Sunday, 12 February 2012

Trivial Pursuits

Those of who recall Kenny Dalglish as a player will know that often he would come from apparently nowhere to make his strike and turn the game. Another talent he has is to say as little as possible for the most part and leave it to the action.

This makes his silence in the business of Suarez instructive and the way in which it was handled. Sometimes what is not said or done matters more that what is. It is a stark contrast to the arm waving, shouting and attention seeking approach of others.

It is possible that Dalglish and the other Liverpool interests are constrained by other issues. Manchester United players have been known to run to lawyers for super injunctions at the hint of a Chinese whisper.

These, as we know, can prevent any comments or statements by others and moreover the existence of any mention of such an injunction may not be mentioned in the media or elsewhere.

As the Football Association proceedings are not courts of law, simply internal disciplinary committees, they will be bound by them as much as another group of persons. If one side also is bound by this form of legally imposed silence then there is not much to be done about it.

All this is wild speculation on my part and purely personal opinion. All I know is the occasional lip reading of footballers in action on TV screens and the very occasional voice picked up on sound, usually bleeped or missed out from replays.

What I am clear about is that in most Premiership games there is ample insult and obscenity between players, often knowingly provocative and sometimes extreme in nature. The difference is that a racial comment is one thing but the other types another however vile they may be.

The upshot is that in the game the latter kind has become almost routine and conventional and disregarded for disciplinary action unless used against referees in a limited number of circumstances.

Yet amongst some peoples and cultures that which we regard as racist can be considered the lesser of the insults motor mouthed out by some players. It should not be too difficult to think of one or two.

It is curious that a player subjected to an insult that is amongst the worst in his culture or religion cannot claim “racism” in the UK and moreover were he to attempt to bring a case in his defence on this basis he is silenced by the UK courts.

We may not have heard the last about all this, because it was a Manchester United player’s lawyers who applied the Principle of Delivery to internet traffic in relation to his case. All this is without a hacker in sight and of course Liverpool fans are not up to that kind of thing are they?

This Principle can be applied in other cases if there is due cause. If some people have been careless in their social networking sites thinking they are protected they could be in for a nasty shock.

Someone could just ghost in and strike.

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