You may remember that a few weeks ago a Norwich City ‘fan’ caused ire with some racist tweets. In my opinion, the club did the right thing and took a zero approach to racism, banning him from the club for life. I thought that would be the end of it, but it turns out that the matter was taken to the police. The twitterer in question was charged with “sending an offensive message by public communication network under the Communications Act 2003”. After pleading guilty, he was sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid work.
I’m really not sure what to make of this. While I agree that he needed to be taught a lesson (racism is unacceptable, and broadcasting it on Twitter is just plain stupid), but is this punishment a bit much? After all, he’s already been banned from Carrow Road for life, as a Norwich fan I can safely say that I would personally find that punishment alone to be rather serious. What do others think about this?
To be fair, there’s not a lot else they could have done. Very public racism, in the media spotlight and by someone very clearly identified – they’d have been in for a hellish shitstorm if they’d looked the other way.
Mind, there’s a part of me that thinks slightly more cynically – as a football fan, you’ll probably know the score yourself. Have you ever known a copper to duck out of taking an easy pop at a fan if they reckon they can? The guy was an easy target, and so no doubt they steamed in mob-handed and nicked him……
Whist not defending him, I feel a bit sorry for him as he seemed to be more ignorant than malicious. From his follow up tweets, he didn’t seem to know what he’d said that was wrong. Perhaps he’s inherited an old fashioned Norfolk xenophobic outlook. At least he’s had the sense to delete his account and plead guilty, hopefully he’ll also have the sense to think about his attitude.