Well, the Toffees have banned a racist/homophobic fan from their games for life for what he tweeted.
For those who are wondering:
A nonce is slang for a pedophile. A *** is a gay man. A nip is a racist term for Japanese people, and tiddly wink is a ****ney slang for Chinese people with a mild racist twang to it. MH370 is the Malaysian plane that crashed and disappeared (The abused fan is a Malaysian).
Do you think what the club did is the right thing? I completely back this action, because such harsh action is what is needed to overcome racist and homophobic narratives, which are still all too prominent in football, even though there are many many black/Asian players in the game.
Do you think the club was correct in being the jury, judge, executioner? Technically, they have the right, since his actions have contravened their ticket policies. But is that a step too far? Should they have brought it to the authorities? [They could have felt the need to do something urgent, since he had the club name in his Twitter handle]. Or, do you think a warning is enough? In any case, if a person racially abuses a player, said person is definitely going to have action taken against him. So why draw the line at footballers, and not the fans receiving abuse too?
This also brings up the question of social media. Lots of people take the Internet as a place to simply spew whatever verbal garbage they suddenly feel the urge to expel, and shoot their mouths off, when they would never in a million years say such things in public. I think it's a rather worrying pattern, since people seem to feel that they have alot more leeway and freedom to do what they want on the Internet. But isn't it far far worse, given that anything you say can go viral?
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This certainly wouldn't be the first time that there have been real-world repercussions for comments made on social media. But the cases that I'm thinking of involve real-life events that were prosecuted in part by online comments. So, for example, suppose a husband shoots his wife but claims that he thought she was a burglar. He then tweets about how his plan to kill his wife worked perfectly. This could certainly be brought into evidence to help support a first degree murder charge.
But the Everton thing is something that took place completely online. In other words, there are no real-life violations to which his comments could be attached. One could argue that he is an intolerant, racist, terrible person in real life. But it's only a crime if one acts upon these prejudices.
A more thorough carriage of justice would have been the following situation: the man was using hate speech at a match but was only later identified through his tweets. Now there is a real-life violation to which these tweets can be attached.
As you rightly pointed out, nicho, Everton has the right to refuse admission to anyone for pretty much any reason (or perhaps no reason at all). Still, as this incident is completely contained within the domain of Twitter, they should be the ones to mete out an appropriate punishment (thought I wouldn't be surprised if they have already done that).
While the incident did take place within Twitter's domain, the fact remains that the man was using the club's name in relation with tweets that were abusive and vile. EFC did exactly what any business would do when protecting their brand, they completely distanced themselves from the tweets and went a step further and announced that this type of behavior would not be tolerated by their fans and there were consequences for it. As far as actual prosecution goes, this would have to be classified as harassment and then the UK would have to have statutes in place regarding online harassment just as bad if not worse than real-world incidences. Honestly though, the tweets seem like they're just talk, EFC went just the right distance, I'm curious to see if the guy pops back up though.
Behavior on the internet is just something that comes with the protection that is, or in the fan's case, was, offered by anonymity. Statements can go viral but what does it matter if no one knows who you are?
That's a really good point, Kyouzou. I hadn't considered that the club's name was being dragged into this. That does seem to have real-world ramifications that they should deal with.
I was on the fence about Everton's reaction, but you and nicho make some really good points. At the end of the day, racist comments are a real problem in football and organisations should take every measure available to stop this kind of activity. Maybe what it comes down to is not a legal issue, but an ethical one. It's just not okay - ethically speaking - to hold beliefs like this. Even if an individual never acts on these beliefs and no one is aware they even hold these beliefs, it just seems like something that is perverse and immoral to believe.
TLR I support their decision
Freedom of speech doesn't necessarily mean freedom to be an a- hole. I don't know if legally they would be able to do anything (I am not familiar with the laws of the UK), but I support banning this ******r.
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