Wednesday, November 24, 2004

A sense of proportion

I was pleased to read that the racial abuse dished out to Birmingham's Dwight Yorke at Ewood Park at the weekend has been swiftly and severely dealt with, the main culprit - one Jason Perryman - being hit with a £1000 fine and banned from all grounds for five years. Apparently, Mr Perryman "became aware of a nationwide appeal the next day and went to police when he was shown a videotape of the incident" - how noble of him.

In making the complaint, Yorke had the backing of his manager Steve Bruce and chairman David Gold - but not the club's co-owner, porn baron David Sullivan, who claimed: "It's been blown out of all proportion - I heard absolutely nothing. If it's three out of 22,000 who make racist comments then it's not very nice. You have to pick up on it and ban those people from the ground but I just can't believe that it's that big a deal".

Not only, then, did he refuse to support the player, thereby undermining manager and chairman in the process, he also trivialised the incident, unforgivable in any climate let alone that post-Spain friendly. Birmingham fan Pete complains that Sullivan was effectively bullied into saying what he did by a Radio 5 journalist, but that by no means excuses his comments. Racism needs to be combatted at all levels of the game regardless of the scale on which it occurs - it's a cancer and cancers have to be cut out.

Further proof, as if it were needed, that there are some complete cunts involved in Premiership clubs behind the scenes - Sullivan fits in nicely alongside the likes of Rupert Lowe, Peter Kenyon and our very own Fat Freddie, not forgetting those in the Hall of Infamy (Alan Sugar, Ken Bates).

Update: Pete has clarified his thoughts about Sullivan - check out the comments box below and this follow-up post on his blog. Apologies for implying - as the above post does - that Sullivan was hectored into making the original comments. He wasn't - they were utterly unprovoked, and Pete wasn't defending him for making them. Sullivan was, however, hectored into saying Yorke could leave if he wanted to, and this is what Pete took objection to. Just to clear that up.


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