've said above. None of it means that I would in a heartbeat think it ok to abuse people from Poland in the street, nor Travellers, nor the French or of course slant abuse in a way that focus's on a persons colour, disability, sexual preference etc etc. so using this as a way to defend a law that cannot see each "offence" in context and accept mitigation is just wrong. Those here who have in the main defended Mr Sibson and emphasised with his situation are not defenders of racist attitudes or actions in any way, though they may just think that the world has gone quite mad when careful judgement and common sense cannot be joined to produce a more reasoned response.

I have seen people who like me are disabled take this PC route to extremes that defy belief, all in the name of the law and their "rights". Thankfully I have also seen that the law can be balanced and seek "reasonableness" even when the case is seemingly one of those black and white examples. Context matters and none of this is about a form of wooly liberalism. It's just about people's lives and the avoidance of extremes.

So, clearly I'm not going to agree with Ciaran and Kevin and a number of others on the subject of Mr Sibson. It doesn't mean that it's ok to abuse people at the game nor does it in any way excuse anyone focusing that abuse on a player or fans colour. I just think that in this case the law got it wrong and thankfully we live in a real world where we can have our say on that in a free ish kind of fashion.

Now, does anyone have a view on just how much money Davey has to spend in January ?
Jamie Sweet
177   Posted 21/11/2011 at 01:37:21

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I wonder how Saha feels about this. Of the three naughty words used by Mr Sibson, if I were a professional footballer, I would be most offended by the term "lazy".
Tony J Williams
178   Posted 21/11/2011 at 11:19:10

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Jamie, the interesting fact is that the likelihood of Saha actually hearing the comment is miniscule - it was the, I have to assume, English supporters around him who placed the complaint with the steard/police.

The law is indeed an ass sometimes, especially in cases of strict liability but to be labled a rascist because he called Saha a "Fucking Lazy French Bastard" is a bit harsh.

What about the Scottish Rooney, he has been called everything when he played for us and again since he re-signed, is that to viewed as rascism?
Dickie Langley
179   Posted 21/11/2011 at 14:33:23

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After some thought, I think he should have been banned if he were near the kids/family areas for swearing. The word "French" seems only to be used to make it clear which of the lazy bastards on the team he was talking about.

I believe, in this case, the law is an ass. But I'm not bothered enough to wage a campaign to get it changed.

And Suarez/Terry/anyone else shouldn't be banned for years in my opinion, in the same way that sometimes people don't get a driving ban if their livelihood depends on it. But I haven't read the law, and I'm not a solicitor (which is why you get my opinion for free).
Mike Allison
180   Posted 22/11/2011 at 17:26:07

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The law might well be a good one, as Ciaran pointed out when referring to the way it can protect Eastern European immigrants who are abused systematically, aggressively and at close and intimidatory quarters on the grounds of their nationality, but that doesn't mean it was intended to apply to things like the Sibson case.

In the 'Ciaran' case, the nationality of the immigrants is being used to distinguish them in very similar terms to the way race is, and was a lot in the past. This means the law should refer to nationality, but doesn't mean that every reference to nationality should have this law applied to it.

Kevin, why is pointing out the importance of context and intent 'bleating'? Its absolutely vital in any use of language, as I said before, language has no meaning without it. And are you telling us that the French are a race? You seem to be in the way you imply derision for those of us who hold that opinion. In which case what is your definition of race, and why does the law point out both race and nationality if they are the same thing?
Kevin Hudson
181   Posted 22/11/2011 at 19:18:54

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Mike,

Section 28 of the Crime and Disorder Act, 1998:

"In this section, racial group means a group of persons defined by reference to race, colour, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins."

Hope that clears it up.

Mike Allison
182   Posted 22/11/2011 at 21:44:14

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No Kevin, it doesn't! And if you think it does, we're operating on completely different wavelengths.

You clearly haven't got my point and I have no idea why you've quoted the above at me. (Please see my above points about the exact wording of the law not being the most important thing when deciding what to prosecute and how severely to punish - its in 173)

I'll try asking the questions again:

Are you telling me the French are a race? My answer is that they are not. Is yours that they are?

Why does the law point out race, colour and nationality as different things if they are the same thing? My answer is that it makes no claim to make distinctions or conflations but does so in order to be inclusive of any abuse so that we are able to prosecute people when they need prosecuting. Without this inclusiveness people might be able to defend themselves on a technicality by saying they weren't 'racially' abusing someone, but bantering on the basis of nationality. The inclusiveness of this wording means the law technically applies to lots of things that aren't actually very nasty and it isn't in the public interest to prosecute. Prosecutions should be based on the judgements of the police and the CPS who would take context and intent into consideration in making their decisions. My view is that in the Dave Sibson case, while he technically violated the letter of the law, that law does not exist to deal with the situation he found himself in, and that common sense should have kicked long before public money was spent taking him to court and he was given what I consider to be a completely disproportionate punishment. (See speeding analogies above).
Kevin Hudson
183   Posted 23/11/2011 at 00:08:04

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Mike,

Clearly Louis Saha & David Ginola wouldn?t claim to share racial affiliation, although mitochondrial dna and Y chromosomes may ultimately link all of us back to a distant East African origin!

Here?s what I know: The witness statements alleged his behaviour was offensive throughout the match, hence the original complaint. Apparently, the presiding Judge (Fletcher) struggled to get his head around the fact that Mr Sibson would give Saha a hard time in the first place! With, from memory, words to the effect of: ?Surely you?re purpose is to support the player, not shout abuse at him,? - which gives you some probable clue as to exactly how many times HE?S frequented a football ground?

Judge Fletcher determined that not only were the comments offensive but racially aggravated DUE to the reference to the player?s national origin. (Re: the broad definition of Section 28). He also was satisfied Sibson?s behaviour met the criteria to warrant a banning order.

Obviously, a well-publicised example was made of him, in part, to discourage public tolerance of such language, so that for example another spectator, or even a group joined in with vocalised references to the player?s nationality. In short, it is ultimately geared towards deterring large numbers of people chanting ?You French Bastard,? etc.

The law DOES exist to deal with the OFFENCE. There are also specific Policing guidelines for dealing with Public Order offences inside & outside football stadia. In this case, all the prosecution had to do is establish that the offence occurred, the language was abusive, but it had to prove that it was because of their player?s colour, nationality, or indeed race. I believe Mr Sibson admitted to TWO counts of abusing Mr Saha.
Nick Entwistle
184   Posted 23/11/2011 at 00:09:22

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I?ve noticed you stand behind the words of Judge Fletcher, Kevin, as he ?determined that not only were the comments offensive but racially aggravated DUE to the reference to the player?s national origin?.

But you provide us with a non-argument because Mr Sibson pleaded guilty (to avoid a harsher punishment) BEFORE the judge?s summation. The judge in this case can only accept the guilty plea.

I wasn't going to add further to this debate but the important word within section 28 you cite is 'reference' to nationality.

OK this is from Wiki, but it states...

(The word) Reference...retaining the basic meaning of the original Latin as "a point, place or source of origin". Because of its meaning, the word reference? adopt[s] shades of meaning particular to the contexts in which it is used...but, other concrete and abstract contexts exist as methods of defining references within the scope of the various fields that require an origin, point of departure, or an original form.

Bearing this in mind, something those in the ?Guilty? camp have not accepted / acknowledged and dodged frequently despite the numerous efforts, is this?

1) Reference (point of origin) to cite a Frenchman?s nationality in a slur is based on an Anglo-French rivalry dating back centuries due to war.
The Entente Cordial was only signed just over 100 years ago bringing to an end of close to a thousand years of near constant aggression. This rivalry on the battlefield is within the DNA of every French and Englishman. (OK, I made that bit up but if Simon Schama said it, it would sound brilliant!)

That there is your reference point of origin.

2) Reference to e.g. a Pakistani?s nationality in a slur is due to the centuries of colonial oppression, enslavement. The ?point of departure? for any would be abusers to level racist insult in the UK suffered by immigrant generations.

So as we can see nationality is included under section 28 only due to a potential to single out race, not because citing nationality itself is racist.

Yes both slurs are offensive but to different degrees due to the different reasons. It is not a sliding scale, as they are on different scales.

This is why Mr Sibson was not being racist. This is why a white man is not citing an overwhelmingly white country as way of being racist to a black man.

Sounds like a Python sketch!

In reply I?ll probably receive ?A nice piece of home-work from the Simon Shama of ToffeeWeb. Bringing out his dictionary definition, presuming to know the context to which Dave Sibson intended. The law is there, I?ll tell the Poles and Lithuanians they?re lucky not to be French? etc etc etc. Obviously that?s not you Kevin!

But that?s my ?puppet and crayon? explanation. It?s as obvious as evolution vs creationism. If that can?t persuade you, a dogma is hindering what is obvious.

Of course, I could be subject to a dogmatic belief my self. So until someone stops dismissing/ dodging these arguments, tackles them specifically and pushes their own, I won?t know.

And as much as it was interesting, Kevin, the case periphery and Police guidelines on public disorder don?t tell us at all why he?s racist.

You say ?all the prosecution had to do is establish that the offence occurred? that it was because of their player?s colour, nationality, or indeed race?.

But if you plead guilty to racist abuse, you don?t then go and explain the context of why you aren?t. I hope I have.
Phil Bellis
185   Posted 23/11/2011 at 00:58:50

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Right...enough's enough
Answer the question you legalists..
What was/is wrong/illegal with
"fuck off Rush, yer ugly, big-nosed, Welsh, kopite turncoat twat!".
Jamie Sweet
186   Posted 23/11/2011 at 01:07:44

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Every word looks justifiable and / or true, and therefore entirely legal to me Phil.
Mike Allison
187   Posted 23/11/2011 at 17:21:54

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Kevin it seems you know more about the specific case than me, and I accept that for all I know Dave Sibson could be a horrible vicious racist or the sweetest, nicest most tolerant man in the world.

My contributions have been based on a belief that what he said in itself is not a racist comment. It could be that the circumstances of the case aggravate what he said because it was the culmination of a prolonged use of abusive language on his part. I would still consider his punishment disproportionate, even if I could be persuaded that he had done something more seriously wrong than I've assumed in previous posts.

I'm happy to leave this where it is, with one final point that I wonder if we agree on. I would consider that if Dave Sibson had shouted that Saha was "a fucking lazy black bastard" then that would have been a far worse offence and deserving of far more punishment than the phrase "a fucking lazy, French bastard", even though the law would seem to apply equally to both of them. I see this as a problem that needs to be countered with common sense decision-making by the police and CPS, and possibly a magistrate or judge, otherwise the law is worded incorrectly.
Ciarán McGlone
188   Posted 24/11/2011 at 09:54:43

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"These ones are small........ but the ones out there are far away".

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