The was an amusing moment during the recent Stone Roses press conference to announce their reunion when acerbic lead singer Ian Brown responded to a query from a Daily Mail journalist by shooting back: “let me ask you a question: how does it feel to write for the ‘paper that supported Hitler?”
We could soon have another question to ask Mail reporters: “how does it feel to write for the paper that thinks racism should be ignored?” This relates to a piece written by Mail scribe Steve Doughty that appeared on the Mail website on Monday regarding the ongoing Terry-Ferdinand and Suarez-Evra sagas.
So that you need not offend your eyes by visiting the website and reading the piece, we can sum it up as follows: things are worse abroad (specifically: Spain), things were worse in the 70s and 80s, it’s not that bad now really so Ferdinand, Evra et al should just get over it and just “get on with the game”.
Yes, it’s true. A national newspaper actually published an article that suggested the victims of (alleged) racism should “get over it”. The. Mind. Boggles.
The ignorance, the arrogance, the complacency, the ridiculous generalisations within the article make you wonder if it’s not a joke. A satirical The Onion-style mockery of our red-tops. It’s clear to anyone who’s not an idiot that one of the reasons that racism is no longer as prevalent as it once was is because it is not tolerated. It is complained about. If everyone did as the Mail said – just put up with it and got on with it – then the problems would be as bad as they were decades ago.
Whether or not Terry or Suarez did make racist remarks is unknown at the moment, but if they did then they should not be exonerated simply because it doesn’t happen very much anymore. Likewise Ferdinand and Evra should not be chastised for raising the issue. This is an attitude that will take us backward after making so many strides forward. Racism isn’t completely gone from the game or the country. If we want it eradicated then we cannot take the Daily Mail’s “keep calm, carry on and shut up” attitude to heart.
The Daily Mail article suggests they want people to keep quiet about racism, but we have to hope those who suffer racist abuse – or hear it, or observe it – keep reporting it and keep complaining. No one should tolerate it and no one should keep quiet. Let’s do all we can to rid this from the football and the country as a whole while we’re at it. Then maybe players can “get on with the game”.