On yer bike!
This week marked the ignominious departure of Manchester United manager David Moyes in a blaze of derision, scorn, and religious praise.
I feel conflicted about this, because even though he had it coming (breaking records of failure to the extent only the ‘specialist in failure’ has excelled him), I’m not quite sure he deserved the level of abuse he got since his departure. Social media in particular, has been unrepentant in the fervour of its attack, and when you have betting franchises adding to the insult with stunts like this: Caption: David Moyes, For services to Liverpool Football Club
you have to start calling it what it is…[cyber] bullying/vindictive.
Anyone who wants to argue that we as fans had unrealistic expectations of Moyes as he was following in the footsteps of Sir Alex blah blah blah, well their opinion is void to me. Zeus left, and left Apollo in charge, we accepted that. However his inability to engender respect in the team, spoke volumes about the kind of leadership he had within the club. This wasn’t a novice coming in, he had a fairly decent CV, yet took us through every level of Dante’s Inferno this season. A whole Manchester United Football Club. Who does that? THAT is what makes our demise this season all the more woeful and abhorrent to fans. For those who don’t understand.
Regardless of that, once he was gone, bar the inevitable banter memes as you do, and shouts of “Praise the Lord hallelujah!”, there was no need for what seems to be very much a vendetta by some collectives, to utterly destroy the man. Yes he managed in a way that was ineffectual, imprudent, and totally clueless at times, but he’s a human being. Let him live. He’s gone now. And let’s not absolve our players completely of their responsibility to perform this season. Some of the blame definitely lies at their feet. I think the last few games with Ryan Giggs in charge may very well expose the significance of that.
A Sterling Chap He Is Not
If you haven’t heard about Donald Sterling yet, where have you been?! Admittedly, I resisted for quite a while before bothering to find out what the entire hullabaloo about this was. For a few long hours I just knew he was an apparently famous White-American who’d done something racist. That to me, is not news. That’s everyday, but, my curiosity got the better of me and I clicked on a link on Twitter to find out more.
To be honest, once I read what happened, I didn’t care anymore than I had before, and I still don’t. A closeted White-American racist, working in an environment with many black people around him and under him? He even had a mixed African-American and Mexican girlfriend (whom he was recorded talking to)? Stop the press! That’s I-don’t-see-colour America baby. That’s not to say what he did is acceptable or we should just ignore it. Personally I didn’t listen to the recording, the selected best bits were enough for me, but none of what I read was a shock. More of a shock to me is that despite his apparent past for alleged racial behaviour, he has received an award from the NAACP in the past, and was scheduled to receive one this year. That made me laugh in my chair. Ironies huh? When we will stop saying ‘yes sir, no sir, 3 bags full sir’ to people who clearly don’t see us as human? Money and employment opportunities are not an excuse.
But let’s flip the script for a moment. My biggest issue with this whole saga is not that Sterling is a racist scumbag (his kind are a dime a dozen), it’s that this furor comes from a private phone conversation. That means either someone tapped his phone, or was recording him. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t care too much about the civil rights of backwards imbeciles such as him, but what I can’t ignore is that if it’s cool for his private life to be exposed and him to receive punishment for odious views he has but is entitled to have, where do we draw the line? Are our conversations fair go too? In any situation? Because what people need to understand is that any punishment that comes out of this, could effectively sabotage their own right to privacy in the future. Just a thought.
Punishment wise, I really don’t think it’s fair to expect the black members of the Clippers to give up on one of their best seasons yet, to teach Sterling a lesson. He’ll still be singing ‘all I do is win win win no matter what…” because he will be, because he already has his money from season ticket sales, merchandise, etc. The only losers will be the team. In addition, one has to point out that it’s not like Sterling’s apparent racism was an NBA secret. He’s been sued before regarding it. So if the black players were really about that life, why join the team in the first place? Oh yes, that’s it. Money and career progress. Let’s not expect them to make the stand we want them to, okay? Personally, I don’t even know what level of punishment would hit this guy where it really needs to, which is in his pocket bulging with money. People like him not only run the show, they are so interconnected to others participating in the show, that unless the whole of the NBA comes together to reject him, he will be laughing all the way to the bank for the rest of his living days. This means more than a measly NBA suspension, but the hindering of every monetary avenue for him. He never pretended to like black people, so the fact that people know that now, won’t matter to him. He’s about that paper, and as long as that’s unaffected, que sera sera.