Graham Souness…

Adam McCulloch 05/09/2019 122comments  |  Jump to last
Or: How I Learned to Stop the Outrage and Love Moise Kean…

Have you ever been outraged?

It’s a strange sentiment. It’s a frothing, gnashing, spiky, affronted feeling and yet one that seems to exist only when it is written down. I’ve certainly been outraged but I don’t think I’ve ever said it out loud, and if I have I haven’t said that I am. Instead, I’ve just been outraged. I’ve never watched the driver in front of me toss a discarded can of Coke to the side of the road and cried out “I am outraged!” I’ve yet to call up my dad and say “I’ve got something to tell you: I’m outraged!” – and we sit there stewing over some malicious evil like a married couple waiting for updates on their delayed flight.

You just have to grab some paper and scratch it, poison-pen your way around the word. Or you are so outraged that it can only be described by somebody else who hasn’t quite hit your level of livid. Someone composed enough to say “Adam was outraged. INCENSED.” Incensed? Speechless but still speaking. I won’t give him/her/it/Jordan Henderson the satisfaction… but actually, I will, so here goes:

And here is another home truth. Graham Souness is outraged. He’s outrageously outraged.

Graham Souness must have been conceived, raised and whelped into existence in the most spiteful of circumstances. A series of outrageously outrageous events that etched a litany of grievances onto his forehead, each line another stroke of outrage. Permanently angry at everything the sun touches. Speaking of, a man so masochistic and crazed that he took his identity as a bonafide Kopite and did an interview about his girlfriend with The Sun, managing to give himself a unique position in recent history as an absolute and total wanker – whichever way you look at him.

He is the archetypal outraged pundit. Sure, there are plucky upstarts who have tried and failed to tackle his mantle as both utterly sure of himself and utterly uneducated about the game… and yet somehow not… but most importantly — outraged! Gary Neville had a good go but actually seemed to do his homework, and his David Brent deliveries took the sting off somewhat. Roy Keane’s simmering contempt for those who dared to play a man onside or pass too much or not enough or not scythe someone down in retribution enough certainly comes close. But there’s a pantomime feel to it, a knowing wink here and there suggesting he’s doing what he’s supposed to do.

Elsewhere, Chris Sutton has thrown a curveball by attempting an “Alan Partridge on opioids” monologue routine which manages to curate its own brand of outrage in everything that it touches, but you feel it could all be cured by someone just reminding him that “Chris, you were shit at football, mate” – like finally plucking up the courage to tell your pissed-up mate that his band would never have headlined Download. You don’t say it but you should ‘cos it will make it stop. Until they then get outraged.

Nope, it’s all about Graham. Even his name sounds angry. Souness. Stewing, steaming in his own vinegary filth. He hates it all, he hates football, he hates Everton, he hates black people. What? Oh, yeah, he hates black people. Or at least players that have attitude problems. So, to Graham, that’s black players: Sterling, Pogba, now Moise Kean, a man who had the temerity to leave a club and his home country as a teenager when another club decided he was good enough to spend about £30M on. You know, like a lot of good footballers do. They move about, sometimes for money, sometimes to “win things”&2026; sometimes because they suffer racist abuse from the stands on a bi-weekly basis.

Which is great news if Moise Kean is feeling a little homesick, because Souness has managed to bring a little slice of that life into his punditry. And I use the word 'punditry' suggesting that, as an ex-footballer, Souness is offering any kind of analysis on his ability. Instead, he offers the kind of glib commentary you usually find on a Loose Women segment about drill music. It’s less direct than a bunch of idiots making monkey noises at a young man trying to do his job – but no less impactful. Lazy, attitude, issues, trouble – these aren’t tropes found in one single group of people and to put them across as such makes me, well, outraged.

Moise Kean probably won’t be the last to suffer the all-seeing eye of Souness. Many will say that he is paid to have opinions, that’s his modus operandi, or that I’m just a bitter Blue who doesn’t like hearing criticism from yet another Rednose. Maybe so. Maybe I am. Or perhaps I see the danger in a world where the loudest voices are often the most dangerous. And yeah there are bigger things at play in society than whether you think so-and-so is better in central defence than so-and-so. But dropping this kind of tired act would be a start.

I have opinions about Souness and that is fine. Players who I seethed over have made good pundits and players I admired have done the reverse. Some deliberately fan the flames that get us talking in pubs or at home when there’s nothing else to do or when the Blues have drawn away at Palace and someone, anyone, lights the touch paper of “debate” and we end up having a banal and bonkers conversation about zonal marking. Fine.

But Souness and his words – loathe him or really loathe him – carry a lot of weight. Millions of viewers may not have realised that Kean had a year left on his deal, was way down the pecking order at Juventus, or that maybe, just maybe, Everton might actually be, you know, a good place to develop as a footballer. So a prominent media figure showing not only ignorance but blithely making unfounded and damaging claims, is dangerous. Racism and its poisonous relationship with football needs to stop and I for one am outraged at Souness and his comments. And I hope he is too, and realises something has to change: Himself.

Editor's note: Posts on the topic of Souness that appeared on other threads have been consolidated here.

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Reader Comments (122)

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James Stewart
1 Posted 03/09/2019 at 04:24:09
Souness just stinks of negative bias. The casual racism Souness was spouting about Kean was attrocious.
Mark Frere
2 Posted 03/09/2019 at 12:30:06
James, there was absolutely nothing in Souness's statement about Kean which would point towards racism. Enlighten me if otherwise.

Racism is a disgusting act and unacceptable. But, what is also unacceptable is, falsely accusing people of racism without any evidence. It can tarnish people's reputation and can be very hurtful to that individual. It's not a trivial matter to call someone a racist.

James Stewart
3 Posted 03/09/2019 at 15:35:02
Mark, on Souness. His ramblings showed a lack of awareness, which on first glance appear almost humorous, in a senile grumpy old man kinda of way, but sadly the context is, he is a highly paid pundit making these comments on national television. This makes his character assignation simply unacceptable. If comparing Kean to Adebayor, off the top of his head isn't unconscious bias and casual racism I don't know what is! The two players have absolutely nothing in common other than being black.

Mark Frere
4 Posted 03/09/2019 at 15:35:17

James, I was sat watching Souness talking on Sky Sports on Sunday and him and Mourihno clearly didn’t know the facts about Kean’s departure from Juventus. They didn’t know whether Juventus have a buy-back clause (which they don’t) and they didn’t appear to know that Kean only had one year left on his contract. Kean’s racist incident with the Calgari fans did also not appear to be known of by Mourihno and Souness. Graham then went onto speculate that there could’ve been some off-the-field attitude problems from Kean when at Juventus as the reason for agreeing to sell to us... then went on about Adebeyor never reaching his potential because of attitude problems.

There was clearly ignorance and lack of knowledge of the true facts on Souness’s part... but where is the racism in this, James?!?! The two players happen to be black. So what? Souness wasn’t making a generalisation that black players are renowned for having bad attitudes. That’s something you’ve created (and probably some other people) in your head.

James Stewart
5 Posted 03/09/2019 at 15:51:26
The comparison is racial stereotyping Mark. Why make that comparison? It certainly wasn’t to back up a point about not reaching potential as you state.

Clearly not alone in thinking it was out of order. The media seem to be picking it up now too.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2019/sep/03/graeme-souness-reminds-media-think-before-speaking-race-moise-kean-sky-sports-everton

Martin Nicholls
6 Posted 03/09/2019 at 16:20:22
Mark – another thing that Souness didn't know back in the day was that George Weah's "cousin" wasn't really his cousin!

I don't recall him publicly voicing similar "doubts" about Balotelli (which might well have been justified) when the rs signed him! The man is an ignorant lout and I would like to see EFC making a complaint to the PFA about his scandalous character assassination of Moise Kean.

Mark Frere
7 Posted 03/09/2019 at 16:25:58
James, you and some other people might call his comments 'racial stereotyping'. I call your comments 'inventing racism in your head'.

Must Souness compare a black players attitude to a white players attitude just to avoid being labelled a racist? Must he tread on egg shells like this? What if a black pundit compared two white footballers attitudes as being bad, would he then be accused of racial stereotyping. Must a pundit compare a white and black footballer together to avoid persecution from you and the media? When Souness was comparing the two footballers, he was clearly comparing them merely as human beings.

Peter Neilson
8 Posted 03/09/2019 at 16:56:42
In an ideal world the laziness and ignorance of Souness would be enough to finish him as a pundit. For me he's always been too biased and bitter to come across with any credibility. He obviously didn't know the background to Kean's transfer nor did he have any facts to backup up his alarm bells ringing about off the field behaviour but that wasn't to stop our Graeme from providing us with his expert opinion.

Once he got going, he then compared Kean's transfer to that of Adebayor, completely random and irrelevant. He's got away with blagging his way through TV and newspaper articles for years but this was one of his most bizarre appearances. Sky should look at replacing him with Al Murray for better insight.

Derek Knox
9 Posted 03/09/2019 at 18:44:50
Bobby, you may well be right regarding Souness, but I doubt very much, apart from his inflated ego, it would affect him much.

He's made millions by failure as a Manager, further stocked up with his biased punditry over the years, further enhanced by his being married into money to boot.

Peter Warren
10 Posted 03/09/2019 at 18:58:01
I thought Souness just expressed an opinion and likened it to Adebayor as both talented, left big clubs and played up front. The fact that both black appeared irrelevant I saw nothing to say Souness was racial stereotyping – perhaps I'm ignorant to the term.

It strikes me, however, that Souness unlikely to be racist – he was clearly against discrimination in his time at managing Glasgow although I don't know his back history well.

It struck me as him being ignorant; and rather than stating like Mourinho who was ignorant on issue and just said he seems very talented and I don't understand why Juventus would sell; decided to make something up to show his expertise as a pundit (& probably bias against Everton). I can't see any racism, however.

Stan Schofield
11 Posted 03/09/2019 at 19:14:31
James: Souness does indeed appear to be quite ignorant, in fact not really worth listening to, in common with a number of TV pundits. However, given the facts of what he said, it's quite a leap of interpretation of those facts on your part to conclude that the comments were racist. It's difficult to see evidence of it.

It's probably better to reserve that kind of conclusion for comments which are clearly racist without any need for interpretation of the facts.

Christy Ring
12 Posted 03/09/2019 at 19:23:12
I believe it was just Souness ignorance, he hadn't done his research, and tried to bluff everyone, which is typical of a redshite, who believe's his own bullshit. When has he ever praised anything to do with Everton?
Drew O'Neall
13 Posted 03/09/2019 at 19:30:15
I didn’t think Souness did enough to be openly accused of racism but I, like James, suspected him of it.
James Stewart
14 Posted 03/09/2019 at 19:41:55
As in a previous post, I linked to an article that went up in the mainstream media echoing my exact point. So I won't reserve my thoughts for comments that are just "clearly racist" thanks Stan. It was obviously racist enough for a national journalist to write about it.

Unfortunately I think a few of you are missing the point and don't really understand racism in its many forms. But lets just stick to this incident.

Three old (a lot older than Kean anyway) white guys debate on national television. One of them decides to launch a tirade against Kean's character without any facts and compare him to an infamous player with attitude problems that played for different clubs, was a different age when he moved, and is from a different country entirely. Why? The answer is obvious. Sure it may be unconscious, but anyone on national tv should know better and will have had media training.

Kean is 19. He left his homeland, ironically in part due to racism, to go to a country that doesn't speak his native language to just play football. Shows a lot of courage in my book.

Stan Schofield
15 Posted 03/09/2019 at 20:16:26
James, just because a national journalist writes about something does not necessarily mean it's true!
Tony McNulty
16 Posted 03/09/2019 at 20:20:19
I was watching Sky. The discussion started when Souness was asked about Kean's transfer (a similar question had already been asked by other pundits previously).

In essence, the question was, 'if this guy is any good: (1) why has he been allowed to leave Juventus?; and (2) how have Everton of all people managed to get him?' (the implications being that he should have gone to a more high ranking club, or such a club could have come in for him and for some reason chose not to).

Souness took the opportunity to engage in some gratuitous mischief-making with regard to possible flaws in Kean's character. No evidence was put forward. It struck me that Souness was being dumb rather than racist.

Still offensive though and worthy of complaint. Although we all know how Sky dealt with a spitting Carragher. So let's not hold our collective breath.

Brian Harrison
17 Posted 03/09/2019 at 20:21:23
I was at the game so I didn't see what Souness had said about Kean, but have since watched what he said. Why out of nowhere and certainly no proof to back his argument would you bring into question the boys attitude, and this was because Juventus sold a talented young player then there must be off the field issues. Like most pundits their knowledge is limited to the Sky 6 outside of these clubs they haven't a clue. Also why didn't the presenter pull him up over the remarks and point out about only having a year left on his contract, and they got a very good price for a 19-year-old.

I just find the media in general very biased, when young Jadon Sancho left Man City all the pundits were saying what great belief he had and they all said it was a good move for him. Yet when Sterling left the other lot the critics said he was making a mistake. Now Bobby Duncan has left the other lot Carragher and Fowler were apoplectic, saying he needs to apologise to his club and sack his agent. But never tried to find out anything about the lads claim that he was bullied while at the club.

Zahir Jaffer
18 Posted 03/09/2019 at 20:22:00
You're quite right, Mark Frere. It's absolutely unjust to constantly compare someones speculation of "bad attitude" to a race. After-all, West Ham United suspended its director of player recruitment, Tony Henry, after he "allegedly" said that African players "can have a bad attitude" and "cause mayhem".

What was he thinking?

Stan Schofield
19 Posted 03/09/2019 at 21:21:14
I first noticed media bias, particularly by the BBC, against Everton in the mid-80, ironically when we were one of the top teams in the world. Snide comments and digs about our players have been going on for a long time, particularly of course from ex-reds, well before we had any non-Caucasian players.
Paul Hewitt
20 Posted 04/09/2019 at 07:28:55
Can we stop all this nonsense that Souness was being rasict, Jeez.
Martin Mason
21 Posted 04/09/2019 at 08:29:26
Surely the idea that what Souness said is racist is nonsense? Modern Snowflake speech? Nothing he said was based on race and perhaps if we take it as having been so, it'd speak more about us than Souness.
Dan Nulty
22 Posted 04/09/2019 at 08:40:45
Personally, if not consciously racist, Sounness displays at the very least unconscious bias against Black players.

Sounds like a bizarre term but it is very real and many corporations around the world provide training for staff to guard against themselves doing it and spot other members of staff showing signs of unconscious bias.

Take for example what Sounness said. He speculated with no evidence whatsoever that Kean, a young talented striker signed from a big club in Italy, may have potential off-the-field problems which is why he was sold. He didn't say anything of the sort when talking about Cutrone, who Wolves signed as a young talented striker from a big club in Italy, for less money I might add.

What is the difference between the two? Except for the pigment of their skin, nothing. He then compared Kean to Adebayor, they have nothing in common except for two things, they play football and the colour of their skin. Might I remind you there is absolutely no base in anything that Juve weren't happy about his behaviour.

All the while, no mention of the fact that he was racially abused, not backed up by his teammates or manager, club or the Italian Football Association.

Sam Hoare
23 Posted 04/09/2019 at 09:02:21
James Stewart, well said. Racism is not as simple as saying 'black people are x'; it can manifest in many ways and in many tropes.

Given the clear and widespread issue of racism in football you would think that pundits and alike might be sensitive to these issues and take care to walk around it.

What Souness said may not have been explicitly racist but he is clearly adding to the lazy, racist trope that black players (people) do not work as hard by questioning one black player's attitude (with very little evidence) and comparing him to another black player with supposedly poor attitude/work ethic etc.

If you can't see how such lazy punditry is unhelpful to efforts to kick racism out of football then I'd politely suggest you may not have fully understood the complexity of the issue. Yes, there are certain people who can be prone to over-reaction to such situations (probably people who have suffered racism) but that certainly does not mean that Souness is blameless.

Stan Schofield
24 Posted 04/09/2019 at 09:42:21
Sam: I should be cautious of that kind of argument. A problem with it is its likely futility through being based on interpretation and perception rather than explicit evidence.

Without the latter, the 'debate' tends to become a polarised argument in which there is often personal comment made about commentators with whom you disagree, such as your comment in the first sentence of your final paragraph. Such personal comment achieves nothing.

Sam Hoare
25 Posted 04/09/2019 at 10:41:23
Stan, I'd be surprised if many on here took issue with a personal comment aimed at Souness!

I try to allow all people their opinions where possible, Stan, but this is obviously more than football we are talking about and so maybe it does bring out the polarised in me. My personal opinion is that racism is a complicated and many layered issue and I would simply urge those who say that there is nothing at all wrong with Souness's words to consider the wider picture and the sense in comparing two supposedly lazy or poor-attitude black players at a time when racism is rightly under the microscope. I maintain that it was lazy or ill-judged at best.

James Stewart
26 Posted 04/09/2019 at 11:33:58
Sam, Glad to see what I was trying to say wasn't completely just falling on deaf ears. You also raise the wider point of racism in football which is still sadly well behind the times, comments like Paul & Martin are unfortunately quite prevalent views, and only highlight the task at hand.

Overcoming a general lack of understanding and ignorance around racism is not easy when people in football only recognise it in overt forms. More education is needed from the very top down.

Stan Schofield
27 Posted 04/09/2019 at 11:58:34
There's definitely more education needed, primarily on how to handle evidence.
Mark Frere
28 Posted 04/09/2019 at 12:28:38
Sam, Surely Souness comparing one black players attitude with another black players attitude was just pure coincidence, no? A large percentage of footballers in the PL are black. There will be lots of scenarios when two black players are discussed at the same time. There will be plenty of scenarios when two white players are discussed. There will be plenty of scenarios where one white player and one black player are discussed at the same time. That's the law of averages as there is large percentages of all races plying their trade in the Premier League.

Souness is only guilty of ignorance and being lazy for not doing his research before spouting bollocks! There is absolutely no evidence pointing towards racism.

Half of the trouble with society is that people have to go around treading on egg shells in case something might get misconstrued. People can't voice their opinion without it getting turned into something it's not. The real genuine issues that need tackling don't get tackled.

Sam Hoare
29 Posted 04/09/2019 at 12:48:44
With respect, Mark, I think it’s more complicated than that. It’s a pre-existing and damaging trope that black players (or people) are lazy and work-shy. So to re-inforce that negative stereotype with comparison of two black players with so little evidence is unhelpful at a time when racism in football is such a prevalent issue. Of course we can't know for sure either way whether it was co-incidence or whether Souness is actually racist. I'm definitely not saying the latter. Either way it was silly.

I don't really get the 'treading on eggshells' argument. Yes, there are some people out there who are prone to over-reaction but it shouldn't be that hard to not say things that perpetrate negative stereotypes. Of course the bigger issues need to be fixed as well but people being a bit more aware of what they are saying is no bad thing.

Ray Roche
30 Posted 04/09/2019 at 12:55:28
I recall a year or two ago that a journalist stated that Grealish, from Villa, had “off-field distractions and behavioural problems“. I don't remember that being regarded as racist, just sayin'...
Stan Schofield
31 Posted 04/09/2019 at 13:12:23
Sam: The first sentence of your final paragraph @80 appears to be personal comment about those with whom you disagree in this thread (with respect to understanding racism complexities) rather than a personal comment about Souness.

I don't think there's any doubt that Souness' punditry is lazy and hardly worth listening to, but personal comments about those who post on ToffeeWeb achieve nothing, they are a complete waste of time and really shouldn't be occurring in a proper debate.

Sam Hoare
32 Posted 04/09/2019 at 13:33:51
Stan, ah yes. I see what you mean.

I think I have to stand by my guns a bit though on this one. People are of course entitled to their opinions and I can agree with those who say that what Souness did was not explicitly racist. But I have to maintain that if you can’t see how such statements can be problematic then in my opinion you may not have considered the wider picture thoroughly enough.

Hopefully that’s not ‘personal’ in the sense of name calling etc but just an outline of my position on the matter. No offence is intended though I’m aware I may sound self-righteous.

I’d be interested to hear the views of any posters on here who have been subject to racism, as a white middle class man I’m not best qualified to claim expertise.

Stan Schofield
33 Posted 04/09/2019 at 13:43:17
Sam, okay, no issue with pointing out that racism issues are complex, but I think there is a problem about even suggesting the possibility that those who cannot see a racism issue with Souness's comments are also failing to appreciate the complexities of racism.

I think we all know, certainly on ToffeeWeb (where as far as I can see the vast majority of commentators appear to be reasonable folks), that racism isn't simple. I know you're not name-calling, but I don't think that your suggestion achieves anything, that's all.

Sam Hoare
34 Posted 04/09/2019 at 13:59:42
Stan, your last sentence is probably spot on. But no doubt many on here spend hours writing posts attempting to achieve something, usually trying to change someone's mind when it will not be changed. If my posts can somehow facilitate one person looking at the subject in a new or different light then hooray; if not, so be it. If we were only to write on here when we were sure of achieving something then there'd be considerably less posts!
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

35 Posted 04/09/2019 at 14:10:40
A tricky conundrum this one.

On the one hand, there is some legitimacy in what James and Sam are lobbying for. Racial stereotyping - social stereotyping - is real and does exist. It is not always blatant and obvious.

Take ourselves - Scousers. From this weekend's football, I understand from reports that the away support on Sunday incessantly chanted 1980s-style stereotypical football chants about Scousers.

It is something the city and its sons and daughters have long had to live with and to this day can still be the recipients of social stereotyping by humorous (cough!) 'wags' on nothing more than their accent. That is clear and obvious prejudice and unjust social stereotyping.

Then you have our ex-player Lukaku racially abused at the same ground and by the same supporters who abused our current player Kean in exactly the same fashion just a few months ago.

Now publicly, Moise Kean himself has declared that did not influence his decision to leave Juventus and Italy for Everton and the city of Liverpool. Privately, it might be another matter. How his own club captain and others effectively criticised him for 'provoking' the monkey chants are also not easily passed over.

The 'open letter' Lukaku's own Inter supporters have posted in DEFENCE of Calgiri's racist chanting is clear and obvious evidence akin to Stan's position in this thread. (Read the story and full text at the following link):

Link

The authors of that letter are in some serious need of 'educating' as Stan mentions.

If I were Lukaku this morning reading his own supporters' justification of racial chanting, I would be more than a little concerned.

Racism - both passive and active, subtle and blatant - exists. It is abhorrent. It should be challenged, exposed, punished.

However, before calling out someone as racist you need to have very good grounds to do so IMO. Having only read Souness' words, not having seen the actual video, on balance I think it is a stretch to interpret his gibberings as racist per se. Dumb. Ill-informed. Babbling. Yes. Racist? Nah! Not for me.

He was just being what he is, as Pete Gorman describes.

A twat.

Stan Schofield
36 Posted 04/09/2019 at 14:12:22
Sam, that's true!

Jay, that's true!

Sam Hoare
37 Posted 04/09/2019 at 14:39:42
Jay, yes, I'd already read that letter. Extraordinary stuff.

I agree with nearly all you say and though I agree that Souness's comments were not racist per se I would maintain they were poorly judged and certainly treading in difficult and dangerous territory.

James Hughes
38 Posted 04/09/2019 at 15:27:52
I watched the pre-match exchange and it didn't strike me as racist, either consciously, subliminally or whatever mode of thought Souness (Knob Head) allegedly uses.

It came across as KH trying desperately to sound insightful on why Juve would sell such a player. Also why would they sell him to lowly EFC, must be desperate to get shot. Plenty of players have suffered 'off-field distractions' and not made it, we've had one, citteh also.

Souness, Knob head, is and has always been a twat.

Mike Gaynes
39 Posted 04/09/2019 at 15:56:58
Stan and Sam, highest respects for your thoughtful expressions of somewhat differing views, and thanks to James and Jay for the clarity of your contributions as well.

I have nothing to contribute about the Souness situation, because I have no context -- I barely know who he is and have no insight into the norms of British society (or British football commentary, for that matter). But Sam, at #91 you asked for views from posters who have been subjected to racism. I haven't, but I have experienced bigotry because of my religious background and my wife's race and religion.

Sam, I agree with your perspective and I believe that bigotry is not only institutionalized in society but prone to pop out and normalize. I'm Jewish, and I live in a country whose despicable elected leader has told us that we are ungrateful, ignorant and disloyal if we don't vote for his party. When neo-Nazis marched in Virginia chanting "Jews will not replace us" (and a counter-protester was murdered), this president called them "very fine people." Avowed white nationalists gunned down Jews at synagogues in Pittsburgh and California, yet this president refuses to characterize the attacks as domestic terrorism. And the country just sort of shrugs, because with this guy in charge it has become almost normal.

On the flip side, however, Stan's view appears to be that an individual's failure to understand racism's complexities does not constitute racism in itself, and I can endorse that viewpoint as well. Shortly after we bought our home in an all-white beach neighborhood, I received an email from a neighbor informing me that I was "un-American" because I had married a Chinese woman instead of a white one, and because we have a Buddha at our front gate (my wife's faith) instead of an American flag. The response from our other neighbors was generally a "that's terrible" and a shake of the head. But are they tacitly bigoted because they weren't outraged and demanding apologies from the offender? I don't think so. I think they're just unaware because they haven't encountered it before, and my views of them must be nuanced as a result.

End of ramble. Don't know if that helps any.

With regards to the abhorrent situation in Italy, I'll go farther than Jay and say that I believe it was a major, perhaps even deciding factor in Kean's departure. Cagliari's open racists, Inter's ultras and the brain-dead Juve club leaders who criticized Kean are not isolated phenomena, they are mainstream elements in Italian football, and I think Demba Ba is absolutely right. That said, Rom is a grown man who could have gone anywhere in the world to play football but deliberately chose to play at Inter knowing the supporters' reputation, and I'm sure he knew exactly what he was getting into.

Stan Schofield
40 Posted 04/09/2019 at 15:58:37
David: I don't think that anyone on this thread called them 'snowflakes'.
David Graves
41 Posted 04/09/2019 at 16:18:41
I think they did.

"Surely the idea that what Souness said is racist is nonsense? Modern Snowflake speech?"

Kevin Prytherch
42 Posted 04/09/2019 at 16:32:59
I think the unconscious part is where a lot of this debate has stemmed from.

To be unconsciously racist implied that you are not aware that you are being racist, that's not the same as saying someone is racist.

Souness has grouped 2 players together based on a limited number of factors. They are both forwards, they are both the same colour, they both left bigger clubs for smaller clubs.

Someone mentioned Cutrone - Souness didn't mention him because he doesn't play for Everton.

If Souness has grouped these players together without thinking because of the colour of their skin, instead of another closely matched player of a different skin colour, then he has been unconsciously racist. However, if these two players are indeed the best comparison for the point he was trying to make, then he hasn't been.

Either way, he's a gobshite.

Sam Hoare
43 Posted 04/09/2019 at 16:54:37
Mike, I agree with all of that and am sorry for the bigotry you have experienced. I certainly have family members and friends who are prone to remarks and viewpoints that are unhelpful to the cause of cutting out racism (and bigotry) even if they are not racist (or bigots) per se. Which may or may not be the case with Souness

Your president is a whole other can of worms to get into but, needless to say, I'm not a fan!

Stan Schofield
44 Posted 04/09/2019 at 17:14:34
David: Okay, I stand corrected. But I think that's the only (very isolated) reference to it in what has been pretty much a debate that's avoided that kind of thing.
Jay Harris
45 Posted 04/09/2019 at 17:15:19
Mike,
I am very sorry to hear of you and your wife's experience but since moving to Florida in 2005 I have been astounded by the outright racism shown by certain people I have met.

As you rightly say more of them have come out of the shadows since the current president was elected.

I am really concerned about the USA now because it seems to be moving into quite a divisive culture.

We can only make America great again by embracing other cultures and cultivating allies not by isolating ourselves from the world and pretending we can be self sufficient.

Kieran Kinsella
46 Posted 04/09/2019 at 17:24:54
I would point out that Souness alluded to off field issues. The next day Mancini dropped him from the Italy squad due to discipline. So his statement wasn't without any basis even if he extrapolated and ran with it.

Also, while not racism per se, Souness did bring an end to the bigoted banning of Catholics at Rangers. Obviously he is a wanker but I'll give him benefit of the doubt on racism.

Jay Harris
47 Posted 04/09/2019 at 17:25:29
Souness,
Is a really arrogant nasty man who Ive had a few experiences with.

One in particular was at a Sportmans dinner when he was on our table with Grobelaar.

A friend who is a kopite asked if he could borrow my pen to get an autograph to which I jokingly said "You must be joking he'll drop it (Grobelaar) and He'll stand on it (Souness). Grobelaar laughed out loud but Souness gave me a stare that would have frightened the dead and thought he was above everybody on the table staying aloof to all the conversations all night.

No wonder Danielle (his ex wife) divorced him. I believe he only married her for the money.

Mike Gaynes
48 Posted 04/09/2019 at 17:25:53
Jay, "come out of the shadows" is the appropriate expression. I've always felt this country had a significant undercurrent of people who thought this way, and now they've been officially empowered to get loud and proud about their bigotry. The isolationism you mention is another symptom of the disease of white nationalism. It's not curable, so it must be quarantined.

Hope you're in a safe part of Florida today. And one that doesn't have bricks of cocaine washing ashore!

PS... Sam and Jay, I should add that our experience in this conservative corner of America has been overwhelmingly positive despite that one example of bigotry. And the fact that we're selling the house and moving up to more-liberal Seattle has nothing to do with politics. We will miss these lovely people despite their abhorrent voting habits.

Jay Harris
49 Posted 04/09/2019 at 17:29:02
Kieran,

There are no off-field issues with Kean. He and another member of the U21s turned up late for a meeting and Mancini decided to drop them from the friendly's squad to shake them up.

However, he went on to say he thought the move to Everton was good for him and he was certainly in his plans for the future.

Kieran Kinsella
50 Posted 04/09/2019 at 17:29:14
Also at Rangers, Souness signed Mark Walters as their first black player since WWI. As with Johnston, he took a lot of heat for it.
Kieran Kinsella
51 Posted 04/09/2019 at 17:30:24
Jay

It was minor but it was an issue and off field

Frank Wade
52 Posted 04/09/2019 at 17:53:02
Mike, so sorry to read of your dreadful experience with your neighbour. Reminds me of a recent Guardian article Link Another word for your collection.

I agree with your view that the incident at Calgiari was one of the prime motivations for Kean's move to Everton. I just hope and pray he doesn't suffer any similar experiences as others have in recent weeks.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
53 Posted 04/09/2019 at 18:00:36
Is there a division between racism and racial stereotyping?

There are a number of Christian "conventions" in the UK around Easter time. They are held at Butlins/Pontins - because they have 800 chalets with 4000 beds. Every year the bookings open in mid-July. Within 24 hours all chalets are booked, 8-9 months in advance.

My friend's church is in the East side of London with a large proportion of Afro-Caribbean members. He says it is a nightmare to get the church to go to one of these because by and large they do not plan 8-9 months in advance. Is it okay to say in general Afro-Caribbean people are more relaxed? Their lives are not governed by the clock in the way most of ours are governed? Or is that racism? Or is it just racial stereotyping and that is just as bad?

I know he will laugh and joke with his friends in the church and gently rib them about their laid back attitude and unable to commit to booking for an event 9 months in advance and they will laugh and tell him they will let him know. And they will rib him about his faults. (West Ham supporter!). He calls me a middle-class Oik because I went to Grammar School and qualified as an accountant and he was a bus fitter with London Transport. I let him because I know our friendship is deep and his comment superficial.

The biggest issue – and this is where the keyboard warriors are also at their worst – is that it is (generally) okay to be rude and racist to a friend of a different race because you have spent the time investing in the friendship and that depth of friendship has put your relationship on a level where you can be honest with one another.

Things said publicly in the media, either on TV or in social media, never have that background. Atkinson was wrong about Desailly, Souness about Kean.

Kevin Latham
54 Posted 04/09/2019 at 18:00:45
Mike, I've just read your post. I was in Charlottesville just prior to those ‘fine people' kicking off and I didn't come away with any great memories.

For context, I'm a Liverpool Irish Catholic and I was there with my son who was on a baseball tour. Our accents marked us out and neither of us felt particularly comfortable, I don't think I'm exaggerating to say that the sense of entitlement and superiority was in the air around us. I'm trying to be diplomatic here but I hope you see what I'm getting at.

What subsequently happened there was absolutely disgraceful on any level you care to name, but equally abhorrent was the treatment you and Mrs Gaynes received in the land of the free. We think we're so sophisticated in this day and age but it turns my stomach to hear of experiences like yours – which, by the way, I applaud you for putting it out there.

I've spent a bit of time in the States (my Dad was in the Merchant Navy and sailed to New York regularly) and, much as I love it, some of the polarised views just leave me cold. That said, I've felt that here in the UK and we don't even have Trump as our leader... well, Boris is doing his best. I'm proud of my background, as we all should be.

Take heart, my friend, there are plenty of decent people around too and I hope you've met more of them than the other kind. My dear Mum always told me that nobody was any better than me, and I was no better than them, beliefs, colour, race was irrelevant. There's lots of room for us all in this world – and of course, as an Evertonian, never forget that you've won first prize in the lottery of life!

Mike Gaynes
55 Posted 04/09/2019 at 18:15:49
Thank you for your post, Kevin. I always prize the perspective that visitors from overseas bring to their US experiences, and their willingness to share it with us Colonial clods. I've never been to Charlottesville, but I've actually heard it described as an island of tolerance in that dark-red region (which is reportedly why the Nazis chose it). My condolences for your discomfiture there.
Lev Vellene
56 Posted 06/09/2019 at 06:01:41
I grew up with parents who were (still are!) sports nuts. If there were points to give out, or medals awarded at the end, they were glued to the TV. Football, handball, ice hockey, skiing, skating, dancing, even bloody synchronized swimming, they loved it all! When I moved out some 30 years ago, I soon found that I went totally "Meh!" at anything to do with sports, football included. There was one exception: Everton, which I had steadfastly followed since I was old enough to pick a favourite team in late 1977, or early 1978, before the FA Cup final.

So I've mainly just picked up random headlines about other sports, football included, unless it was something involving Everton, or Everton players.

Which brings me to my point, at last. If I somehow ended up in a discussion about footballers with a bad attitude, the first name that would pop to my mind would be Emmanuel Adebayour. The second would be Balotelli. Beyond those two, I'd be scratching my head. And to me, those are NAMES I automatically associate with the description, not faces, or skin colour.

So although I don't like Souness, or his thoughtless, idiot assumptions about Moise Kean, I will grudgingly give him the benefit of doubt on that racial stereotyping thing. Adebayour is in a class of his own in that bad attitude category, if even I know his name...

Peter Neilson
57 Posted 06/09/2019 at 13:05:36
Souness August 2019 “Zaha’s situation at Palace has some similarities with mine at Middlesbrough before I joined Liverpool in January 1978. I threatened to down tools to get my move.” The high standard he set allows him to judge others.
Eddie Dunn
58 Posted 06/09/2019 at 16:51:01
Souness was a superb player, who we would have loved on our side. He also was successful as a manager and I have heard him come out with well-qualified observations on many occasions. He also comes across as a man with a big ego.

I doubt he is racist with the good things he did against the bigotry of Glasgow but I imagine that he is not very nice. He was clearly talking off the top of his head and hadn't done his homework.

Jay Woods
59 Posted 06/09/2019 at 18:23:40
Well said Mark Frere (#7)... Although Souness is acting like the prat he always has been, you can't automatically brand criticism per se of black people as racism... that's the kind of shrill, hysterical girl's blouse tripe that has gripped western society's capacity to speak objectively.

Returning to Souness, IMHO he's a bluffer and has been for years, even as a player where his play-acting capabilities should have caught the attention of the Academy. The one that hands out Oscars, I mean.

Phil Bellis
60 Posted 06/09/2019 at 18:53:01
Ooo, Jay, just glad you didn't say "big girl's blouse"!
Andy Crooks
61 Posted 06/09/2019 at 18:59:32
A really well written and pertinent article, Adam. I think the consolidation of posts from other threads has taken away the impact of it. The article, to me, is about Souness and not just Souness and Kean.

Souness has demonstrated time after time throughout his career that he is a vile man, bitter and angry to the core. This fine article lampoons him nicely. I wish he could read it. I might anger him, though.

Jim Burns
62 Posted 06/09/2019 at 19:28:40
Interesting debate – I haven't seen the Sky footage – I was at the match and don't subscribe.

Here's my own first hand take on ita; anyone frequenting a certain wine bar near Gateacre in the late '70s or early '80s would know what a twat Souness was – racist or not.

Steve Carse
63 Posted 06/09/2019 at 19:59:09
With the majority of Premier League players now non-Caucasian, I guess it must be becoming quite difficult to make such Sounessian comments without the subject matter seeming racist.
Tony Hill
64 Posted 06/09/2019 at 20:52:44
This is a fine piece, very well composed and targeted. If I may say so, you overdo it a bit and lose control stylistically in one or two parts but this is bold writing of a high order. It would be great to see more from you.
James Flynn
65 Posted 06/09/2019 at 21:07:04
I want to second Andy Crooks' compliments to Adam on a well-written piece. Surprised it took 61 comments for someone to mention it. One of the best examples of first-rate writing skill I've read here in some time. Congrats Adam. Keep them coming.

Having just read thru the thread, always get a kick out of white, western males explaining how another white, western male's comments weren't racist.

Tony Everan
66 Posted 06/09/2019 at 21:07:25
Good read Adam,

Would Souness have been spouting this nonsense if Liverpool had signed him?

Answer, No

This biased claptrap is all too common. The ridiculous offensive salaries and self -important air a lot of these pundits have make me want to projectile puke at the TV. I would prefer a rotation of pundits, totally different each week through the season. There's plenty of alternative opinion out there, why contract the likes of Souness and others for years on end?

Andy Crooks
68 Posted 06/09/2019 at 21:33:09
Can anyone verify that the odious Souness challenged Andy King to a fight long after a derby game ended? And that Andy declined his offer in the way that one would remove a dog that is trying to shag one's leg.

Really like an adult who is irritated by an animal on heat.

Bill Watson
69 Posted 06/09/2019 at 22:19:59
James # 65

I absolutely agree and a well written article.

The posters trying to justify Souness's racism (by maintaining it wasn't racist) are as stereotypical as Souness using another black player, with no similarities to Kean, whatsoever, as a comparator.

Karl Masters
70 Posted 06/09/2019 at 22:43:28
It would be good if you could actually spell Graeme correctly. It smacks of ignorance of the Scottish spelling of this name - hmmm I’d say that’s offensive to Scottish people. Outrageous in fact.

It wasn’t racist, it was ignorance of why Kean moved. I watched it at the time - and you’d have to have an agenda of your own to interpret those comments as racist.

He also said that Everton “are a fabulous club with a terrific support” but of course that gets ignored because this trend of wanting to be outraged and offended takes precedence. I don’t think he’s got an agenda against Everton and has complimented our supporters before I am certain.

I have no idea if he’s a nice bloke, I’d suspect not, probably doesn’t suffer fools gladly, but evidence from his time at Rangers and other clubs suggests he’s not a racist - unless that’s what you want to think.

Personally, I don't think he’s a particularly good pundit, and this proved it. But, racist? Not for me.

James Stewart
71 Posted 06/09/2019 at 23:28:21
@70 Describing others as having an “agenda” and wanting to think Souness a racist is utter nonsense.

Fair enough if you don't find it racist, but plenty clearly do, without an having an “agenda” – whatever that is.

Steve Carse
72 Posted 06/09/2019 at 23:41:56
Karl (70), I recall him on a number of occasions praising Everton and its support. In fact on one occasion in the mid-90s he said that Everton were the bigger club. OK, maybe he was still bitter after leaving the RS. Nevertheless.

I really do not think that it does the anti-racism any cause to be dissecting issues like this one. Bit like VAR really - you can look at the video time and time again and not get a clearcut decision. Better surely to put resources into solving the bigger instances.

Tony Hill
73 Posted 07/09/2019 at 00:30:21
I understand that view, Steve @72, but imagine how Kean might feel, emerging from the idiocies in Italy only to meet the chunterings and insinuations of Souness about how something was probably amiss for Juventus to have sold him.

It was, at best, lazy and stupid of Souness; but I think those who make the charge of "dog whistle" racism here have a point. It's about being attentive: to one's own buried prejudices and to the reasonable sensitivities of vulnerable others.

Andrew Keatley
74 Posted 07/09/2019 at 00:52:38
James (65) - The reason it took 61 comments was because the first 55 comments were lifted from another page (think it might have been the Should we go back in for Zaha in January? one), and then dropped here.

There is a note at the bottom of the article (which I missed on initial reading) that references this.

Ron Marr
75 Posted 07/09/2019 at 01:23:02
Souness is a gobshite, and wasn't he a crap manager for the RS? Hope he takes over from Klopp.
Mike Kehoe
76 Posted 07/09/2019 at 09:08:32
As a white, able bodied, university educated, heterosexual male, I feel ideally placed to comment on the dreadful and complex nature of discrimination in all its forms. I remember reading research into racism that highlighted micro episodes, the small day to day matters of casual almost unconscious discrimination as being more psychologically damaging than overt clear attacks: so when a thousand events happen like a white person being served before a black person has more impact than being punched by a racist for your colour or those lovable tories with their campaign slogan “if you want a nigger for a neighbour vote liberal or labour”. Souness presents as being a very bitter ignorant man and there are numerous stories in support of his utterly deplorable nature from his time in the city. He’s a relic now, an odious virtual irrelevance. I always find his analysis obvious and superficial, like what Alan Shearer might be if he had a few more words at his disposal. I love football but hate what it has become; Murdoch’s filthy lucre rewards the likes of Carragher and gives them a platform to regularly offend the senses with their ignorance and barely concealed bias. Souness is a despicable excuse for a human being, an warped, bitter egotistical narcissistic weakened by age and lacking in threat, I would say his main personality trait throughout his professional career, he tries to be relevant by passing opinions from an empty locker of knowledge. The one I cannot stand is Rio Ferdinand, after his “what do they want?” outrage at Everton fans who dared not to be thrilled with the progress under Allardyce. That isn’t racism by the way, he is just an idiot.
Phil Greenough
77 Posted 07/09/2019 at 10:09:18
Mike, may I ask you to expand on your "weakened by age" opinion, please?

Are you insinuating that the older you are, the less of a threat you become? Or perhaps, the older you are, your opinions are less relevant?

It's only my opinion, but your, possibly, ageist comment, could be construed as a "casual almost unconscious discrimination."

As a bus pass holder, I am conscious of ageist stereotyping and discrimination. I certainly cannot be a "Snowflake" for having this opinion.

Unfortunately, UK society reinforces ageism. Have you seen a t.v. advert with older people in, apart from life assurance, funerals and Saga holidays?

David Greenwood
78 Posted 07/09/2019 at 10:28:46
Werthers originals Phil.
Brian Williams
79 Posted 07/09/2019 at 10:58:43
Phil#77

Souness is a despicable excuse for a human being, a warped, bitter egotistical narcissistic weakened by age

Think you'll find Mike was referencing Mr Souness there and not generalizing, old timer.

Have a look at this, this'll break the old dears stereotyping!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipuUYJwzWyE

Mike Kehoe
80 Posted 07/09/2019 at 11:10:35
Phil, it was not my intention to sound as ageist, I am hardly a spring chicken, my comments refer simply to Souness being nothing more than a bully, a dreadful ignorant thug whose physical prowess and vicious nature, therefore threat, has inevitably lessened with age replaced by bitterness. He is a twat.
Phil Greenough
81 Posted 07/09/2019 at 11:21:02
Dave, fair one.😂

Thanks for the vid, Brian.

OK, Mike, as I've said. it came across to me as ageist, my apologies. I agree with you about him being a twat. 👍

Rob Dolby
82 Posted 07/09/2019 at 13:00:10
Why was Kean likened to Adebayour and Balotelli?

If Souness wanted to make a point about attitude why didn't he liken him to Cantona Bentdner or Jeffers.

We don't have any evidence that the lad isn't anything other than a young footballer with ambition who had hit a glass ceiling with Juventus.

Why wasn't he likened to young lads who have massive potential and want to better themselves. Sancho, Duncan, Lookman or even Lukaku, Thierry Henry, Ronaldo or Rooney.

I don't think that I have ever heard him mention a good thing about us. The imbalance of the sky sports talking heads is embarrassing. I honestly don't know how they keep their jobs.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

83 Posted 07/09/2019 at 13:38:48
James @ 65 and Bill @ 69.

As Andrew @ 74 points out, the vast bulk of the comments in this thread were copy and pasted RETROSPECTIVELY from another thread. Ergo, they were not written in response SPECIFICALLY to Adam's opening post. They were written a full day or two before Adam's post appeared.

There is now a note at the end of Adam's post flagging this up which many may have missed.

I say that because it may excuse, to a degree, your comments, without exonerating them.

The discussion that was lifted from another thread and dropped here was a very civil one, an intelligent one, a considered one.

I would be really interested to hear from either of you how you can justify the following comments you made.

James - "Having just read thru the thread, always get a kick out of white, western males explaining how another white, western male's comments weren't racist."

How on earth do you know the race, genetics, nationality, geo-location AND attitudes and beliefs about racism from any and every poster you reference based solely on their written word and posts on TW to make such a sweeping statement?

Bill likewise - "The posters trying to justify Souness's racism (by maintaining it wasn't racist) are as stereotypical as Souness using another black player, with no similarities to Kean, whatsoever, as a comparator."

How on earth do you reach the conclusion that posters are 'justifying' Souncess' racism (YOUR conclusion. The evidence is tenuous at best) and more, are themselves stereotypically racist for 'maintaining' Souness' wasn't racist?

In my eyes, you both make yourselves appear as ridiculous as Souness did by making such lazy, generalized and wildly inaccurate comments.

Eric Paul
84 Posted 07/09/2019 at 14:19:09
Maybe Souness wasn't using a “black player” as a comparator, just a footballer, and some posters are the ones who are stereotyping.

He's still a twat.

Adam McCulloch
85 Posted 07/09/2019 at 14:55:29
Karl (70) Total oversight on my part and one I hold my hands up to - you’d think with my surname I would know better.

As I said in the piece, it’s an opinion. I can understand why some may rankle at the strong words, or the sense that Souness’ ignorance did not come from a malicious place. But that’s the point. Unconscious racial profiling is dangerous and rife in society, whether you’re in the UK like me, across the pond or wherever else your Blues roots have taken you. Obviously we see horrendous examples of outward racism (see Lukaku recently in Italy). But Souness has a platform and words can have consequences.

I realise some may disagree with that, and me having a rant about Graeme (see above) is definitely no final word on the matter. His weakness as a pundit and analyst of the game is something I think we were all clear about before this incident. Sachin Nakrani penned a much more eloquent article in the Guardian about the matter, and he’s a diehard Liverpool fan if that adds anything to the fray. He signs off with:

“So if you’re reading this Graeme – seriously, have a think the next time you decide to speculate on the character of a footballer, and especially those for whom accusations of a lack of professionalism and being a wrong’un are too deep-rooted and lasting to be lazily aired on an otherwise lazy Sunday afternoon.”

Souness is at the very least guilty of something I’m sure many of us have done at some point, but his opinions carry a lot further than mine, anyone who has commented below or countless others. We can all do better, and the great thing that everyone reading this has in common is that whatever your background, you’ve got Everton. All that history, the ups, the downs, the even more downs, the community, the grand old team, even everyone’s favourite animated pals the Angry Birds. Let’s hope for a future where that’s the only ruffled feathers we see.*

*terrible conclusion but I was worried it would start to sound a bit too luvvie. Also, not condoning the presence of the Angry Birds logo on our shirt, it’s an outrage.

Bill Watson
86 Posted 07/09/2019 at 21:49:15
Jay 83 #

Adam @ 85 succinctly sums it up when he says,"Unconscious racial profiling is dangerous and rife in society "

I'm prepared to give Souness the benefit of the doubt in that, maybe, he was unconsciously stereotyping black players.

Likewise, my conclusion in that defending Souness others are falling into the same trap is perfectly valid and far from ridiculous lazy, generalized or wildly inaccurate.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

87 Posted 07/09/2019 at 22:52:24
Bill, you made a blanket assumption that either explicitly or implicitly believes:

a) people who posted they didn't regard Souness as racist are 'defending' him

and that by doing so

b) such posters are themselves 'stereotypically racist'.

If you read all the posts carefully it is very difficult to find anyone DEFENDING Souness. He is almost universally described as 'a twat'. So that undermines clause a) in your premise, effectively making the claims you make in clause b) redundant.

Simply put, some perceive his comments as racists. Others don't. Whose perception is indisputably 'right'?

Given that you yourself now say in your second post that you are 'prepared to give Souness the benefit of the doubt', based on your own stated criteria by which you labelled other posters like Souness (stereotypically racist), I can only presume you similarly recognize yourself as 'stereotypically racist'.

You seemingly wish to stand by the claims you made about other posters. Your second post does nothing to dissuade me from my original assessment of those claims: that they appear as ridiculous as Souness did by making such lazy, generalized and wildly inaccurate comments about the posts and posters you call out in this thread.

Brian Wilkinson
88 Posted 07/09/2019 at 23:51:56
I think we should put the racist thing to bed about Souness and get back on track about the original read.

Souness spoke about Kean maybe having an attitude problem, when every man and his dog who follows football, knows Kean was subjected to some disgusting chants from Calgari fans.

Whether this is the reason, or simply Kean wanted a fresh challenge, someone who has played the game at the highest level, should have known the above, rather than suggesting Kean might have an attitude problem.

Bill Watson
89 Posted 07/09/2019 at 23:53:07
Jay,

You say:

"If you read all the posts carefully it is very difficult to find anyone DEFENDING Souness. He is almost universally described as 'a twat'. So that undermines clause a) in your premise, effectively making the claims you make in clause b) redundant".

I would have thought arguing Souness's comments weren't racist was DEFENDING Souness from the accusation his comments were racist.

You further state; "he is almost universally described as 'a twat'. So that undermines clause a) in your premise, effectively making the claims you make in clause b) redundant".

I quick glance through the comments reveals a grand total of 5 comments concluded, or agreed, he was a twat. One of these was you. Hardly universal, Jay, and your ridiculous exaggerations are lazy, inaccurate and completely undermine any argument you may have had.

I've always thought he was an obnoxious twat so you can make that 6!

We're not going to agree so I'll leave it there.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

90 Posted 08/09/2019 at 00:33:54
Evidently Bill subtlety isn't your forte.

Souness is universally loathed and ridiculed in this thread. No one is defending THE MAN.

You continue to argue on the false premise that he is indisputably racist (the charge has not been categorically proven, only presumed) and that anyone who doesn't perceive things in the same way as you do is therefore defending his racism and furthermore, that they themselves are 'stereotypically racist'.

That is, as I've stated twice (and now a third time) a lazy, generalized and wildly inaccurate interpretation (akin to Souness' blathering assessment of Kean, comically) of the many civil, intelligent and considered posts on the subject, which had many more shades than the very black or white monochrome 'yea' or 'nay' you offer. And absolutely NO subliminal or deviant insinuation should be interpreted from my use of 'black or white' there.

If you cannot acknowledge the evident flaw in your thought process, we can agree on one thing: we're never going to agree on the extreme and absurd claim you leap to in labelling some posters as 'stereotypically racist'.

Jack Convery
91 Posted 08/09/2019 at 01:55:51
I haven't seen the clip as I don't have Sky and never will. The money it's poured into the Premier League has ruined competitive football. You can almost list how the league will finish in a heartbeat – Leicester excepted. The Championship is by far, much more competitive and harder to call.

The Premier League is all about the rich teams getting richer and Sky is to blame – as it is with English Cricket. The pundits Sky use are names – not experts. Why they still employ Carragher is a disgrace. Souness exudes ego and smothers himself in it – horrible man. My advice is if you want Souness dealt with, send your Sky box back and when they ask why tell them. If enough people do it, he will be gone – money talks, ask anyone at Sky, the EPL, UEFA, agents etc etc...

By the way, whoever knew a team to be the Champions of Europe, when they haven't been Champions in their own country this century – as I say, money talks.

Bill Watson
92 Posted 08/09/2019 at 02:22:18
Jay; your rationale is getting more and more flawed. I have never suggested anyone is defending the MAN and that assumption, as are many of your others, is plainly ridiculous.

My opinion on his comments are just as valid as yours and vice versa. Is there really any need for the wild exaggerations and assumptions in trying to prove your point? We're all Evertonians; let's just agree to disagree on just what this odious character was getting at in his criticism of Kean.

Jack # 91

Totally agree with you about Sky. I've never subscribed to it either and have boycotted all Murdoch connected companies since the miner's strike of 1984. I was sent the Souness clip on a Twitter feed.

Ralph Basnett
93 Posted 08/09/2019 at 06:48:50
Souness, for all his issues, is a very good pundit, he mixes it with the others if he is right or wrong, it is his opinion!

What he said I find ill-informed nothing more nothing less.

However, if he has read this as any good journo would could he call us bullies for what we are saying about him.

Whilst there are people in the world who are outright racists, and we have to leave the law to deal with them, my personal feeling is of low-level silly comments that Souness made are ill-advised, no more, no less, and the more highlight we give them, the more people will believe he is racist by our comments about him and not his racist comments, if that is what people think they are.

I personally think ill-advised comments not meant to be racist, good pundit. I disliked him because he played for them, but that's it for me.

Dave Abrahams
94 Posted 08/09/2019 at 08:54:15
I think all ex professional football players who turn to punditry are poachers turned to gamekeepers.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

95 Posted 08/09/2019 at 14:01:54
Bill, that's nowt wrong with my rationale.

And don't now try the slight of hand and imply that I am attempting to deny your opinion by saying: "My [ie, your] opinion...is just as valid as yours [ie, mine]."

All opinions are welcome on TW as far as I'm concerned. Only, some are more credible and valid than others, as in life in general. And I don't find your first post @ 69 in this thread either credible or valid. There's a lot wrong with it. Thus my challenge to it.

You and others perceive Souness's comments on Kean as racist. Nobody, absolutely nobody, either on this thread or outside it can categorically or indisputably demonstrate that the comments were indeed racist (or NOT racist). Yet you claim that as a given, which is fine. Debatable, but fine.

But not content with that, you make a huge, huge, HUGE assumption on the back of that fundamentally false premise that anyone who doesn't concur with YOUR perception of his words is as "stereotypical racist as Souness".

Now you don't bother to define what is 'stereotypical racism', but you clearly resent being (reasonably) challenged for presuming to label fellow Blues 'stereotypical racists'.

"We're all Evertonians" you lament in your latest post. Indeed we are. So let's be explicit and list the posters in this thread you effectively label as 'stereotypically racist' for no other reason than they doubt the legitimacy you (and others) make in labelling Souness' comments as 'racist'.

A quick scan reveals the following expressing doubt about the legitimacy of considering Souness's comments as racist, be it a brief or more fullsome comment:

Myself (clearly!)
Mark Frere
Stan Schofield
Tony McNulty
Paul Hewitt
Martin Mason
Ray Roche
James Hughes
Kevin Prytherch
Kieran Kinsella
Lee Vellene
Eddie Dunn
Jay Woods (my doppleganger!)
Steve Carse
Karl Masters
Tony Hill
Mike Kehoe
Eric Paul
Ralph Basnett

"We're all Evertonians", you wrote in your last post. So why your ridiculous Souness-like lazy, generalized and wildly inaccurate charge that ALL the above (and possibly others) are 'stereotypical racists' on the mere grounds that they don't share your opinion that Souness's comments were undeniably racist?

James Flynn
96 Posted 08/09/2019 at 16:00:27
Jay (83) - Arguing just to argue:

"How on earth do you know the race, genetics, nationality, geo-location AND attitudes and beliefs about racism from any and every poster you reference based solely on their written word and posts on TW to make such a sweeping statement?"

I already posted it above, which you are here pretending to not understand. So, I'll go again, I said, "Having just read thru the thread, always get a kick out of white, western males explaining how another white, western male's comments weren't racist."

Our position as white, European-blooded males makes racism (Specifically black is less than white and by "our" I mean me too) a strand in our DNA. The entire notion that white is superior to black for no other reason than whiteness was created and remains thru European conquest. Woods, Flynn, and our "explaining racism" white male brethren above are direct descendants of this. We all know it. The idea that any of us can make determinations on what is and what isn't white racism is laughable because none of us have, or ever will be, subject to it. We're white men.

Souness, in the moment, made a dumb statement about our Kean, then immediately doubled-down by comparing him to another black footballer. Didn't even think about it, out of simple reflex he picked another player had zero in common with Kean beyond football and his blackness. A common, everyday thought process for a white, European-blooded male (Which, again, includes me) on any subject that involves a non-white male.

He didn't pick any of the alcoholic, disruptive louts he played with or against to make a comparison, did he. He had to have played with or against a variety of them to choose from. Nope. Without having to give it thought, went directly to skin color for reference.

That's how I can make such a "sweeping statement." I'm a fellow white male. Can't fool me. I have that same strand of "white is right" DNA in my veins as you our fellow white, western males above "explaining how another white, western male's comments weren't racist."

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

97 Posted 08/09/2019 at 16:31:37
Ehrm...James.

Nice explanation. But it misses by a country mile and then some the point I was making.

YOU know YOU are a 'fellow white male'.

How on earth do you know that ANY, ALL or NONE of the posters are similarly 'fellow white males' based solely on what they post?

That is a HUGE presumption on your part. Very revealing about your mind set, however.

Jack Convery
98 Posted 08/09/2019 at 17:25:25
Bill 92 - Right on Brother !!
Peter Gorman
99 Posted 08/09/2019 at 18:03:09
"Our position as white, European-blooded males makes racism (Specifically black is less than white and by "our" I mean me too) a strand in our DNA."

Er, stick to football James, biology isn't your forte.

Dave Williams
100 Posted 08/09/2019 at 18:07:20
I think Souness was being careless with his comparison but racism is a very serious matter and I really don’t think he was guilty of that. I’m pretty sure that when we were first linked with Moise there were guys posting here that he was “ another Balotelli” and we shouldn’t sign him. I didn’t see those comments as racist but they were certainly not well considered. I have a number of black friends and they have always maintained that the same thing can be said by two different people and they may regard one as being racist and the other not. Ultimately only Souness knows.
Brian Williams
101 Posted 08/09/2019 at 18:35:23
It's threads going the way this has gone that's putting me off TW.
John Pierce
102 Posted 08/09/2019 at 18:43:48
This for me is about Sky and other poorly produced football punditry.

Souness has been allowed for years to say and spout opinion with no insight. Many others from his era have too. He has rarely been, if at all,
reprimanded or better educated to give and opinion and be better prepared.

Even failing that the anchor or hosts don’t even attempt to guide or move away from potential flash-points, which make them culpable too.

Personally I rarely watch any pre amble or half time chat, much better can be found other places.

Football coverage today is very poor. Commentary and pundits are ten a penny and offer little insight.

Ed Fitzgerald
103 Posted 08/09/2019 at 18:48:51
I think the case for accusing Souness as a racist is flimsy to non-existent as his supposed bias against Everton.

As a manager of Rangers he ignored the sectarian divide to buy catholics to play for Rangers and openly stated religion shouldn’t be an issue. He bought black players as a manager for a whole variety of clubs he managed. His actions don’t appear that of a bigot or a racist.

Who said this - Everton are a bigger club than Liverpool when you walk around the city - you bump into Evertonians everywhere - hint its not Mike Lyons or Brian Labone

He just compared two players who just happen to be black. It is too early to say whether his analysis of Kean is accurate or fair but his take on Adebayor is not too far wide of the mark.

Some people take offence far too easily and never more so when a barbed or difficult comment is made about one of our own is made but he is a pundit and is paid to offer opinions. I’m not sure this debate would be happening has Souness compared a player from another club with Adebayor. IMO one of the least biased pundits on the TV.

James Hughes
104 Posted 08/09/2019 at 19:13:49
I am with Brian #101 – this is a pointless thread and seems to have become about point-scoring and who is more 'Woke'

The whole world is racist, xenophobic or intolerant – there are just degrees. Change what you can and accept the rest.

Jamie Evans
105 Posted 08/09/2019 at 19:15:57
I would have loved Bernard Hill to have put his head on Souness when he had the chance.

What an opportunity missed that was.

Dave Evans
106 Posted 08/09/2019 at 19:31:46
Some strange science on here.
Human DNA. The subconscious mind.
Can I suggest there is quite a bit of empirical evidence that Souness is indeed a git but for the conclusion that he is a racist it requires longer term monitoring.
But don't listen to me I share 90% of DNA with my cat.
John McFarlane Snr
107 Posted 08/09/2019 at 20:12:36
Hi all, Jimmy Greaves is credited with saying "It's a funny old game." It certainly is, I and Dave Abrahams had posts deleted for paying tribute to two of Liverpool's finest boxers Harry Scott and Jimmy Lloyd, presumably because the posts were not Everton related.

Yet it's fair game to vilify Graeme Souness, I like the majority of posters have no time for Souness, but [in my opinion] the link between Souness and Everton is tenuous, and the only one who can be completely sure of whether he intended make a 'Racist' remark is Souness himself.

I say, roll on the resumption of Premier League action, and let's get back to football related topics.

Eric Paul
108 Posted 08/09/2019 at 20:38:16
James,

Racism isn't the exclusive domain of white European males.

Whilst I was working overseas, I arranged to go for a curry with an Indian engineer colleague. When we arrived at the restaurant, he refused to go in as the proprietors were of Pakistani origin. When I protested, he told me I didn't understand as it was 'cultural'.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
109 Posted 08/09/2019 at 20:44:16
John,

It was my inclination to delete all the Souness comments that were originally made on the Bolasie thread. But Adam's well-written piece forced a re-think as it demanded publishing. Because he'd taken the time and effort to pull it together... and it at least provided a convenient place for me to move all the earlier Souness posts. However, I suspected the thread might end up as it has, in people pointlessly trying decide just how racist someone is or isn't.

For me, the whole thing only reinforces my guiding tenet in such areas: "We don't care what the Red Shite say." Yes, Evertonians sing it loud an long... but they still let themselves get wound up by drivel such as this from a kopite pundit.

You claim it was not Everton-related; I'm not sure how you stand by that as the topic was what the kopite said about a hopefully key Everton player, Moise Kean, and, for that reason, it perhaps understandably exercised the keyboards of a number of our posters.

To contrast that with deleted posts about boxing, which have nothing to do with Everton, is somewhat misplaced, if you will forgive me for pointing this out.

John McFarlane Snr
110 Posted 08/09/2019 at 21:23:35
Hi Michael, I would like to point out that I didn't claim that it wasn't Everton related, I did however say that the link was tenuous, you may think that I'm 'splitting hairs,' [but there you are.]

Regarding the boxing comments, they followed a post where it was established that Joey Barrett, who helped carry the board around Goodison before the game and at half time, advertising Boxing and Wrestling bouts at the Liverpool Stadium, was also a member of the former boxers association, like many other topics it did stray a little.

Robert Williams
111 Posted 08/09/2019 at 21:45:19
James Stewart @3 'This makes his character assignation simply unacceptable.'

Assignation? Don't you mean assassination perhaps?

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

114 Posted 08/09/2019 at 23:54:53
Michael @ 109.

On the one hand, I understand your editorial decision to move the Souness comments from the Bolasie thread and stick them below Adam's submission.

On the other hand, by doing so you created the impression that no fewer than 60 posts were written in response to Adam's post. They weren't. As is the norm on TW, they were written as a secondary issue to a completely different lead post. The bulk were written two days earlier than Adam's post, in a LIVE, civil, intelligent and considered exchange from both ends of the spectrum.

That discussion had naturally petered out a day or two ago. By taking the editorial decision you did, you took many posts out of context, in time and place, and effectively fanned the flames to a dying fire which drew new posts which (IMO) make some very bizarre charges against fellow Blues. It became a different debate. As a result, Adam's post got very little attention.

I agree with you, quite often on TW many posters DO get easily wound up by "what the Red Shite say." The tone of the original debate wasn't of that nature, though. It evolved into a mature and balanced exchange on racism in football (and generally) and what constitutes fair and just evidence.

Now I 'get' that some don't care for deeper debate on such issues. Evidently, others do, as evidenced by the 60 posts you copy-pasted and dropped into this thread.

By contrast, others (and I include myself) skip past threads such as the one that ran at the same time as this one listing funny place names. Each to their own, 'n all that.

A fundamental difference between myself and (thankfully, only a few) TWers is I won't get sniffy and complain about threads that don't interest me, questioning why they are allowed.

TW is a very, VERY broad church. That's its greatest appeal. Never sanitise it to accommodate just a few who wish it to reflect only their 'image' by 'purifying' it into some bland homogeneous tasteless brew.

Rob Rothwell
115 Posted 09/09/2019 at 03:01:04
I despised him in the 70’s & 80’s. But came to respect him in the 90’s (& going forward).

For an ex Red, he never has anything negative to say about us Blues. If anything he gives us good press.

Doubt he’s a racist, but certainly has old school beliefs.

Stan Schofield
116 Posted 09/09/2019 at 12:10:51
That's 115 posts, 116 with this one, about someone who has nothing to do with Everton, on a website that's basically concerned with Everton.

If Souness has one of those egos that yearns for centre of attention, he's certainly getting it here.

The sooner Everton actually start competing at the top and winning trophies, perhaps the sooner we'll see less focus on ToffeeWeb on what is relative trivia.

Bill Watson
117 Posted 09/09/2019 at 12:56:23
Stan; including 116 that's 11 comments from you or 10% of the total!!
Kevin Molloy
118 Posted 09/09/2019 at 13:28:43
if Souness had made these comments forty years ago, then you could make a case 'hang on, why is he comparing Kean with the only other black player in the league', however most top clubs could probably field a team of black players, these days the fact that he hit upon another black player for the comparison is probably more likely than not.
Stan Schofield
120 Posted 09/09/2019 at 13:53:53
Bill@117: I believe my other 10 comments were on another thread (about Bolasie) in which Souness was not the central topic. It looks like Souness-related comments from that thread have been subsumed in this thread. On this thread, I've knowingly made only one comment, @116, which makes my 'knowing contribution' on this thread less than 1%, albeit a contribution questioning the relevance of discussing someone who has nothing to do with Everton.
Peter Gorman
121 Posted 09/09/2019 at 17:24:46
Stan, just to be a pedant I have read all your comments and I can't see how they relate to Bolasie at all. A bit disingenuous to claim you've no interest in discussing this 'non-Everton related' topic.

But don't mind me, I am just being a bit of a 'Souness'.

John McFarlane Snr
122 Posted 09/09/2019 at 18:37:09
Hi Peter [121] the way I read Stan's post is that the thread was about Bolasie, I'm quite sure that Stan wasn't suggesting that all his comments were Bolasie related. However it illustrates how two people can read a post and derive different meanings, much like two people can watch the same match and see a different game. I can't speak for Stan but I'm sure he will let everyone know which version is correct.
Stan Schofield
123 Posted 09/09/2019 at 19:19:49
Peter@121: My first comment on the Bolasie thread was about Bolasie. My subsequent comments on that thread were about Kean and whether Souness' comments about him could be interpreted as racist as some posters on that thread were doing.

My comment @116 relates to the existence of an entire thread (!) about someone who really has nothing to do with Everton.

I have interest in discussing Bolasie and Kean, and in discussing other related comments (including the ones about racism), but really have no interest in an entire thread focused on an apparent irrelevance. But I do think it's worth pointing out that sometimes, as in a thread like this one, a loud and apparently egotistical individual can get the very attention that they might crave.

Dale Rose
124 Posted 10/09/2019 at 08:57:16
I watched that interview. It was utter shite. Neither knew what they were talking about and neither were in possession of the facts. However it was par the course with two men who are legends in their own minds.
Stan Schofield
125 Posted 10/09/2019 at 09:59:39
John@122: Thanks for pointing out that out, and I've clarified @123. As you say, different people can read the same thing in very different ways, much like the different responses to the original comments that were made about Kean.
Joe Bibb
126 Posted 12/09/2019 at 14:40:36
I have no time for Souness or his sidekick Spittoon Carragher

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