Monday, 13 December 2010

This is my Addiction, What is Yours?

I love football, I really do. I absolutely adore the game and I have so much passion when it comes to being a part of it as a fan and as a trainee journalist.

I think sometimes we forget how important the club they support is to a person, how much their favourite team's result can make or break a person's mood.

I saw just this at the weekend. Neil Ashton of the News of the World broke the 'Tevez hands in transfer request' story and was bombarded with numerous tweets from Manchester City fans. Most of them were personally abusive and downright threatening. As I was reading these tweets I was shocked at the level of hatred some people were showing towards him, for simply doing his job. They clearly felt he was lying or he had a vendetta against the blue half of Manchester. The fact is his story was true, it has all been confirmed by the club and the player. But has Mr Ashton received any apologies? I very much doubt it.

My point is: As much as I love this game, there are a lots of fans who use their support of their club as an excuse to be abusive to those not on the same side as them. And the more I think about it, surely it can't be healthy. Surely there must be something missing to wish someone dead because they say something you don't agree with or don't believe.

I'm all for being a true supporter and cheering for your team until your last breath but when it comes to wishing someone dead, I draw the line. I'm all for wearing the shirt, singing the songs and bantering with the fans of your local rivals. But I don't condone the hatred that is shown because matey down the road wears a different colour shirt to you. Where is the line for those needlessly angry fans?

The reason this affected me so much is because I am training towards being a sports journalist. I am working my butt off and this incident made me wonder if it's worth it. Tearing apart my work is one thing, but getting personal is another. There is no need for it at all.

At the end of the day if you can't tell Peggy Mitchell from Barbara Windsor, people would say you desperately need help. Surely confusing the journalist with the person should warrant exactly the same.
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