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Everton ban supporter for Twitter abuse

21/06/2014  Comments (52)  jump
Everton FC have taken the unprecedented step of banning a fan for racial and homophobic abuse of a fellow supporter on Twitter.

The club were alerted to tweets by the unnamed fan directed towards Ric Wee, the Malaysian Evertonian who became famous when, after travelling thousands of miles for his first match at Goodison Park, the game was cancelled by hurricane force winds last February.

In a written letter, Dave Lewis, Everton's Head of Security and Stadium Safety, explained:

Everton Football Club does not welcome those who display such homophobic and racist views and to that end the decision has been made to ban you from attending all Everton FC matches until further notice. In accordance with our normal practice this ban may be reviewed annually in the event that you submit a written request after 20 June 2015.

Reader Comments (52)

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Dan McKie
1 Posted 21/06/2014 at 22:04:05
Sets a pretty dangerous precedent for the club to go getting involved in pathetic twitter arguments if you ask me. Publicity stunt most likely as it was against Ric Wee.
John Gee
2 Posted 21/06/2014 at 22:04:15
I’m in no way a "politically correct" person but I applaud this action. This guy has flown half way across the world to support his team and to get that kind of abuse is shameful.

Well done, Everton, and I hope that Twitter twat realises he is a bell-end of the highest order and changes his ways.

Dennis Stevens
3 Posted 21/06/2014 at 22:24:28
Is the term "daft tiddly wink" racist or homophobic? It’s not a term of abuse I’m familiar with.
Lyndon Lloyd
4 Posted 21/06/2014 at 22:32:46
Racist, Dennis. "Tiddly Wink" is cockney rhyming slang.
Dave Kelly
5 Posted 21/06/2014 at 22:04:16
I wholeheartedly agree with the actions taken by the club. All forms of discrimination need to be challenged and dealt with. We have come a long way from the dark and distant days when we had a reputation as a racist club.

My only concern would be the due process in dealing with any supporters who may step out of line. It may well surprise fans to hear that in many instances the club is the judge, jury and executioner. Supporters have no right to appeal or a hearing.

I have personally made representation to the club on behalf of supporters who have had spurious and malicious allegations made against them with very little or no substance.

The unelected and undemocratic Everton Fans Forum does a dis-service to our supporters and should be campaigning for a fair and just process for fans.

So take a pat on the back Mr Lewis, I support you 100% in your efforts to eliminate discrimination but before we can rejoice we need to introduce an appeals system.

Chris Lawlor
6 Posted 21/06/2014 at 22:47:55
Well done, Everton. Proud that our club is taking a progressive stance against this type of puerile ignorance. Root them out and keep them out.
Denis Richardson
7 Posted 21/06/2014 at 22:52:49
While I applaud the club in punishing the fan, I'm not really sure how you enforce a stadium ban. At the end of the day, no-one checks who you are when you enter the ground... so do stadium bans mean anything?

In saying that, I guess there's not much else the club could do.

Dave Kelly
8 Posted 21/06/2014 at 22:57:13
Denis Richardson: I suspect that you are one of our overseas supporters. To purchase a ticket for an Everton game you require a Customer Reference Number or someone with one to purchase it for you.

No Cust Ref Number = No ticket.

Denis Richardson
9 Posted 21/06/2014 at 23:02:06
Hi Dave, whilst I now live in Germany I've been to many Everton games in my time and still try to make most of the London away ones every year.

What you say is correct (I also have a customer ref number). However, what I meant was that if anyone wanted to get into an Everton game and they were 'banned', then all they have to do is simply get a mate to buy them the ticket – no-one will check at the ground who they are...

Chris Lawlor
10 Posted 21/06/2014 at 23:02:41
In fairness to Dennis's point, he could buy a ticket under his customer number and simply give me the ticket to enter GP. There are no ID checks so in I go with his ticket. It's a tough thing to enforce without stricter entry processes. Not that we want entering the ground to mirror a security check at the airport...
Ant Dwyer
11 Posted 22/06/2014 at 00:34:50
I think being banned from the stadium is just our way of saying we do not support or condone this man’s actions.
Drew O'Neall
12 Posted 22/06/2014 at 01:05:59
Dennis 3 / Lyndon

Was 'daft tiddly-wink' the full extent of the abuse?

Ant Dwyer
13 Posted 22/06/2014 at 01:17:43
No Drew, he went on to call him a nonce and tell him he hoped his plane crashed on the way home plus calling him a cock-eyed Jap!!!
The man’s a total arsehole and needs to be banned as up-and-coming blues who sit near this nob in our home ground will think shouts like this are the norm after a season of sitting by him!!!
Dennis Stevens
14 Posted 22/06/2014 at 01:21:10
No Drew, the other comments made were more than enough to justify the ban - even without bringing the fine sport of tiddlywinks into disrepute.
Phil Sammon
15 Posted 22/06/2014 at 08:21:46
The guy's clearly a tosser and I don't think he'll be missed at GP. However, it's a bit of a worrying precedent the club have set by getting involved in personal affairs. How long before they ban YOU for saying something they don't like.
Paul Mackie
16 Posted 22/06/2014 at 08:31:54
Phil - The guy was on Twitter using a username with EFC in it. If I was in charge of Everton (be glad I'm not, I'm even poorer than Bill) then I'd also take action against someone spouting racist nonsense that could come up on a twitter search for 'EFC'.

Plus how dumb do you have to be to post stuff like that on Twitter or any other public medium? There's been several cases in the news about this kind of thing for years now.

Andrew Ellams
17 Posted 22/06/2014 at 09:59:58
These people obviously have serious issues. I mean, why?
Eugene Ruane
19 Posted 22/06/2014 at 09:40:53
Great stuff, well done Everton.

Changing society's more questionable opinions is a slow process but vigilance and taking action like this does work.

And how do I know it works?

Racism and homophobia seemed perfectly acceptable when I was a kid – on television, in pubs, at the match, in magazines, even in Westminster.

Brave (imo) people decided 'enough!' and decided to speak out and say 'this is not right.'

And despite the desperate 'arguments' of those who were happy with the status quo, ie: 'it's only a joke" (which later became 'it's political correctness gone mad'), changes did happen.

There are of course people who think it was better back then but they tend to be frustrated nob-heads.

Ray Roche
20 Posted 22/06/2014 at 10:28:07
Drew, have a look at the extent of his abuse here:

James Marshall
21 Posted 22/06/2014 at 10:27:05
It does set a precedent, a positive one for stamping out this sort of rubbish. Of course a ban is the right thing to do.

To Denis (I think it was) above talking about needing a customer reference number to go to games – that's not true, mate. You can buy a ticket face value from loads of sites and don't need any sort of ID or reference number. You just buy the tickets with a credit or debit card and pick them up – the card doesn't have to be yours and you don't get asked for any ID other than the card the ticket was bought on, so this guy could still go to games.

James Marshall
22 Posted 22/06/2014 at 10:36:37
Unless you're talking about buying a season ticket, which I guess you must be. As you were!

John Daley
23 Posted 22/06/2014 at 11:19:42
Whilst the incident itself and the individual concerned are obviously deserving of condemnation, I can't help but feel the club have gone wading in where they weren't needed here.

If you're going to start banning supporters for things said away from the ground then it's the start of a stupid and slippery slope. Now, if I were to idiotically add in there something along the lines of: 'a bit like Gok Wan greasing up his 6 inch high heels in order to get his left leg in his latex gimp suit' then that statement could see me accused of racism, homophobia and meff mockery. Should it therefore leave me facing a lifetime ban from fucking Sainsburys for slurs against the speccy fashion gadge who advertises their goods, even though the offence didn't occur in, or anywhere near, one of their stores?

We all know such small minded slurs need stamping out, and anyone stupid enough to spout that shite in public, or online (where they seem to think normal rules of society don't apply) gets no sympathy from me, but surely there was no reason at all for the club to get directly involved here.

The statements were made on Twitter, thus the imbecile concerned should face sanctions from them and probable investigation from the police. Everton have no part to play here and there move comes across as a bit of attention grabbing attempt. 'Hey, look how firm our stance and how proactively we pursue the perpetrators of personal abuse on any and every media platform'. Sorry, but you're a football club, not fucking Dog the Bounty Hunter.

Unless it was done during an Everton game, in the ground or the general vicinity of the ground, or on Everton's own website, in the club shop or at an Everton hosted event, then they should be staying out of such matters, surely?

We all know some of the stick people closely connected to the club come in for on here. Although it doesn't stoop to the level of racist/sexist/homophobic abuse it does often involve personal slights against the individual. Now the club have set the precedent, how long until it progresses to trying to dish out bans to supporters posting anything they deem as derogatory or distasteful on a public forum?

nb: my wife is Chinese-Malay and is totally bemused at the way her countryman, Rik Wee, seems to have become fairly well known amongst Evertonians by sheer virtue of (in her words) 'a bit of bloody wind'.

Jim Knightley
24 Posted 22/06/2014 at 12:06:15
Why is there this prevailing notion that banning someone for using racist/homophobic language will lead to people being banned for criticising the club or using 'derogatory or distasteful' comments? There is a clear difference between the two, and the former should not be ignored because of irrational fears over a dystopian crackdown on free speech.

These are Everton fans, and indeed one particular high profile Everton fan because of events last season, involving Everton. These are not comments about unrelated matters and unrelated people, but linked, however vaguely, to the club. I completely back this action, because that is what is needed to overcome racist and homophobic narratives, which are still all too prominent in football. I would go so far as to say that everyone criticising the club's action risks implicitly accepting the normativity of the remarks.

I would ask some questions to those criticising the club's actions: Why should Twitter be dislocated from the football club? Are racist/homophobic comments not potentially more damaging on social media, where they can be read by thousands of people (or more), than when it happens in a stadium? If the person involved had racially abused Distin or Kone on Twitter, would you also argue that he should not be banned from the stadium? Or is it okay to abuse another fan, but not a footballer?

Social media is an intrinsic part of our lives, and of social discourses. If you allow homophobic and racist remarks to continue, then their normativity is promoted whether intentionally or unintentionally. I'm glad my club has taken this action, because it demonstrates that we do not accept this kind of behaviour. The kind of behaviour implicitly promoted by the Liverpool team's unfaltering support of Suarez through the tee-shirt performance, and the lack of condemnation even after Suarez has been found guilty.

Kevin Tully
25 Posted 22/06/2014 at 12:25:33
I agree with everything you say Jim. I cannot stand the fact that these morons have a means to abuse someone because they have access to the internet.

My only concern now is that how the club react to every complaint they receive regarding abuse on these sites. Surely the best course of action would have been to report it to the police, let them deal with it, then ban the fool if he's found guilty (Which of course he is)

The fact the club have decided upon his guilt for what is now a crime, is the part of this that makes me think it should have handled differently. Remember the guy who was banned for abusing Saha? He only received his ban after he was convicted in a court. Due process should to be followed in any criminal case, no matter how guilty the accused may seem at the outset.

The club shouldn't be bogged down in these issues, it should be left to the police and the courts. I could call someone something I shouldn't on here, how can a football club deal with that?

Matt Traynor
26 Posted 22/06/2014 at 14:42:30
Kevin #25, I may have this wrong being overseas, but I thought after one of the recent Twitter cases, the police have said they will no longer deal with it unless it is serious (threats to life or something?)

Because otherwise, as Twitter seems to be largely populated by tosspots, Plod would be forever chasing down them and not catching the real criminals (you know, politicians and the like).

Eric Myles
27 Posted 22/06/2014 at 15:11:56
Jim #24 — "Why is there this prevailing notion that banning someone for using racist/homophobic language will lead to people being banned for criticising the club."

The Club have previous for banning fans for criticising them already: Richard Knights and banning AGMs spring to mind immediately along with controlling who's allowed to attend the recently reconstituted AGM.

Kevin Tully
28 Posted 22/06/2014 at 15:16:47
Matt – I can't honestly say if this 'supporter' has broken any laws, but some of these loons have been recently jailed for posting offensive/ racist/ homophobic material on the likes of Twitter or Facebook.

Here's two here;

Ray Roche
29 Posted 22/06/2014 at 15:53:30
I guess if this dickhead hadn't included (tagged?) the club in his stupid message, nothing would have happened.
Mike Gaynes
30 Posted 22/06/2014 at 15:52:58
John #23, I disagree that this kind of action is necessarily the start of a "stupid and slippery slope" in which the club will "progress" to banning anyone it chooses. You seem to view that over-the-top approach as not only possible but inevitable. But the argument against taking appropriate action because it could someday go too far simply isn't valid in my opinion.

Jim #24 has it right. Every action has to be viewed in perspective. And the perspective here is a football club doing the right thing for the right reasons. I applaud both the principle and the action taken.

John Daley
31 Posted 22/06/2014 at 17:30:21
Mike, you say it has to be put in perspective, which is fair enough, but the perspective only remains unshifting if you believe the incident is to be taken in isolation.

The club have basically set a precedent of involving themselves in online disputes between supporters, who have no official connection to the club, where one of the parties has been subjected to personal abuse.

It wasn't a transgression against a player, club official or employee or even a supporter in or around the ground. It didn't occur on an Everton website or on the clubs own Twitter page. It was abuse dished out online by one odious guy who just happens to be an Evertonian, to another guy who just happens to be an Evertonian.

Both men might possess a shared love of soft rock shitefest 'In the air tonight' and believe 'Buster' to be the best film ever made, but does that mean Phil Collins should step in and ban the offending party from attending any of his future gigs (if he ever gets any)?

Are the club going to take similar action again in cases they believe comparable? Well, they've done it once. It's to be expected of them now. If they're not, then why not? Will they seek to confine it to cases where the abuse has racial connotations? How can they? Are they really in a position to make arbitrary distinctions between different forms of online abuse, the severity of said abuse and any suffering caused to supporters by that abuse?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not seeking to defend the abuser in this story. I just feel the club have stepped into a minefield by making such a gesture, no matter how honourable their intentions may be.

For me, whilst the outcome here is ultimately to be applauded (one less racist gobshite at Goodison on match days), it isn't the clubs place to be policing any Twitter account other than their own.

The police themselves have power to investigate and deal with abuse aimed at individuals on social media sites and do actively utilise those powers in instances where complaints are of a racial or sexual manner.

They're the ones who should be dealing with matters of this nature and making decisions as to guilt and appropriate punishment, not a football club.

Mike Gaynes
35 Posted 22/06/2014 at 19:51:56
John, I couldn't disagree more. Perspective isn't just about who responds to the offense, whether it's the police or the club. It's about the punishment as well. They're not taking away the man's right to make a living, or his personal freedom, or even his right to post more vicious bile. They're just telling him that he cannot bring his hate to Goodison Park. They're saying that a man who publishes such crap is not welcome in their house. What could be more simple or principled?

Your post goes on and on about the precedent and says almost nothing about the principle. I consider principle far more important. I'm proud that the club does too.

Patrick Murphy
36 Posted 22/06/2014 at 20:07:57
I think that you have to take the view that the offence was given to a high profile supporter and therefore the club felt that it was duty bound to take some action, I don't believe the club would have been so inclined to publicise their actions if the supporter had been less high profile - that's not to say they wouldn't have taken the same action regardless of who was the recipient of the abuse. Remember the Season Ticket belongs to the club and they can impose a ban anytime and for whatever reason they deem fitting it's clearly defined in their terms and conditions. Therefore I don't believe that any precedent has been set.
Kieran Riding
37 Posted 22/06/2014 at 20:57:29
Does the club have a stance on telling Clarke Carlise and Adrain Chiles that they are stealing a living on ITV ?
Trevor Thompson
38 Posted 23/06/2014 at 14:12:12
Personally, I'm proud of our club taking such a stance regarding racism. Idiots like that are not welcome at Everton. Good Riddance!
Derek Turner
39 Posted 23/06/2014 at 14:48:41
Classless moron, he would fit in well over the park. Well done EFC.
Jamie Yates
40 Posted 23/06/2014 at 20:56:19
I've got a feeling this was the same character who sent me a couple of mildly abusive tweets in response to an innocuous Everton related tweet that I posted the other day. I looked through his Twitter feed at the time and it made for despicable reading including abusive comments in relation to Ric Wee. I actually blocked him from any further contact and in doing so reported the abusive content of his account direct to Twitter.

Obviously no idea if it actually is the same bloke or not, but I've just seen that our brief exchange has since vanished from my notifications page and his account appears to have been deactivated.

Anyway, good on Everton for taking a stand. Us Evertonians are well known for their active online presence – mainly in a positive sense I like to think – and any efforts to stamp out clowns like this are more than welcome as far as I'm concerned.

Richard Lyons
41 Posted 23/06/2014 at 21:38:58
Eugene #19 – couldn't have put it better myself, and I'm pleased to read so many comments supporting the club's commendable actions. Makes me proud to be an Evertonian, and a Toffewebber.
Peter Lee
42 Posted 23/06/2014 at 22:03:58
Where does the abuse of our former manager on this site as "a (insulting expletive/adjective) presbo" sit in all of this?
Peter Lee
44 Posted 23/06/2014 at 23:11:40
It asked where these kind of judgements/comments leave those who have abused our former manager as "a (offensive expletive/adjective presto"?
Patrick Murphy
45 Posted 23/06/2014 at 23:15:28
I can see why your previous post disappeared Peter.
Peter Lee
46 Posted 23/06/2014 at 23:15:19
Should have been "presbo" of course. It was in the first post, auto-correct!!

I recall one of the posters helpfully explaining that it was short for Presbyterian.

Brian Wilkinson
47 Posted 23/06/2014 at 23:59:33
Some are saying he buy a ticket under a different name, has anyone heard of an account being hacked or the guy being phrapped, not defending the guy just that they need to be 100 per cent certain it was the guy and if in no doubt then fair play for the banning order.
Eugene Ruane
48 Posted 24/06/2014 at 00:05:50
Peter Lee – "It asked where these kind of judgements/comments leave those who have abused our former manager as "a (offensive expletive/adjective) presbo"?

One is an insult based on a multi-millionaire's miserable demeanour – allowed because the man in question has the choice whether to be a miserable (two-faced) twat or not.

One is a racist/homophobic insult – not allowed because nobody gets to choose their ethnicity or sexuality (so insulting someone because of either is plainly wrong).

Same reason possibly why you might get away with 'You lazy twat' but not 'you lazy French twat.'

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