Thursday, 2 May 2013

The beautiful game

There are many things that I do not enjoy about football in this country.

I don't like the demi-god status that players have, which entitles them to do and behave in ways which are at best anti-social and at worst sociopathic.

I do not enjoy the ridiculous amounts of money the demi-gods are paid - regardless of whether they play well or not.

I do not enjoy the rampant misogyny which prevails from the top to the bottom of the industry.

And I most certainly do not enjoy the inability of anyone to deal with the inherent, institutionalised racism that is prevalent within footballing circles both high and low.

A ridiculous story may have escaped your attention in the news this week amongst all the other stories of terror and torment which relates to the PFA Awards which were held on Sunday evening.

There was already a fair amount of controversy surrounding the event before it took place, as one of the players nominated for Player of the Year is a certain Luis Suarez, who you may, or may not know, is a huge racist who bites people.

But that’s another story altogether.
The story which really would have shocked you was one which appeared after the ceremony (Bitey Racist didn’t win for those not in the know) in which the PFA Chairman felt it necessary to apologise and express his “dismay” at the set performed by the comedian booked to perform at the awards – Reginald D Hunter.

Reginald D Hunter performed a set which seems to have been like every other set he’s played – if you don’t know the name you probably will have seen him on one of the many panel shows he has appeared on. His comedy might not be to everyone’s tastes, he’s close to bone, he doesn’t mince his words and he sets out to make you feel uncomfortable and address the uncomfortable truth.
However it would appear that the PFA didn’t know who Reginald D Hunter was – as  this set appeared to be shocking, especially that the comedian known for tackling race issues, went ahead and tackled race issues.

Ironically by coming out and denouncing Reginald D Hunter’s set, Carlisle has actually succeeded in highlighting the institutional racism within the PFA, who have done the equivalent of proclaiming that “some of my best friends are black” choosing a black comedian, any black comedian, to prove that they’re not racist at all.
It is embarrassing and cringeworthy.

If the PFA want us to really believe they are determined to Kick Out Racism they should Kick Out those players who are found guilty of committing racist offences. An X number of matches ban is not an appropriate punishment for racism. Don’t believe me? Go to work and be racist and see if you get sent home for a few days. My bet is you get sent home permanently. (Also try and bite one of your colleagues and see how that goes down.)
You do not prove you are determined to stamp out racism by denouncing a comedian for performing his normal set. You stamp out racism by actually punishing those found guilty of being racist.


Reginald D Hunter has put up these photos of the after party at the PFA Awards – if you need a laugh (and you probably do after reading this rant) you should look at the photos and read the captions...


  1. I think this whole 'biting' thing is frankly disgusting. That player should be sacked, not just sent to sit in the corner whilst the others play.
    Likewise the racism issue. I generally dislike football, the disgusting amount of money the players are paid, and the fact that they are allowed to behave this way towards each other and then be rewarded with more money makes me sick.

  2. Good for RDH; I think he's great. I completely agree with you about ineffectual match bans for making racist comments. If you did that in any other profession you'd be up for getting the sack.

    Carlile's line "We need to address what kind of prepping we gave him beforehand" is hilarious - it just shows the PFA have absolutely no idea.

  3. I used to love football, in the days were they got a whopping £100k a year. But now I find it embarrassing. The biting thing is deplorable. He should be facing an assault charge. Hope the other fella has had a rabies/tetanus shot.
    The racism won't change until the powers that be do.

  4. It does beggar belief, doesn't it, how footballers (probably other high-level sports too) seem to have to adhere to very different standards from the rest of us.

    See also homophobia in football. Urgh to the lot of em.


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