The 2012/13 Premier League campaign has been funny.
Barring the inevitable sideshow of Manchester United winning it again, I’ve had a really good laugh. It has been packed with melodrama, silliness, over-reaction, under-reaction and morons. It has been a season scattered with debris from a clumsily carried out racism trial, a ball-boy kicked (possibly racist somehow), the wrongly accused racism of a referee and what cemented for everyone Luis Suarez as a terrible racist: his attempt to eat a white man.
People seem either to be wilfully ignoring or just not realising that the incompetence of humourless suits nasally droning about biting or using the word n***** is, when it reaches the point of farce, just very funny.
To the crescendo, the PFA awards on Sunday night was a disaster for those who crave consistent moral values or people who know what it is they are doing. The comedian Reginald D Hunter, author of such hit Edinburgh Fringe shows as ‘Pride And Prejudice and N****s’ and ‘Trophy N****’, it turns out uses the word n***** in his stand up somewhat frequently. Gobsmacking news!
Gordon Taylor, a pseudonym assumed for the purposes of the role of PFA Chief Executive, originally an MGM cartoon named Droopy, came out and said that no one was offended when he uttered the word, and said Hunter saying the word was unfortunate and nothing to do with him.
A comedian uses the word n*****. This is your big problem? Are we really not giving any credence to context? Are we really thinking that Reginald D Hunter and Ron Atkinson (a moron who famously called a black footballer a ‘Lazy thick n*****’ off-air whilst commentating) are the same?
I know I have been facetious so far, but the random nature of the FA’s morality is so completely worthy of ridicule. It was certainly wrong for John Terry to call Anton Ferdinand a ‘Black C***’; he received a four game ban. Luis Suarez had an exchange with Patrice Evra in which, according to Patrice Evra, he called him ‘negro’ in a way that could be deemed as offensive. He received an eight game ban. Whilst his actions were certainly wrong, how do you quantify that Suarez was twice as bad as John Terry? This is my problem with whole FA and PFA moral outrage nonsense; how does one quantify the severity of racism?
Luis Suarez, the magician who can make people’s sense of humour disappear, bit Branislav Ivanovic on the arm. Do we think he did that because he had spent all afternoon concocting the best way to upset Branislav Invanovic? No, and this is something that has been mentioned surprisingly few times, Luis Suarez acts mental. If I was getting pizza with my Dad and when he asked for anchovies he found they had none and in reaction bit the waiter on the arm, I would not stop speaking to my Dad. I would say, ‘You just bit our waiter, is everything ok?’
I believe that he is getting very much what his behaviour warrants; the trouble is he is the only one.
Wayne Rooney kicked out at Montenegrin player Miodrag Dzudovic and the FA deemed the three game ban served to him by UEFA as too severe. It is not as if Rooney did not have previous behavioural complaints; perhaps justification for the length of the Suarez ban.
And then to complete this farce, Reginald D Hunter visits the FA, brandishing the word ‘n*****’. How wonderful and perfect to have a brilliant comedian show them what they fear most.
It is a word; you judge intent not content and the intent of the FA seems to be to protect some and punish others. Reginald D Hunter’s life and tour will continue with great success, especially after this (I imagine his PR team are in a frenzy of glee) while the FA, unless they shift their morals into line and quickly, will be the tasteless joke that really sticks in everyone’s mind.