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Watch yer gob, la

I'm personally astounded by the sentence David Sibson has received. The confirmation of a three-year ban and £300 fine seems way out of proportion to me. And this surely has massive implications for not only what spectators at the game are allowed to say by way of critique, but also what fans may say when writing to sites such as this.

While I accept that what he admitted to was mildly offensive, calling a French player French and having that labeled as 'racist' must be seriously concerning to most people. I can't help wondering if the fact that Louis Saha is a black man of French origin has contributed to the astounding racist element that was entered into in the complaint and upheld by the judge.

And what does this now mean for your average Joe spectator who witnesses poor football or lack of effort from any player of (presumably) non-English origin? Are they to hold back their frustration for fear of inflicting offensive and racially aggravated abuse?!? Simply astounding.

Michael Kenrick     Posted 25/03/2011 at 15:11:53

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Nick Entwistle
1   Posted 25/03/2011 at 15:33:31

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I'd be amazed if Mr Sibson ever chose to return to the club. And I wouldn't blame him.
Jimmy Sorheim
2   Posted 25/03/2011 at 15:33:43

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That is the most shameful thing I have ever heard of. Who is this judge to give monetary fines for an angry impulsive call? I am ashamed of the treatment and the example this sets to every Everton supporter.
Larry Boner
3   Posted 25/03/2011 at 15:37:02

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Race is defined as, for instance, being Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, Afro Carribean etc. Being French, or English, or American, or Irish is a nationality. You can be Asian, but born in Scotland, so you can be a Scot, Hispanic, born in America, you are American.

If the thought police have now decided that it is racist to call a footballer a cheating scouser, or a mental Scotsman, then I am afraid that Goodison Park would be a hollow shell for every game, because I have certainly vented my spleen on the likes of Gerrard, or Dave McKay, Billy Bremner and a thousand others over the years.

What I have never done is scream racist shite like a lot of brain-dead idiots have and still do, some of them sitting near to me. If Mr Sibson has only shouted what a lot of us have over the course of this season, then I think he has grounds for an appeal.

Everton, as I have said before on another thread, are only being selective in their actions to give the impression they are on top of racists at the game, make an example of one guy to dissuade others. If what Mr Sibson says is true, then I would be pretty pissed off if it was me, being accused of racism, surely slanderous?

I must say, that this season I have basically given up on the screaming, mainly sitting through the whole game with my head in my hands... I don't even shout at the referees any more.

Terence Leong
4   Posted 25/03/2011 at 15:49:38

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This is a sticky issue, and I agree with Michael that if Saha was of a different ethnic group, the issue would have been different.

At the same time, Michael, I think it might be too casual to say just because fans are frustrated entitles them to shout any kind of abuse. While being overly politically correct doesn't really solve anything, it is important that people learn that speak responsibly.

If the name calling was just "you lazy bastard", I don't think it would have been an issue. Also, if he was called "lazy French bastard" in jest as the team and fans celebrate another victory, then it is again another issue.

Just like the fact that all of us makes racist jokes, as banter to friends about their time-keeping, intelligence etc. But those are done in a different context.

Tony J Williams
5   Posted 25/03/2011 at 15:58:38

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I have to wonder if Saha was white if this would have gone as far as it has?

As Larry above states, it's not racist to bad mouth a nationality, Xenophobic perhap.

Who gets the £300? I'm sure Louis didn't even know about it until it was in the papers, so he couldn't have been offended by the comment.
Michael Kenrick
6   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:04:45

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Tony, I think the fine is levied as punishment of the criminal for committing the crime, not as damages to compensate the offended ones.
Phil Bellis
7   Posted 25/03/2011 at 15:57:10

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Some years ago, an altercation broke out in Gwladys Street when someone gave vent to "fuck off Rush, yer big-nosed, kopite Welsh twat!" This drew a not unreasonable riposte from the many North Walians that, whilst agreeing with the undoubted big-nosed, kopite twattishness of the man, what had Welsh got to do with it?

The resultant scuffle was one of the rare occasions I've seen fellow-Blues smack each other at the match... Quite Life-of-Brian-ish, really.

Larry Boner
8   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:04:58

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Terence, I resent your assumption that "all of us make racist jokes" ? I don't and have brought my children up the same way.

I have taken my life in my hands a few times castigating people for their pathetic comments and no, some of my best friends are not defined by being black or yellow or whatever other colour is out there, they are just people, like me, with the same weaknesses, the same hopes.

From what I have gleaned from Mr Sibson, he is just a football fan, carried away by the heat of the moment; if anyone knows any better then correct us, if he was a racist then surely he would have added the word 'black' to his tirade?

Just a thought.

Gavin Ramejkis
9   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:09:25

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Utter bollocks of the highest order from the PC brigade, France isn't a race, it's a fucking country ? a remark against being French is xenophobic or nationalist, nothing to do with race.

I hope he steers clear, the club have alienated another paying fan. Maybe we should get the stewards and horse mounted police to baton charge the majority of opposition supporters who chant anti-Scouse songs and claim that's racist.

It is an observation but the Park End has seen its visible Old Bill stood at the top of entrance stairs rise since this was originally reported and last week actually saw them go in mob handed to the toilets to stop the smokers who had taken it as a refuge all season.

Craig Wilson
10   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:14:12

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I am really worried... where do I stand on calling Victor "A big useless lump of lard" ? is that racist now as well?

If so, what can I call him next time he falls over at the slightest touch from a defender and starts hitting the ground??
Luke O'Farrell
11   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:14:32

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Shocking decision!! And to think it all came about because one of our own fans reported it. Whoever they are, they should be ashamed.

As a few have you have said, calling him French is not racist; he is after all... French. He also happens to lazy; yes, an insult... but also merely an observation and it is not a crime to say so.

Surely the only possible valid sticking point would be 'bastard' and if we are in the habit of reporting swear words, that would leave us with an attendance of about 10,000 and they'd all be 12 or younger.
Tony J Williams
12   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:23:05

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You're joking aren't you Luke? Some of those kids would make a hairy arsed sailor blush.
Simon Lloyd
13   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:11:28

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My considered legal opinion.......

Mr Sibson pleaded guilty to the use of racially aggravated threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour.

The shouting of "useless lazy bastard" would just about satisfy the use of threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour (Section 5 Public Order Act 1986).

The question of whether that behaviour was racially aggravated is covered by section 28 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. According to that, an offence is racially aggravated if the offender demonstrates hostility based on the victim's membership of a racial group. A racial group is defined by reference to race OR nationality. Accordingly the use of the word "French" does mean Mr Sibson committed the racially aggravated offence.

My bill is in the post.

May I suggest that in future, when frustrated by an apparent lack of effort on behalf of one of the playing staff, one merely stands and shouts politely "I say old chap, do play up."
Luke O'Farrell
14   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:27:08

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Generally speaking though it's people of an older age than 12 who are prone to shouting things at players.

It's sad that the complaint was made by one of our own fans. I am now much more cautious when deriding one of our own players when they're not up to it.

The world has gone PC mad and its a worse place for it.
Chris Bannantyne
15   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:10:23

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I don't agree with racism, but even if he had been properly racist, you know by referring to Saha by skin colour, I still can't see how it made it to court.

Distasteful as it might be, I thought everyone had a right to be an ignorant racist if they so felt like it.

Yeah sure, the venue could ban you for not adhering to their code of conduct, but a criminal charge or fine? I am astounded that this can be done in England.

Here in Australia I doubt the fellah would have had any other punishment other than being ejected from the ground, and not even that for the pretty tame comments he did actually make.

I don't think we are a racist country generally, no more so than anywhere else in the world, I just think this sort of trivial nonsense is a waste of the courts time and the taxpayers dollar. By drawing so much attention to this situation it trivialises the whole issue of racism. How can one expect to take this shit seriously??

I believe England has gone waaay too far with this sort of shit. If you want to eradicate racism you have to focus of education, punishment just promotes the problem.

What a crazy story!
Luke O'Farrell
16   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:31:00

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Chris,

There is a text service available at Goodison on a matchday.

It allows people to text the club about anyone being abusive, their stand and seat number.

I once considered doing it, it read...

"David Moyes, Dugout, Crimes against watchable football."
Joseph Strumm
17   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:18:55

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I have sat in the main stand now for several years after moving from various parts of the ground as I got older. This season, I have noticed a definite swing towards "jobsworth" behaviour from a lot of the stewards in my section, some looking around the stand ready to pounce on anyone using bad language and I don't mean language of a racist nature which in my opinion should not be tolerated.

In the last few months, I have witnessed on several occasions 'jobsworths' walking upto the back of the stand and telling people who are standing and leaning on the backwall and not causing any obstruction to anyone to sit down or face being removed. Funnily enough, at the FA cup game against Reading, when a lot of people were standing up and really letting rip into everyone involved with the club, not one of these 'jobsworths' was to be seen...

I'm now pretty certain that if you were to vent your anger against Moyes and his puppet-master Kenwright that you would have a group of these 'jobsworths' attempt to remove you from the ground... WTF is going on?

Chris Bannantyne
18   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:31:13

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Simon (13) ? I don't know if your suggestion is any better. By calling a player "old chap", you would undoubtedly get fined for ageist remarks.
David Barks
19   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:28:35

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What does it mean for your average Joe spectator? Learn to control your mouth instead of yelling a load of abusive garbage at other people. This site itself is an embarrassment whenever Everton are losing, or drawing, or just about doing anything other than scoring a goal. Every player or person involved with the team is called a cunt, twat, f'ing this, f'ing that, lazy f'ing this. It's disgraceful to be honest. And if the people saying this are not immature children, then I'd be happy to see them eliminated from matches.

Let me ask you, if the person said "you fucking lazy Pakistani bastard", or "you fucking lazy Israeli bastard", would that be fine with you too. It's not because he simply called him French. It's the context it's used in. If I ask a coworker if he is South African, no problem. If I ask him if he's a "fucking lazy South African bastard", big time problem. Context people. And when watching a football match simply try to use a vocabulary above that of a 14-year-old ignorant child.
Gavin Ramejkis
20   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:31:14

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Chris (#15), I live in a country (the UK) where Muslim extremists got a £50 fine for burning poppies on Armistice Day and stood with his fellow lunatics with banners saying and shouting "British soldiers burn in hell", in Aussie money that's just $78 Aus.

This country, despite claiming to be a democracy, bends over backwards for minorities which include some particular nasty folk, so yes it's well and truly fucked. Stories such as Mr Sibson's only highlight the growing gap between common sense and appearing to be politically correct which is highly subjective in it's own right. Very little these days surprises me when it comes to the PC brigade.

Gavin Ramejkis
21   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:39:24

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David (#18), industrial language is part of the landscape and as a democracy people have the right to say what they think. If you don't agree, I think you should travel to Speakers Corner and have a word. In light of your description of what you personally find offensive then that's your democratic response, a ban on the grounds of David Barks's law is dictatorial and just as offensive.
Max Main
22   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:29:27

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Why does it being xenophobic (as opposed to racist) make it any more acceptable?
Dennis Stevens
23   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:32:11

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As Simon posted above, it's the law that the offence is deemed to be racially aggravated by reference to nationality, so it's pointless arguing about the varying definitions of race. I don't really see why Mr Sibson felt it necessary to include the term "French", as by doing so the implication is that the other points being made are typically French ? rather as in Phil Bellis' post above re the use of the term "Welsh" when abusing Rush.

Nonetheless the ban, in particular, does seem a punishment far in excess of the crime committed. Although we are not, of course, in possession of all the facts, I find it a little curious that supporters nearby would report Mr Sibson to a steward for just the one comment & also odd that further action would be taken by the stewards without themselves being able to corroborate the abusive behaviour, which would necessitate overhearing Mr Sibson's persistent abusive comments.

Tony J Williams
24   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:51:37

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David, it would depend on the person being abused if he was a Pakistani/Israeli/South African.

Do you think anyone would ask someone to be banned if someone called Ossie, A lazy white bastard? I doubt it

Imagine if the person who called Louis that name was French, would it still be racist?
Simon Lloyd
25   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:56:02

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Chris (17) Damn, you're right.

I'm not reducing my bill though!
Chris Leyland
26   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:48:47

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Gavin ? the point is you don't have the right to say what you think when what you are saying is abusive and offensive according to the Law.

I think it also comes down to intent. The word "French" seems to have been used as a term of insult based on Saha's nationality.

If you don't think it is racist then can I ask how many thimes you have ever heard Hibbo called a "shite English bastard" at Goodison?

And, do you think it is ok to call Yak "a lazy, fat African twat?"

Anyway ? "Ramejkis" that sounds a bit of a foreign name to me. As such can you tell us where it originastes from so we can all post insults on here about it in the name of free speech?!
Tony J Williams
27   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:56:25

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That was my thoughts Dennis, he may have been a consistent disruption and the people around them had had enough so the "xenophobic" comment was enough for the club to get him out perhaps.
Gavin Ramejkis
28   Posted 25/03/2011 at 17:04:02

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It may be that the Steward was stood with a copper who decided that is was a Section 5 offence, who took Mr Sibson to court? It wasn't the steward and wasn't the offended fan or fans and historically the CPS won't touch a prosecution case unless they have a 51% or higher chance of getting a successful prosecution. It's more likely the Steward had to do his job and the old bill joined in doing their job.
Luke O'Farrell
29   Posted 25/03/2011 at 17:07:11

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Dennis, when the report was published in the media they commented on the fact that he was reported by a fan sitting nearby; I'm just going on what I read (although I know papers aren't always reliable).
James I'Anson
30   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:51:36

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He should never have pleaded guilty to being racist. I'd would have gone to jail before I paid them a penny.

Besides it's not an offence to offend people.

I also believe it's more offensive to be labelled a racist than it is to be labelled a "choose nationality" lazy bastard.
Andrew Heaton
31   Posted 25/03/2011 at 17:14:15

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If Mr Sibson is to be banned for this then the little 15-year-old tit that sits behind me should be banned for calling Sian Massey a "fucking slapper" last weekend!!
Dennis Stevens
32   Posted 25/03/2011 at 17:20:10

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Yes, Luke ? but did the press reports claim he was reported for persistent abuse or for just the one comment? If he made the one comment that was only overheard by one supporter who was willing to report the matter & the incident wasn't corroborated by any stewards or police then that supporter must carry a bit of clout as it's not much to hang the whole process on ? the word of one other supporter.
Christopher McCullough
33   Posted 25/03/2011 at 17:18:08

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Tony 23: If a black man called Ossie a lazy white bastard, yes, I think he would be ejected. But it wouldn't happen.

I'm wondering why this story has led to irrelevant social commentary. How annoying.

I happen to be a Francophile, I speak the language and i'd love to live in France. But David Sibson was not being racist. Not at all. The person who reported him must be a little tosser or an idiot. People need to focus their energies on more worthwhile endeavours. What a shame.
Phil Bellis
34   Posted 25/03/2011 at 17:22:40

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So "ugly, fat, baldy, Manc, granny-shagging Judas" is out, then?
Ben Howard
35   Posted 25/03/2011 at 17:59:07

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I've just checked my 'PC guidelines' handout which was distributed during Operation Goodison and I'm pretty sure that's fine Phil.
Mike Green
36   Posted 25/03/2011 at 18:00:28

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Lucky bastard! Have a thought for the rest of us left to suffer.

BTW - does he get 5 years for good behaviour....?
Eugene Ruane
37   Posted 25/03/2011 at 16:59:06

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I agree the sentence is harsh.

I agree it can't be deemed 'racial' abuse as French is not a racial group.

I do have some sympathy for the feller.

I should also say I have been a big shouter of sweary abuse at the match (at opposition players and ours) and would HATE to be told I couldn't vent (although I'm a lot calmer these days)

However, it's just not in me to shout 'French cunt', Irish cunt', Welsh cunt' etc.

The truth is I wouldn't feel right (not like a racist but a bit...'iffy', wish I could be more specific)

I mean it was always enough for me to shout at Rush..

"You fucking big nosed ugly cunt, why don't you get your sister to fucking rob you some spam you twat!!"

Now I know that could be judged MORE offensive than shouting 'fuck off Rush you Welsh twat', but I always felt that where a player was from was kind of (for me) a step too far.

Also, I can imagine how we would all feel if (say) a Welsh Evertonian slagged Hibbo by calling him a 'Fuckin' lazy Scouse cunt' or a 'Hopeless English cunt'.

The fact is there'd be outrage, then fists and I can imagine the outrage WOULDN'T be because Hibbo's footballing ability had been called into question, it would be...

"Did yer fucking 'ear him!!? Fucking cheeky Welsh cunt going on about English this and Scouse that!! Fucking cheeky twat, he deserved what he got...." etc

And Indeed he would.

So for me, if it's not ok for a Welsh Evertonian to call Hibbo a Scouse cunt (NB: AND IT'S NOT!) then the same should apply to Louis.

Anyway, all I know is that shouting "You big nosed ugly thick cunt" at Rush never (apparently) bothered Evertonians.

But a feller shouting "Oh for fuck's sake Sheedy you useless Irish cunt" bothered an Irish Evertonian so much he knocked the shouter spark out (in a oner ? very impressive as I remember).

Anyway, as I say, I do have some sympathy with the feller and for the rest of us, it's obvious the times they are a-changing (again) and the choice is we can whine and be outraged, or just keep our abuse to non-specific sweary shouting, especially as xenophobia would appear to be the new racism.
Ray Roche
38   Posted 25/03/2011 at 18:18:32

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As a scouser who used to work in Chester, I used to get pissed off with comments like "Scouse alert, lock your drawers and handbags" whenever I entered some offices. Is that acceptable in this PC world... er... not the shop, PC World, that is.

Sure, it's offensive to scousers but it's the sort of thing that the BBC do on a regular basis, intimate that all scousers are thieves. But they wouldn't accuse all, say, Muslims, or black people of any racial or religious stereotype.

(And why is Brit acceptable but Paki not? Serious question.)

Stephen Kenny
39   Posted 25/03/2011 at 18:10:25

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Another nail in the coffin of the ordinary match-going fella.

I feel sorry for him because he's always going to want to support the blues but be left with a bitter taste every time he watches us.

I don't see what's wrong with what he said and I think the club should have supported him to some degree.
Phil Bellis
40   Posted 25/03/2011 at 18:25:45

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EJ
No wonder there was fisticuffs... "You useless Welsh cunt who chose to play for Eire" is the correct phrase.

Swerving a bit, I heard some people in a pub in Stafford singing along to the Killers with "Are we human or are we Scouser?" or some such variation. I thought it was a bit obvious but humorous; I never thought to be offended ? maybe I should go back and give them a jolly good dressing down
Steve Cotton
41   Posted 25/03/2011 at 18:42:29

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As a side issue, if for example I had reported Carragher's tackle on Nani to the police as witnessing an assault, surely he would have had to be arrested?

And therein lies another problem....
Dennis Stevens
42   Posted 25/03/2011 at 18:45:49

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Perhaps folk in Stafford consider Scousers to be super-human, Phil!
Trevor Lynes
43   Posted 25/03/2011 at 18:47:01

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Try being an Englishman in Wales, Scotland or Ireland... how many English newscasters do you see on Welsh, Irish and Scottish TV??? How many of them are on English TV???

There is more racist diatribe issued against English people than any other nationality within Great Britain.

Christopher McCullough
44   Posted 25/03/2011 at 19:00:04

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Trevor

One of the main News correspondents in Northern Ireland is English; Mark Davenport. He's excellent. Here's a quote (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markdevenport/2010/08/british_withdrawal_as_a_money.html) "Some suggest the UK should "get rid of Northern Ireland" (one idea is that Liverpool could be thrown in for good measure). There's also a fair bit of concern about the Barnett formula with, presumably, English people calling for an equalisation in the per capita government spend across the UK."
Phil Bellis
45   Posted 25/03/2011 at 19:06:23

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Phhh, tchhh! Dennis
...trust me not to think of that (smile)
Robert Johnson
46   Posted 25/03/2011 at 19:11:53

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What the fuck am i gonna shout at that other useless twat up front now.

I dont mean Beckford.
Andy Crooks
47   Posted 25/03/2011 at 19:40:13

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Trevor, you are spot on. Where I live there is definitely a distaste for English people. However, and this is true, we don't consider scousers as English.

I was in the pub yesterday(in Northern Ireland) and a Scouser was there, over visiting an ex-army friend. He was a Kopiite and I jokingly suggested a groundshare. Well, I'm now aware that the reds hate the thought as much as we do.

Back to topic, the punishment is totally appalling... There is the disgusting racism of the seventies and then there is the fearful political correctness of today.

Eugene Ruane
48   Posted 25/03/2011 at 18:56:14

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Fuck me Trevor Lynes - they're some of the angriest question marks I've seen in a while.

How many fucking newscasters!?

Jesus, you're going to give yourself a thrombosis if you're counting how few English newscasters there are on BBC Scotland, compared to Scottish newsreaders on British TV.

Look, I WAS an 'Englishman' in Ireland for 8 years and in NZ for three years.

Plus a Scouser in London for 19 years.

Very occasionally there might be a 'Brit' or 'Pom' reference and I've of course had to listen to one or two hilariously 'original' Harry Enfield Scouser references.

But honestly, at worst, mildly irritating and nothing that makes/made me look at those places in a negative way.

Fact: EVERYWHERE has it's witless buffoons and once in a while, you'll/we'll encounter them.

You say... "There is more racist diatribe issued against English people than any other nationality within Great Britain".

Really? You have some figures to back that up? Some proof?

Maybe you do, but my guess is you don't and if not, claims about who's more-or-less, this-or-that, that CAN'T be substantiated are imo, pointless).

And remember (nb: like the French) the English are NOT a race, so calling them English cunts is not racist, it's just very, very impolite.
David Hallwood
49   Posted 25/03/2011 at 20:07:23

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Jeez, Eugene (46#) ? you must be 93! In the light of the fine we may well have to tailor chants accordingly. Here are my suggestions: "Victor, your demeanour betrays a somewhat immature persona"... Or "Victor, can I disabuse you of the notion that you are in fact a footballer".
Eugene Ruane
50   Posted 25/03/2011 at 20:22:45

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VICTOR'S A FOOTBALLER!?
Phil Martin
51   Posted 25/03/2011 at 20:22:59

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3 year ban?

Lucky bastard. He'll be saved from having to watch our forthcoming slide into the Championship.

Keith Skidmore
52   Posted 25/03/2011 at 19:12:34

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There's a woman who sits by us in the Street End and you can see her physically wince everytime someone swears and she gets outraged by the chants of murderers when we face an ex-RS player (a song I never get involved in), so it's just a matter of time until she snitches on one of the lads by us for offending her!!!  

She never sings, moans at other fans... I do wonder why the fuck she goes the match?  I'd rather have her ejected for being a moaning bag than for someone venting their spleen!

Totally agree, no room for racism in football, the swearing thing isn't helped by performances on the pitch or the referee, but the place will be like a monastery if the PC crowd get their way. People will be too scared to open their mouths. If you don't want to hear industrial language, don't sit in the Street End... in fact, don't go the match, full stop! 

The flood gates are now open...

Mark Dunford
53   Posted 25/03/2011 at 20:20:48

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According to the report you link to he pleaded guilty and had made "numerous remarks through the match". Does anyone defending him want to sit next to him? Thought not.
Dick Fearon
54   Posted 25/03/2011 at 20:09:46

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Eugene (#46): Steady on there, lad, you started off by making an improper proposition of a sexual nature to Trevor.

Then you implied that all newscasters are fornicaters... after which you made blasphemus reference to the Lord Almighty's son.

By mentioning the disparity in number and racial background of newsreaders carried xenophobic undertones. By golly, the thought police would have a field day with you.

If you really wanted to hurt the feelings of the Irish, Welsh and Scots just call them Pommy bastards.

Mike Green
55   Posted 25/03/2011 at 20:08:29

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If Saha had been called a "lazy black bastard" rather than a "lazy French bastard" this would've been seen as a banning offence ? one which I've never seen enforced at Goodison, by the way, and have heard much along those lines. And, to be honest, I'd fully support a ban.

Take "lazy" and "bastard" out of the equation and you are left with "black" and "French", both of which are characteristics of the man in question, both of which are not unique to him.

So what's the difference?

The point I believe is that if you call Saha a "lazy black bastard", by association you are calling all blacks lazy, just as if you called him a "lazy Scouse bastard" you'd be doing the same. Saying "You lazy bastard Saha" is entirely different as you are leveling the insult soley at him rather than an entire region, nation or race who have no control over Saha's behaviour which seems to have tarnished their good name. Or maybe not ? maybe they're all like that and it's genetic.....?

That's why it's particularly insulting; whether or not he should be banned for it is another question. We probably just don't feel the same amount of guilt over the Napoleonic Wars as we do slavery do we.

Just as if you said "Saha ? you brilliant French fuck", you would in some way be associating that part of his brilliance was down to him being French. Else why fucking mention it?
Jeff Armstrong
56   Posted 25/03/2011 at 20:20:45

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I'm sure to get this far, it was a lot more than "you lazy French so and so" ? that is just what he's been done for.

For a supporter close to him to eventually report him it must have been a prolonged, adjective based, onslaught of the like that has never been reported before.

We all hear abuse of home and away players, but you would'nt dream of calling a steward, so in this case it must have been extreme and prolonged...

Scouse twat got what he deserved.
Andrew Rimmer
57   Posted 25/03/2011 at 20:42:07

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Are International matches going to be banned then? What do you shout at those games?
Peter Hall
58   Posted 25/03/2011 at 20:45:36

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Terence Leong,

Thanks for making the point absolutely clear ? "We all make racists jokes" you say.

If your group of mates has never got round to telling you what a third-rate character you are when you tell your racist jokes, then you move in some piss-poor circles.
Kevin Tully
59   Posted 25/03/2011 at 21:15:57

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Right, that's it. I want all of the Villa fans arrested and ejected when they start singing "You're just a town full of smack'eads" next week.

Do you remember some fans arrested for calling Sol Campell a faggot in a song, or something similar?

So no matter how offended I am by anti scouse rhetoric, is it just the gay & anti-racist lobby who have the right to recourse?
Bill Slater
60   Posted 25/03/2011 at 21:20:53

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"I'm fucking Sparticus"....

In the spirit of consistency, fairness and justice I may just be compelled to write a complaint to the club and the legal folks in the courts to ask for the same precedent to be set for the 5 to 10 thousand Evertonians who are obviously going to sing out the exact same phrase at the next home game. Not just once, but many fucking times just to make sure they get the message.

There are many Evertonians who are looking for an excuse "in their own head" not to renew their season tickets or even be able to pay on the gate, so maybe if the club or the law courts ban all those law breakers for said same crime, they will really show they mean business about stamping out racism.

Not a chance on God's green, unracist, earth will this happen, but according to the rules of the land it should.

By the way, my name is Sparticus. No, I'm Sparticus. So am I, me too.
Chad Schofield
61   Posted 25/03/2011 at 21:36:06

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Simply ridiculous.

Mike Green
62   Posted 25/03/2011 at 21:40:38

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Jeff (55) ? I think you're right. I also think it's possible the supporters around him may have been looking for a peg to hang their hat on.

Kevin (58) ? the song that Spurs fans sang at Sol Campbell ? for all its ingenuity, I'll give them that it was a work of art ? was sick, and a bit more than calling him a "faggot".

I can't recount it word for word as can't remember the second line but if you can fit "Judas", "Nigger", "Hanging from a tree" and "HIV" into two of the other three lines when "Sol, Sol, wherever you may be" is the first ? as open minded as I am, it's a bit beyond the pale. Dont you think? And believe me, though I can't remember the second line I'm pretty sure it was fairly meaty.
Ped Pearl
63   Posted 25/03/2011 at 21:47:31

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Yeh this is just ridiculous... whatever happened to freedom of speech?

If that is racist, what would you call the number of times we hear opposition fans chanting 'scouse this or that'

Some sort of show of solidarity is required here. Perhaps Toffeeweb could put itself to some use here in the form of a petition. We would not be defending a racist comment, we would be defending common sense.
Eugene Ruane
64   Posted 25/03/2011 at 21:49:14

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There seems to be a lot of posts here along the lines of 'others behave like idiots, why can't we?'.

Just an observation like.
Kevin Tully
65   Posted 25/03/2011 at 21:54:13

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That's exactly my point Mike, I was hoping someone would bite.

So who polices this sliding scale of offensiveness ?

Are you telling me it is OK to be called a bunch of theiving Scouse scum by away fans ? If not, why don't you show the same faux outrage.

That's the whole problem in a nutshelll, no consistency, because the Sol Campell chant was offensive, doesn't mean the Scouse jibes don't offend me as much.
Mike Green
66   Posted 25/03/2011 at 22:03:42

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Kevin ? it's not faux outrage. I think a few thousand horrible cunts, for want of a better word, singing that at a single bloke, stood in front of them for 90 mins in a field (if he played all game...) is bang out of order. Sorry, it fucking is.

If the same few thousand chant "Scouse Scum" at another few thousand who chant back "Cockney Wankers" then who really got hurt? Probably no one. So no offence.

Get it?
Kevin Tully
67   Posted 25/03/2011 at 22:14:08

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Ahh, the old "two wrongs make a right" school of thought, Mike, nice one.
Gareth Atkinson
68   Posted 25/03/2011 at 22:13:28

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Absolute fucking joke this story, a fan who has given 30 years of his life to the club banned in an instant over something so pathetic.

I don't know how the person who told the steward can sleep at night.
Mike Green
69   Posted 25/03/2011 at 22:18:14

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No Kevin ? the old "I'm right, you're wrong" school of thought, the one you're peering through the gates of.
Mike Green
70   Posted 25/03/2011 at 22:21:20

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Ray - erm... Empire?
Trevor Lynes
71   Posted 25/03/2011 at 22:22:27

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I was asked to prove what I said about people within GB hating the English... I've never seen a Welsh family's house daubed with paint while he has lived in England and I've never seen one set on fire for it either... The Scots when together are very anti-English... There are jobs advertised in Wales for Welsh speakers only and that is racist for my money.
Neil Humphreys
72   Posted 25/03/2011 at 22:19:27

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Total and utter disgrace. Whoever chose to grass him up for this needs to take their head for a shit. Just another nail in the coffin of Everton FC and their supporters. For the record, Saha is very much a French man, and, in my humble opinion, is also a lazy twat. Answers on a postcard for where I send my £300 cheque....

This story hit me hard, if I was in this situation I honestly would go and support another team. It smacks of the whole commercialisation and needless PC-ing of our society

I truly despair of Everton FC. I know that the fans who supposedly grassed him up are in the minority but, for gods sake, say it to his face or shut it, cowardly fuckers....

Mike Green
73   Posted 25/03/2011 at 22:37:55

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I've seen a Welsh family's house daubed in paint.

Someone'd put a bloody big dragon on it, stood on a green field. It was bloody horrible.
Bob Parrington
74   Posted 25/03/2011 at 22:41:19

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What is the world coming to? At least he never commented on his religion or colour. Louis would probably agree with the comment at times.

Whichever self-righteous idiot reported Mr Sibson, I'm really disappointed with our club for such over reaction to a nothing comment. How do you put up with magistrates who over react like this as well? What a load of unadulterated crap!
Nick Millington
75   Posted 25/03/2011 at 23:15:22

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Maybe some of the players will read this and try a little harder in the games against Wigan, West Brom, Reading etc. It's okay for the players to roam around the pitch like they don't give a toss but it's not okay for the fans paying their wages to have a go at them when they can't be arsed.
James Flynn
76   Posted 25/03/2011 at 23:03:59

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Wonder what the folks who've been sitting around this fellow feel about his not being there anymore. Because I cannot make the connection between a fan yelling out one thing once one time and this suspension.

Is there anyone in here who knows him at the games? I don't know the Goodison rules regarding this type of thing, but there must be something more than "He said what he said just once".
Trevor Mackie
77   Posted 25/03/2011 at 23:09:13

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I've chanted the most offensive stuff in the heat of the moment at matches ? doesn't make it right, in fact I'm downright ashamed in hindsight.

It's against the law and more importantly you wouldn't say it to his face (perhaps if you had the TW lynch mob behind you).

James Hollister
78   Posted 26/03/2011 at 00:42:21

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I think Everton need to be dragged through the courts and sued like the senseless twats they are...

Racist? The only racism I see in any of this is from those cocks who work for Everton.

Banned for 3 years and a 300 pound fine? He had bettter sue the shit out of em... this is a complete and utter travesty of the highest order imo.
James Hollister
79   Posted 26/03/2011 at 00:44:34

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James Flynn ? Everton FC have a zero tolerance on racism.

I am surprised and gobsmacked as I said above.

Normally when they kick people out of the ground, they would get a letter telling them they have been banned for x amount of matches or typically get a warning. They ripped into this lad no doubt because they needed to make an example of him.

You normally get a handful of dimwits at the ground each week getting turfed out.

Kick racism out of football, but I remotely fail to see how on earth calling someone a lazy French bastard in any way is racist... now I'd understand if it was about the colour of skin, which I believe is what Kick Racism Out of Football is about.

Did this go to court? If it did, he needs to get to the high court and sue the crap out of them.
Paul Roderick
80   Posted 26/03/2011 at 01:09:16

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Bill (59) and if we consistently fined all offenders over the course of a season, with the fines going to the club, we could probably afford to buy Messi ? the fantasic Argentinian bastard ? by next season.

BTW, my fine is in the post.

John Daley
81   Posted 26/03/2011 at 00:58:07

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In today's self consciously PC society, it's not overly surprising that some sensitive soul feigned mock outrage and shopped a fellow supporter. It's just the wank way of the world these days. People are so ready to take umbrage at the slightest little slur.

If John Merrick was still alive and well and galavanting around Goodison on match days, you wouldn't even be able to greet him as 'the elephant man' anymore. Even though he fucking loved it and had a right laugh when people called him that. Even affectionate pet names like 'misshapen headed circus freak', 'wheelie bin head', and 'Ian Dowies dad', would be taken completely the wrong way and deemed offensive and socially unacceptable nowadays. Which is just plain wrong.
John Daley
82   Posted 26/03/2011 at 01:19:22

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As for racism? I think it's something most people would be appalled to be accused of, and rightly so. However, sometimes people genuinely do not realise that what they are saying is racist and actually capable of causing offense to others. Sometimes you even get people being amazingly racist whilst bollocking other racists for being racist. Like in the following story which caught my eye this week:
Worker mocked for 'SpongeBob Squarepants' voice awarded £141k

Licia Faithful, an insurance worker, has been awarded more than £141,000 after colleagues accused her of having an 'annoying' voice like the TV cartoon SpongeBob Squarepants.

Mrs Faithful was left an emotional wreck after colleagues at the AXA PPP Healthcare offices in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, taunted her for 18 months, a tribunal heard last week.

AXA staff asked her if she was ?on drugs? because of her unusual voice. They even taped her voice and played it back to her while ?mimicking? and laughing at the 31-year-old. Children?s character SpongeBob Squarepants is known for his annoying nasal tones.

Mrs Faithful started work for the company in 2006 but was moved to the claims department in 2007. By the end of 2008 she was suffering from post traumatic stress and depression and was unable to complete basic household tasks because of the abuse.

She told the tribunal that she was made a ?mockery of? because of her Brazilian origin and had to endure a string of racist taunts. The tribunal heard how staff called the £17,765-a-year employee ?cranky? and ?lazy'.

Now racing to the defence of her fellow Brazilian is some outraged simpleton, who posts the following rant condemning the racism prevalent in Britain:
8:10 PM on March 24, 2011

Racism is a crime! The British are stupids. Look at yourselves! You are horrible, big, clumsy... human trash... Here in Brazil we have never done it with you!"
Terence Leong
83   Posted 26/03/2011 at 01:48:41

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Larry Boner & Peter Hall, appreciate your comments, and I guess this is where a topic like race/religion always gets sensitive.

My apologies if you've read my comments that way. What I had meant is that, amongst a group of international friends, of which I do have, and much respect for, we banter, rib one another ? infront of each other ? in good nature whenever someone makes a fool of themselves etc. And sometimes, this might be (NOT all the time) like "see, that what you get when you are French/Italian/Chinese/Indian etc" and we have a laugh, including the friend whom we are jesting about.

That's what I meant by "racist jokes". Well, some think ? I must be a nutter to consider that a racist joke, others might think that is still racist etc. Well, it's true that not all do that (as I might have too casually mentioned).

But perhaps it just goes to show, hey whatever we say, it can be offensive to someone else. So, perhaps the golden rule is if it offends someone, then hey, perhaps we can all do better with a little self-restraint, as many people who have posted here have championed.

But this itself is contentious, so there you go : )

Rob Keys
84   Posted 26/03/2011 at 02:13:55

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Terence, no need to apologize for your comments. Seems Larry just has a different definition of racism. Pretty much the case for everyone here really.

I mean, "mental scotsman" and" cheating scouser" is every bit as racist in many people's book, but not others.

Many people go on about "what's the world coming to" and "I used to be able to do that, and now I can't what's the big deal?" etc. Well, not every norm back then (whenever it is) is acceptable today, is it?

Is every change always for the better? No. But some certainly are. Is this? Well, looks like the jury is still out, judging from all kinds of comments here.
Chris Bannantyne
85   Posted 26/03/2011 at 02:35:10

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I might not agree with some person's comments, or might even find them grotesque and offensive, BUT I will defend that person's right to say them.

To me, freedom of speech is far more important, and a human right, than enforced political correctness.

The punishment this guy received is wrong. It is totalitarian in nature, a person MUST be allowed to voice their opinion, even if the majority of us find it somewhat ignorant or offensive.

In my opinion, after reading some newspaper articles about the event, I think this guy sounds like a bit of a dick. Now am I in trouble for saying that?

Political correctness needs to be spread through teaching, not enforcement. This is an absolute fucking joke; freedom of speech is far more important to society than my or your sensibilities.

I would start a riot.
Matthew Salem
86   Posted 26/03/2011 at 03:09:40

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Stupid, stupid, stupid. Now Everton have adopted this PC-bullshit, too. The man has been watching EFC for 30 years and this is the shite they thank him with. I'd offer to pay the 300 quid for him if I wasn't so feckin skint. Fuck you, Everton FC management. I expect to get barred from the Gwladys soon, as I like calling Anichebe a fat cunt and Osman a knobhead.
James Mullarkey
87   Posted 26/03/2011 at 09:01:00

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Well done, Mr Sibson, for saying what is true. Every single word of it. I have lost count I the number of times I have said exactly the same thing. No doubt more people will be banned and fined if they carry on playing the way they have. It won't stop me speaking the truth!
Alex Garnett
88   Posted 26/03/2011 at 10:52:32

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I don't remember fans complaining when Evertonians at the ground used to sing "....fat Spanish waiter" at Benitez. I find it absolutely crazy that somebody even reported it to stewards, let alone the poor bloke getting a 3-year banning order. It is a football match, banter takes place all the time. Is somebody going to complain when we sing "The city is ours, fuck off to Norway, the city is ours..."?

I agree that racism in sport needs to be ironed out but I do not believe that this man was being racist in any way. What will happen next? A vegetarian fan complaining about the person sitting next to him eating an extra large hot dog!!!

Have the people who complained about the remark never made any remarks like that themselves? I am sure they have, this is football after all ? it is every man's (and some women's) bread and butter, no fan can ever say that they don't get stuck in and give some banter. The entire situation has been blown out of proportion!!

I will certainly have to watch my remarks at matches in the future, not that they are remotely racist, however, some binmen might be upset!!

Andrew Conroy
89   Posted 26/03/2011 at 11:12:29

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So does this mean that Moyes will be retrospectively sacked for his comments about Yakubu's age? The Nigerian FA certainly seemed to think so.

Unlike Sibson, Moyes's comments weren't made in the heat of the moment, and were indicative of a wider cultural stereotype that he thought it was 'safe' to make a joke about.

'Light hearted quip' my arse. With the reputation that this club has had in the past over issues of race ? which I imagine will have played some part in Everton's response to Sibson's situation ? he should have known much better. Even his explanation smacked of "I'm not racist but...."
Nathan O'Hagan
90   Posted 26/03/2011 at 11:43:20

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Shouting abuse at players is an accepted, if unpleasant, part of football. I myself, despite being a mild mannered and calm person most of the time, have shocked those who know me with the way I act at matches. One thing I've never done, and would never do, is abuse someone on the basis of race, nationality, sexuality or anything else. Any criticism I make is purely based on footballing ability or effort.

Highlighting anyone's race or nationality like that is pathetic, cowardly and unacceptable. To say it's not racist because he didn't say "black bastard" is technically correct, but misses the point. Xenophobia is as bad as racism. It's repugnant and shouldn't be allowed.

I have a 2-year-old son who I want to start taking to the match as early as I can, but I'm unsure whether I will, given the behaviour of some fans. I don't want him hearing that kind of cowardly and stupid chanting. I might just take him to watch rugby instead, as for some reason the fans there don't behave like savages.

I think the club were absolutely right to ban this man, and I hope it will send a message to other fans. But it needs to be done consistently and by all clubs, otherwise it's just tokenism. Having said that, in this instance, I think 3 years is way over the top, and to fine him financially seems pointless. He was in the wrong, he should be punished, but i think he's entitled to feel hard done-by.

Nathan O'Hagan
91   Posted 26/03/2011 at 11:51:56

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Jay Roach,

"Paki" is a vile racist term that was first used by National Front neo-Nazi scum is the 70's. It carries with it decades of hatred, violence and racism. "Brit" is simply an abreviation. Those who argue the same of "Paki" need to learn their modern history. The two terms are not even comparable.
David Mathieson
92   Posted 26/03/2011 at 12:33:40

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/mar/07/muslim-extremist-fined-for-poppy-burning

A £50 fine for this, then 6 times more, £300, for the Saha incident makes me sick.
Andrew Mackenzie
93   Posted 26/03/2011 at 12:29:57

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Well said Nathan, couldn't agree more.
Matthew Williams
94   Posted 26/03/2011 at 13:27:15

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While it might seem a bit harsh, I am all for clubs trying to stamp out this type of abuse. I took a young child to a game once at Goodison and I was shocked by the hatred and abuse shouted by our fans at our own players.

Yeh, it can be frustrating sometimes being an Everton supporter but is there a need to spout such abuse? It wasn`t racist but it was obscene and hateful so I am glad he has been made an example off. Clubs want to encourage more families and kids to games and this kind of abuse is best left for the pub after the match.

Gavin Ramejkis
95   Posted 26/03/2011 at 13:34:01

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Nathan (#88) ? using an adjective in a tirade is objectionable, if subjective... so "French" is worse than "bastard"?

Nathan (#89) ? "Paki" is also an abbreviation of Pakistani, again it's the subjective context in which it is used rather than the word.

Rappers use the word "nigger" in songs yet, if you or I were to use it in open conversation, it's deemed racist in context... are you seeing the point?

Context rather than content, a society that deems MOBOs as acceptable yet where are the MOWOs? ? and why not just music awards with all open for entry? Why have specific ethnic networks on BBC Radio as segregation is just continuing instead of mainstreaming it all together?

David (#90) ? the poppy burners also screamed obscenities likely to cause upset to the letter of the law, both racist and Section 5 offences, yet got £50 fines. I'd bet a lot of money if you were to burn a Koran in public and scream anti-Muslim taunts, you'd be hit by a damn sight more than a £50 fine.

Tony J Williams
96   Posted 26/03/2011 at 13:49:08

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James (#78) ? you do realise that it wasn't Everton FC that has taken the fella to court? It was the CPS after they have learned about the situation. The Courts have banned him from all grounds, not just Goodison.
Chris Butler
97   Posted 26/03/2011 at 14:31:57

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The ironic thing is that people smoke weed in the toilets in Gwaldys Street. I've seen people drinking whisky out of a bottle before. On one occasion last year, there was somebody who was pouring vodka into his coke bottle. He then preceded to generally act like an idiot for the whole of the second half. Not one steward even looked twice at him.

Everton fans have a notorious racist element. I heard anti-semitic chants twice last year against Benayoun and Tal Ben Haim. Arab players are constantly called terrorists. I've heard the word 'nigger' continually used to describe black players. The difference is personally that they're not directed at anyone in the crowd. As I'm not black, or even know that many black people, I don't take offence.

I don't join in, but I think there's two completely different types of racist behaviour. Many people who espouse racist beliefs while around those of similar ethnic origin are not those who abuse other racial groups in the street. The comments made about Saha were against one of our own players though. I dislike anybody who abuses their own players at a game. Calling opposition players names is fine but we're meant to support our players ? not abuse them.

Chris Bannantyne
98   Posted 26/03/2011 at 14:29:04

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Gavin #92.

If you burned the Koran publicly you could expect a lot more than just a fine from the local law courts.

You all remember what happened to Salman Rushdie after he published the 'Satanic Verses'? Hundreds of thousands of Muslims protested (sometimes violently) in England, and around the world. The Ayotolah Komeni of Iran placed a death warrant on his head, and those of the publishers and anyone associated with the production of the book. In fact some of the publishing offices in various countries were firebombed and several people who had translated the book into other languages were severely assualted and I think even one of the guys was killed...

The Satanic Verses is a work of fiction. It was never intended to dispute the authenticity of the Koran. A section of the book borrowed from an Islamic myth and based part of the story on it. That's it.

The British government, Catholic church and many other powerful institutions did not condemn the actions of the violent protestors, but instead condemned Rushdie for the 'hurt' he inflicted on the Islamic community.

This sort of bending over backwards shit is an absolute joke, and more vile than any casual racism. Even if Rushdies book WAS intended to dispute Islam, it is his human right to do that without fearing for his personal safety.

I don't mean to pick on Muslims, it is just an extreme case that comes to mind. But it shows how far governments and otherwise rational thinking people will bend over backwards to be seen to be 'politically correct' in supporting minorities.

You want to be racist/sexist/homophobic etc? Well you don't have my support... but, unless you are threatening people's safety, then I abhor any institution that would punish you for sharing your opinion.
Michael Kenrick
99   Posted 26/03/2011 at 16:21:57

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"As I'm not black, or even know that many black people, I don't take offence." ? Oh dear me, Chris Butler... so racism is okay as long as it is not directly expressed to the intended targets??? Oh Vey!

If I'm being generous, this unbelievable statement reveals an inherent dichotomy that such campaigns against bigotry and hatred struggle against: football is fundamentally tribal. Tribes require coherence, single-mindedness, and unity of purpose that throughout history has been manifested in verbal abuse and hatred as a precursor to (or substitute for) violence.

This takes us down that old road of football as a vicarious substitute for war ? something which is I'm sure anathema to the likes of Fifa, yet underlies the emotional connection to one's club and country ? something which underscores those differences, xenophobic and racist, that are now increasingly condemned in our modern society.

Perhaps we must accept this as the latest step in the progression toward football as "family entertainment", sanitized by removing the primal passions of old... along with the bruising physical contact of past years.

It's a continually changing world...
Jon Cox
100   Posted 26/03/2011 at 19:28:15

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So Simon (#13), after all that, do you think that the scum that burnt our poppy, you know the flower that symbolises people who died in wars so that we could be free would or should be nailed to a cross in connection with the laws you have cited.

Or do those laws only apply to a certain section of our society and not others?
Kevin Sparke
101   Posted 26/03/2011 at 20:59:28

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Why don't the 35,000 of us who were singing:

'Fat Spanish Waiter, you're just a fat Spanish waiter'

Hand ourselves in to the nearest cop shop... as far as I can see we didn't do much more wrong than the lad in question.

Ridiculous judgement, truly stupid... the only thing you'll be able to say at the match soon will be along the lines of:

"I say referee, not meaning to question your integrity but I rather think you made a faux pas there, old bean."

Saying that, shouting abuse at your own players is a bit dickheadish.
Mark Rankin
102   Posted 26/03/2011 at 21:34:53

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I work in the NHS, if someone came into my workplace and was abusive they'd be shown the door. I can't see why any Evertonian would defend anyone who came to Goodison and called one of own players a fucking bastard, it's laughable that what gets the law involved is the French thing. Freedom of speech, you can't say what the fuck you want at all times.
Jon Cox
103   Posted 26/03/2011 at 22:20:32

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Kev (101) utterly spot on.

Mark Rankin, read and take note. This is old but still true. I'm sure it will come to a Goodison near you.

"First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me"

Forget money, it's freedom of speech that is everything which is to say our complete value of life. What use is money if we can't say what we want.

Don't forget it is not what we say that the problem lies. It is what is perceived by the so-called offended that is now law. Imagine telling a joke to your mate in the office or workplace. Someone overhears it and takes offence. The way things are now pal, as far as your employment goes, your'e toast.

Would you think that's right, or would you go with "Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me"?

It's all about brainwashing!!!

COYB
Mike Green
104   Posted 26/03/2011 at 22:43:04

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Jon Cox (103) - the guy had, and still does have freedom of speech.

He said what he wanted. People around him objected, evoking their own freedom of speech, the stewards agreed with them as did the magistrates. He's paid the price for being able to say what he likes, just happens his judgement was a little impaired.

I've got a life ban from Leyton Orient for stealing from the home players dressing room.

As it happens it wasn't me, it was Our Kid, and it was two bottles of water. It was a pretty stupid punishment for a pretty stupid misdemeanour but he (I stole from the Officials dressing room ? orange squash) got caught and I didn't.

We did it because we're knobheads, cant change that. We also accept the punishment as it's up to them how they police their institution.
Mike Green
105   Posted 26/03/2011 at 22:56:34

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Actually... thinking about it, I'm also banned for life from Trent Bridge Cricket Ground because my mate ran on to the wicket! All I did was look after him when he got hauled off and we got the same.

These 3-year bans are weak as piss!
Jon Cox
106   Posted 26/03/2011 at 23:06:09

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Mike Green, from the sounds of it you are an honourable Evertonian and it sounds like you and your bro were young and just went for it.

You say that his judgement was a little impaired. I say no. It is the brainwashed generation that he has no part of that is the villain of this piece. He belongs to a culture that could speak or shout his mind and has nothing to do with the PCness that is the cancer that is eating away at our country.

If a black or Asian started a fight with me and within that fight I said what would be deemed racist comments whilst being battered it was then stopped by the busies. It goes to court and I'm in a wheelchair because I lost the fight but they are fine and well. They come out with what I said and I get life in prison next door to Papillon because it is deemed racist?

Would you say that was justice?

If I had my way, Robin Hood would be our next big signing.
Jon Cox
107   Posted 26/03/2011 at 23:22:25

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Mike Green, you weren't my mate at the back the Biology class, circa 1971, by any chance? Ha ha...
Mike Green
108   Posted 27/03/2011 at 02:35:11

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Unlikely Jon, I was born 7 October 1972... but I bet it was a beauty!

Good luck to you and yours.
Mike Green
109   Posted 27/03/2011 at 02:44:01

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Fuck me, Jon ? bet that made you feel old eh?
Ray Roche
110   Posted 27/03/2011 at 09:29:49

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Nathan, you say,

""Paki" is a vile racist term that was first used by National Front neo-Nazi scum is the 70's. It carries with it decades of hatred, violence and racism. "Brit" is simply an abreviation. Those who argue the same of "Paki" need to learn their modern history. The two terms are not even comparable. "

I don't know how old you are but I'm in my sixties. I remember being at the Pier Head as a little boy, holding my father's hand, and seeing my first Indian people and asking what they had on their heads. I was told they were turbans and that the people were Indian, as opposed to Pakistanis. My father,who didn't have a racist bone in his body, referred to them as Pakis, which, like a lot of other terms, wasn't considered offensive and probably still wouldn't if the PC Brigade hadn't TOLD us it was offensive. You're wrong to associate the term solely withthe BNP/National Front.
Nathan O'Hagan
111   Posted 27/03/2011 at 10:58:47

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Jay,
Ok, perhaps that particularly vile term didn't first get used in the 70s, but that is when it became a term of hatred, associated with racial violence and NF/BNP scum. It is, and has long been, a racist term. Just because the likes of your dad and my grandad used it way back when as just an abbreviation, doesn't change that. Since the 70s, my grandad has understood it is a racist term and has never used it.

I'm sick of people constantly referring to 'PC brigade' or 'PC gone mad' in debates like this. It's nothing to do with 'PC gone mad', which I hate as much as anyone. It's about respecting people, and about not judging people on race, nationality, or stereotypes.

Gavin,
Don't make me laugh by referring to rappers using the word 'nigger'. In that context, it's about the reclamation of an aubusive term.

Gavin Ramejkis
112   Posted 27/03/2011 at 12:16:02

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Nathan, sorry mate but you are talking out of your arse, rappers also use "bitches" care to explain what they are "reclaiming" with that gem?
Gavin Ramejkis
113   Posted 27/03/2011 at 12:18:33

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Or Nathan if that one doesn't float your boat how about "Ho"?
David Hallwood
114   Posted 27/03/2011 at 12:26:06

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Just to wade into the 'Paki' debate: a) It is an offensive term to most Asians, and on that point alone, it shouldn't be used;
b) Most 'pakis' aren't from Pakistan, but from India, Ski Lanka etc, and it's like calling me a Frog, because I'm British of Irish descent, but it's the same continent, init?

The best observation about racism came from the great black American writer, James Baldwin, who said that, when he was at a party full of white liberals, he start speaking total rubbish; the people that agreed with him were the racists.
Ray Roche
115   Posted 27/03/2011 at 13:37:52

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Nathan.

OK, mate, you dislike people referring to the PC Brigade etc. but I don't know why the shortening of a word like Pakistani should have recently become one which is suddenly offensive any more than Brit should. Whether you like and accept it or not, they are both abbreviations. And since the 1970s my Dads been dead.

David, France and Ireland may be on the same continent but that's hardly the same as India/Pakistan which were pretty damn close prior to partition in 1947. Can't we just all agree to start giving loads of stick to the French?
<

Simon Lloyd
116   Posted 27/03/2011 at 13:49:30

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Jon (#100)

The law should apply to everyone the same. Perhaps Mr Sibson is an easy target. Perhaps the poppy burners had such small fines because to do otherwise would risk antagonising certain racial/religious groups?

Not that anyone would ever admit that of course.

As for crucifixion? I don't think the Magistrates Sentencing Guidelines extend that far!
Chris Butler
117   Posted 27/03/2011 at 14:23:05

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Michael, I don't condone it, but if I go to the match I want to enjoy myself watch a game of football, not get into arguements with other fans when it's none of my business. It's not my place or any other supporter's place to solve an issue that's been around since the times of the Egyptians and Isrealites. Yes, if somebody was abusing another one of our fans racially, I perhaps would get involved. But if I take my young niece to the match, I do not want to get into altercations with other fans.
Alan Smeeth
118   Posted 27/03/2011 at 18:21:25

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I'll pay my over-priced match ticket. I'll watch millionaires play football. I'll get emotional.

I'll say what I bloody like.
Colin Malone
119   Posted 27/03/2011 at 20:54:35

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I totally agree, SAY NO TO RACISM.

But this is another learning curve for most of us.
next time someone calls me a scouse cunt, i,m right to the solicitors, whether it be a person, or home supporters at an away match, which the home club, has to be seen to do something.

FOR FUCK SAKE WHERE ARE WE GOING HERE?.

Brussels, supporters shouts something that is not racist, gets 3 year ban from watching the team he loves.
A 14 or 15 year old goes joy riding in a stolen car, they get a slap on the wrist.

Give David Sibson a warning, because this is a learning curve for most people, nevermind football supporters.
Colin Malone
120   Posted 28/03/2011 at 07:31:08

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After reading this thread regarding the the rights and wrongs on the banning of David Sibson, I ask, who represents the supporter? Or is it a kangaroo Court? OK, most incidents are cut and dry, but the David Sibson incident?????? I dont know.

My question is, who represented David Sibson?KEIOC??? ? in my eyes, without them, we would have had no voice.

I'm sure if Tom Hughes, Colin Fitzpatrick, or a great Blue and retired Unite officer, Tony McQuade, would have represented David, then common sense would have prevailed.

Did David have a voice to support him? I think not; if not, why not?

Rob Keys
121   Posted 28/03/2011 at 12:24:10

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I am wondering for those who champion the rights to freedom of speech, how many here are of a minority race within a larger community? The fact is for most people, it is difficult to empathise with the pressures of being in the minority race.

For those who champion freedom of speech at all costs, I say: be on the other side of the fence, have people shout stuff at you, and then see if your position on this still as before.

Steve Ferns
122   Posted 28/03/2011 at 12:53:27

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I'm afraid you have all reacted to the sensationalism of this story. For example, the "fine". It's spoken of that he got fined £300 and the "Poppy Burner" got £50. I'm afraid you have been misled. Mr Sibson will have been fined £200, ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £15 victim surcharge (victim tax). The poppy burner will also have to pay court costs and a victim surcharge but the papers won't tell you that as they want to make the amount sound as little as possible to increase the sensationalism and outrage to sell more papers.

Next the offence is not Disorderly behaviour as you all seem to suggest. Disorderly behaviour (Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1994) can be committed by simply using foul, abusive or insulting words. He was actually convicted of threatening behaviour (Section 4 of the Public Order Act 1994) which is a much more serious offence and carries a prison sentence. In the current climate the CPS only prosecute offences bordering on affray (Section 3 of the Public Order Act 1994) and to have prosecuted him then he must have exhibited some behaviour that made people fear for their safety or the safety of others. What he did or did not do is not exactly clear from the newspaper articles.

Racially aggravated offences of this type will be committed where the word "French" is used. Racism is not consigned soley to skin colour or religion and the law specifies nationality.

The court dealing with the matter is the very expensive and much championed North Liverpool Community Justice Centre. This court is specially set up to deal with problems in the Kirkdale and Walton area (including both football grounds) as the Labour Government wanted to tackle and resolve crime in this area after it was identified as among the worst in the country. The court is unusual as it is effectively both a Magistrates and a Crown Court.

They also have the same Judge sitting day-in, day-out (except for lengthy holidays!) and he is a very well thought of and well paid Crown Court Judge by the name of David Fletcher. He is responsible for handing out most of the football banning orders at Everton and Liverpool in the last 5 or 6 years. This Judge has an excellent reputation in his profession and is not one for handing out ridiculous sentences to make statements.

The other big thing you are all missing is Sibson has pleaded GUILTY! He admitted his behaviour was threatening and that it came within the racially aggravated part of the offence. He didn't have to admit admit the offence and could have taken it to trial.

Let's not make snap judgements without having the full facts, and it is clear to me that the full facts have not been reported and the press have only reported what makes a good story.

Gavin Ramejkis
123   Posted 28/03/2011 at 19:51:30

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Steve regarding the poppy burner, I beg to differ as the report in various papers gave the fine and costs to the penny and they were far less than that imposed on Mr Sibson. Mr Sibson will have plead guilty at the suggestion of his brief and not off his own back.
Tim Rydings
124   Posted 28/03/2011 at 20:41:43

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Like most of us who have to suffer the excessive costs and fees generated by our legal fraternity, Mr Sibson probably wanted to defend himself but was advised against it "due to the costs involved'

Never confuse justice with what is right!!
Kevin Hudson
125   Posted 29/03/2011 at 12:31:40

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Some staggering ignorance being displayed here... Feel better now, folks?

Am I correct in presuming that those using the thread to rail against society with skewed social commentary, are those "disenfranchised white people," who feel "you can't say anything, anymore?"

Regardless of their insidious claims of over-bearing nanny state encroachment, the use of the term 'French', though accurate, contextually perpetuates historic bellicosity; and I suspect the offender presumed himself to be on safe, decaffeinated side of "Ron Atkinson" territory.

Not so. Clearly there are those who took his inference differently, and read it correctly. French caucasian or French of African genealogy ? it remains unacceptable. Moreover, how does the player's nationality connect him to the subjective gripe of under-performing anyway?

If EFC had taken no action, it would have sent out the overt message or tacit consent, that this particularly virulent language is completely fine.

One doesn't hear this rhetoric in church, the library, or the office, yet to some, social norms can be suspended during a football match due to passion, and because "that's the way it's always been".

PC gone mad? Sorry... It's simply those harbouring Triassic attitudes. maddened by those possessing opposable thumbs!!
David Mathieson
126   Posted 29/03/2011 at 18:31:28

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Kev,
You just side-step the issue of the how out-of-proportion the punishment Mr Sibson received for what on the face is a nothing incident. Furthermore you adding ?perpetuates historic bellicosity; and I suspect the offender presumed himself to be on safe, decaffeinated side of "Ron Atkinson" territory? ? makes me question if a use of recreational drugs has gone too far?

?If EFC had taken no action, it would have sent out the overt message or tacit consent, that this particularly virulent language is completely fine.?

By the same token, then, a £50 fine and no court costs due to the poppy burners sends out a clear message: mock our war dead in a planned defilement of a sacred emblem I wear with pride every year, during the minute's silence on a sacred day is perfectly fine. But if you call someone French and lazy in the same sentence you're right in the shit which was not premeditated!

This is, in my opinion, just a case of a working class man being taken the piss out of. I have to say, Kev, you and your, we have evolved quicker than everyone else... ?opposable thumbs!!? types make my skin crawl.
Kevin Hudson
127   Posted 30/03/2011 at 10:41:05

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Dave,

Anyone would think you have an axe to grind...

But the paltry fine handed out to the poppy-burner is neither here nor there, as individual cases are interpreted & adjudicated by different judges. Yet I agree with you ? but so what?

However out of proportion you think the fan's punishment was, it is still a punishable offence ? which you side-step fairly unconvincingly: "A nothing incident." ? Really...?

I believe the supporter's remarks were prejudiced, so I must be high, right? I make your skin crawl, right?

Presumably the BNP have a website where I'm sure many people will share your working-class disenfranchisement. I suggest you seek solace there.
David Mathieson
128   Posted 30/03/2011 at 13:43:34

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Kev

I am only replying to this in the main to inform you I have no political affiliation whatsoever. I have never voted and never will: they are all crooks and liars. I could hazard a guess at your political affiliation ? like you did with my own or where I would fit in ? but I won?t; I will just assume you have one which may vary but it will put me on a completely different level to you.

?A nothing incident." ? ?Really?? I will elaborate: for me, calling someone a lazy French so-&-so, as has been put forward, I do not deem necessary to be punished in a such a way that has occurred, if at all; however, there definitely is a cut-off point. If someone had stepped over the line, I would agree; this was not one of the them occasions. Just because ?it is still a punishable offence? does not make it right. I'll let you in on a secret: the law is not always right... far from it; history is littered with occasions proving this, recent or otherwise.

?But the paltry fine handed out to the poppy-burner is neither here nor there, as individual cases are interpreted & adjudicated by different judges? ? You wrote 195 words damming a fellow Evertonian and all and sundry who questioned the inconsistencies between the two cases in question, then summarise something horrendous in the less than 30 words, to fit in with the axe you grind with a recurring theme of "disenfranchised white people," & ?working-class disenfranchisement.?

I am really trying to see where you are coming from but I can?t get my head that far up my own ass.

Phil Bellis
129   Posted 30/03/2011 at 14:20:52

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May I refer the learned gentleman to my earlier query above: So "ugly, fat, baldy, Manc, granny-shagging Judas" is out, then?

One presumes that should one feel inclined to shout during a particular football match could be punished by the existing law? Or not? Do you have to specify the addressee of the invective, by name?

Kevin Hudson
130   Posted 30/03/2011 at 15:25:33

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Dave,

Pull your head out of your arse,and agree with me that it would be wrong to refer to Saha as a "black bastard." Agreed? Then it's also wrong to refer to him as a "French bastard."

Your refusal to acknowledge this widely held attitude renders your argument completely redundant. If you agree with point one but evidently not quite point two, then your position is inconsistent & hypocritical. Even though you do reckon there's a cut-off point, alas somewhere distinctly beyond jingoism...

To describe the player as being "French," is obviously correct. Referring to him with the expletive "bastard," though technically probably inaccurate, and undignified ? I guess is also pretty lame.

Putting the two words together however, implies the connotation that somehow his francophone origin serves to emphasise his bastard credentials ? would David Cameron publically refer to Sarkozy as a "French bastard?"

"Just because it is a punishable offence does not make it right." That he was punished? Newsflash! Yes it does! The guy was out of order, admitted he was, and the law agrees with me. Subjectivity applies to the degree of offence, the mitigating circumstances if any, and the sentence commensurate thereof. Debate the severity all you wish, but it applies to a comprehensive admission of guilt for an unprovoked minor hate-crime, and to serve as a deterrent.

Should the poppy-burner have also recieved a stiff fine? Absolutely. That's a different debate, and one we don't need to have, as I agree with your complaint.

I simply thought it pertinent to expose people who condone bellicose and intentionally offensive language, then bleat on because we don't live in a perfect society, where they're free to regress unchecked, and hunt mastodon.
Michael Kenrick
131   Posted 30/03/2011 at 16:45:24

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Kevin, I'm sure you capture the current politically correct way of looking at this case, especially the way the law is now written.

However, it was certainly a shock to me, to see any distinction between race and nationality seemingly eradicated, at a stroke. I'm sure that's the sticking point for many.

Football is fundamentally tribal... or at least it used to be. The lines are increasingly blurred and it becomes harder to retian any logic when those tribal emotions are triggered (eg: Manc hatred of scousers vs love of Rooney).

We have naturally focussed on the specific offence Sibson pled guilty to... and its bizarre ramifications for many football fans if applied to the letter, but I think in this case there must have been a lot more Mr Sibson said and did that is not itemized on the rap-sheet.

It's a pity we haven't got the full story... What about the public record / transcript of court proceedings? Surely someone could ferret that out for us?

Joe McParland
132   Posted 30/03/2011 at 17:02:53

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The part of this that I continue to find hard to fathom is that a judge in this country deems that calling a Frenchman French is deemed racist and worth a £300 fine, whereas a German student can throw a banana at a Brazilian at the Emirates and the Metropolitan Police deem it not to be a racist action. In that case, no action was taken.
Phil Bellis
133   Posted 30/03/2011 at 17:16:54

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I can't see why 'French bastard' is illegal and 'Scouse twat' isn't... I'd better rephrase that.
David Mathieson
134   Posted 30/03/2011 at 17:18:04

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Kev

?Your refusal to acknowledge this widely held attitude renders your argument completely redundant? Really? There is a clear difference in my mind between ?Black Bastard? and ?French Bastard? one is wrong, and the other is not. I cleared that up before saying there was a cut of point, and ?Black bastard? would fit the criteria.

I also believe ?Bastard? is not read as literal as you seem to assume. As for this would ?David Cameron publically refer to Sarkozy as? I really could not care less what Cameron has to say, if he told me it was light outside I would check to see if it was dark and it probably would be.

"Just because it is a punishable offence does not make it right." That he was punished? Newsflash! Yes it does! The guy was out of order, admitted he was, and the law agrees with me. ? You sound like an SS officer when tried with war crimes. You do understand an admission of guilt does not mean one is guilty?

Kevin Hudson
135   Posted 30/03/2011 at 19:58:35

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Dave,

Consider he didn't deny the charge or appeal the verdict, is it not safe to assume it was a fair cop? After all,this wasn't a reduced sentence via a plea-bargain.

Your surreal claim that I sound like an "SS officer when tried with war crimes," is apropos of what exactly? Since it's analagously inverse to the position I present. Have you thought that one through properly?

Michael's plausible suggestion there could be more to it than we know is an intriuging one. Whilst it would be wrong to speculate, the documented language alone warrants appropriate censure.

But people like you defend it.

You say there is a clear difference between "black bastard," and "French bastard." I agree. But if you happened to be a teacher would you educate your students that "French bastard," is a more socially-acceptable term?

That shouldn't be discouraged in 21st century society or punishable by its laws?

Pas du tout.
David Mathieson
136   Posted 31/03/2011 at 07:12:57

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?Consider he didn't deny the charge or appeal the verdict, is it not safe to assume it was a fair cop?? ? No it?s not sorry just no, admit it is a possibility but he could have appealed and got a worse punishment, there are numerous cases with bargain pleas etc.

?Michael's plausible suggestion?? If this was the case and Mr Sibson went over the line, I would have no sympathy.

?Your surreal claim? This is related to these comments ?Your refusal to acknowledge this widely held attitude? ? ?The guy was out of order, admitted he was, and the law agrees with me.?

??But if you happened to be a teacher would you?? ? I would teach people to think for themselves; fortunately I am not a teacher.

We can argue you all day, not going to.

Peace

David Finney
137   Posted 31/03/2011 at 11:50:50

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Any criminal comment which relates to a person's nationality is charged a racially aggravated offence irrespective of skin colour. I am a criminal defence solicitor working in the North West and have represented dozens of people for arguing in the street who have used the adjective Welsh/Scottish/Polish/other nation and they are all charged the same way. The govt then get to add to their stats.
Kevin Hudson
138   Posted 31/03/2011 at 11:56:40

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Thank you David!

It's a shame that in this day & age, some people either don't agree with this law, or are inexplicably suprised by it's very existence!
Ciarán McGlone
139   Posted 31/03/2011 at 13:37:57

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For once, I'm in total agreement with Mr Hudson.

The above arguments that nationality is not a matter of racial aggravation ? are simply wrong in law. As pointed out above, if the law determines nationality as a form of racial agression then that is the defintion we are dealing with here... Mr Sibson was not arrested by the dictionary police, he was arrested by those who promote the legal construct that governs our lives. Dictionary definitions are irrelevant.

As for the moral position ? there is no room for ignorant stereotyping in football grounds, or anywhere for that matter, To suggest that this episode is an example of 'PC gone mad' is just an excuse by people who think they have the right to go around saying what they like, to whom they like. It is a shortcut past thinking.
Michael Kenrick
140   Posted 31/03/2011 at 17:16:20

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Mr Finney, Esq (#137) ? thanks for reinforcing that point.


Can you comment personally on whether you believe this represents a change in the law that has perhaps taken a while to filter through to belligerent proto-xenophobes who have no idea that, in the eyes of the law, they are committing a racially aggravated offence?

Dickie Langley
141   Posted 01/04/2011 at 11:05:18

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I'm teaching my kids that it's not OK to abuse anyone. I'll tell them off if they say insults. If they insulted a whole group (race, nationality, sexuality, etc.) then I'd tell them off more.

At the moment, I think my kids are too young to go to an Everton match (or any other club), because they would hear adults using words that I've said are not allowed, without them being punished.

The severity of the punishment in this case could be debated against punishments in other cases - but the fact that there was sufficient evidence for a conviction tells me that this guy had crossed the line and broken the rules/law.

Most of the people on here who are angry about this, should be complaining about the law on the statute books, rather than the fact that the law was actually enforced.
Kevin Hudson
142   Posted 01/04/2011 at 11:47:12

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It amazes me when people like David Mathieson acknowledge that for obvious reasons, it's illegal to insult people on the basis of colour, and appear ignorant, bewildered & almost resentful of the fact the law also applies to nationality. Talk about selectivity..
Christopher McCullough
143   Posted 01/04/2011 at 14:33:39

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Because of the principles of subsidiarity and proportianality member states can transpose EU law contextually. And on a more abstract the law's function is to enforce and articulate social mores.

Noone here wants to legalise xenophobia. Noone is defending Sibson without reserve. But racism and xenophobia should come under a discrete subcatagory of criminal law . Legal procedures should be applied contextually. The substance of Sibson's penalty is out of proportion.

We are patronising an Evertonian at Goodison Park because of a lazy transposition of 2008/913/JHA.
David Mathieson
144   Posted 01/04/2011 at 15:54:23

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Kev, what about regional identity? Is ?Thieving Scouse Bastard? in or out? Can Scouse be defined as a race? Or is it just national and colour identity that can be distinguished as a race? Who decides what member of which race people are? And what should or should not be said against said race? If it was decided by you, I dread to imagine, you even tried to claim Mr Sibson?s remark ?perpetuates historic bellicosity?. The last thing on Mr Sibson?s mind was Lord Nelson & the Napoleonic Wars, I can assure you.

Kev, you added this: ?Am I correct in presuming that those using the thread to rail against society with skewed social commentary, are those ?disenfranchised white people??? ? This could also be construed as racist towards white people, maybe you should practice what you preach, talk about selectivity? I am selective because I make my own mind up for obvious reasons you seem unable to fathom.

For Chris ?No-one here wants to legalise xenophobia...?
Definition of xenophobia: ?hatred or fear of foreigners or strangers or of their politics or culture? ? So anyone pre-WW2 who spoke out against Nazi Germany was xenophobic? And this is illegal now, Staggering.
Kevin Hudson
145   Posted 01/04/2011 at 19:11:18

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Forgive my Yiddish, but that is laughable, Cro-Magnon schmegegge, Dave.

I immediately cottoned on to the little trick you pulled when quoting my words from post #125. You recalled it thus: Am I correct in presuming that those using the thread to rail against society with skewed social commentary, are those "disenfranchised white people."

How revealing that you deliberately, and selectively, truncated the quote which continued on: "..who feel you can't say anything, anymore."

A verbatim account of the COMPLETED SENTENCE helps to ascertain the full context. Instead, you chop it to the part you think supports your flimsy argument, thereby dispensing with my true meaning: This makes you look weak, Dave. And cynical.

As you insinuate that it could be perceived that I'm prejudiced towards white people. When, quite obviously, I object to white people resenting others on account of skin colour. Likewise the reverse. I object to English people taking a dislike to foreigners because they're foreign. Likewise the reverse. But it appears you have a problem with that. Or one ignoring the patently obvious.

The rub of the entire debate is this: Why don't you enlighten all of us as to why you think it's fine for people to tee-off on the French? Why do you condone it? Why deflect that question, why AVOID ANSWERING that question by focusing on a miscarriage of justice involving some idiot poppy-burner,when everyone agrees with you on that score anyway?

And then bring the Nazi's into the debate? Dave, I'm pretty sure the law regards it illegal to discriminate against modern German citizens too. The entire world, Germans included, revile the Nazis. I don't believe for a second you can't see the distinction. Democratic & peaceful society of today, compared to the genocidal regime of 70 years ago. Hmmmm... Difficult one.

The good news is I agree with you on the issue of regional xenophobia, and have on occasion been compelled to employ either subtlety, or an abrasive Scouse tongue to deter would-be haters who flinched at my dialect. Ultimately, I think this whole issue is about education.

Shalom... (I think)
David Finney
146   Posted 02/04/2011 at 09:40:45

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Sorry for the delay in replying. First off, I am not commenting on whether the law is fair or not only what it says. In 1986 the Tory government introduced the Public Order Act to put into statute the common law public order offences and to try to address the football hooliganism of the 80s.

In 1998 the Labour government introduced the Crime and Disorder Act which replicated some of the public order offences word for word but with the additional element of racial or religious aggravation. An offence is racially aggravated if at the time of committing it the offender demonstrates towards the victim hostility based on the victim's membership (or presumed membership) of a racial or religious group; or the offence is motivated wholly or partly by hostility towards members of a racial or religious group based on their membership of that group.

Subsequent case law has interpreted racial group to include nationalities. So that reference to 'French' in this case as opposed to reference to skin colour would still qualify.

In response to the issue of proportionality. The basic offence of disorderly conduct which is defined as using threatening, abusive ot insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour within hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress can only be dealt with by fine. You can't go to jail or even receive a community sentence.

The racially aggravated offence, somewhat controversially, did not extend the sentencing powers. Courts feeling toothless with sometimes horrible racist offences will impose ancillary orders such as banned from licenced premises/excluded from town/ football grounds etc, because a fine seems an insufficient punishment. Please note this is not necessarily my view.

David Finney
147   Posted 02/04/2011 at 09:53:36

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Steve Ferns. I have just noticed your post. Are you sure he was charges with racially aggravated Section4. That seems excessive for what he said?
David Mathieson
148   Posted 02/04/2011 at 13:14:39

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Am I correct in presuming that those using the thread to rail against society with skewed social commentary, are those "disenfranchised white people," who feel "you can't say anything, anymore?"

Full quote and still is a presumption based on colour is it not? It actually sounds worse to me in full.


?? why you think it's fine for people to tee-off on the French?... ? ? A slur based on nationality is wrong, I have not said it isn?t, but in this case my interpretation of the comment was based on a perceived opinion of Saha being a ?Lazy Bastard? during the game, I read as annoying nothing to do with the literal meaning of ?Bastard? he so happens to be French, French people In England are labelled French, don?t know why, just are, hence ?Lazy French Bastard?. For instance if it was Beckford it would have been ?Lazy Bastard? because he is English, suppose it is all down to interpretation grey areas etc.

?? Democratic & peaceful society of today?? ? Laughable; I am sure you know about the xenophobic war raged on Iraq, them WMD they had and their awful treating of their people ? read 144# ? Illegal by definition and the reasons for the war by their definition were not only illegal but made up, hardly ?peaceful? ask Libya, all over the world there are wars and censorship.

This has been on-going for days really had enough, boring more important things to think about, good day.

Christopher McCullough
149   Posted 02/04/2011 at 13:53:31

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Thanks, David (#146) ? I really feel sorry for this guy. Not for the fine but the stigma of racism and banishment. The French aren't even a race. He has been hung out to dry. The principle of proportionality applies discretion to the transposition procedures. In my field it causes much controversy.
Kevin Hudson
150   Posted 02/04/2011 at 16:59:48

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"A slur based on nationality is wrong. I have not said it isn't."

Sorry Dave - you did: "There is a clear difference in my mind between "Black bastard," and "French bastard," one is wrong the other is not." (you ? post #134)

About a peaceful & democratic society ? I was referring to modern-day Germany, which did NOT wage a xenophobic war in Iraq. In fact, Joschker Fischer (their Foreign Minister) publically denounced Rumsfeld for his hawkish policies in the region... You got the wrong end of the stick on that one too.

Wrapping this up once & for all, I leave you with two complaints against two black Frenchmen: Ron Atkinson ? Marcel Desailly: "Lazy nigger." David Sibson ? Louis Saha: "Lazy French bastard." Sound similar? Aren't they both subjectively expressing frustration at a performance, albeit one NOT justifiable on the grounds of race or nationality?

That's all my point was, Dave.

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