LONDON — We’re crashing into Christmas. Like everyone else. Lurking in shop doorways on Dec 24th and thinking “I said I’d never do this again.”
It’s been an odd and uncomfortable week amongst men in the UK though. The dominant pagan religion of football has seen people talking about “goodwill toward men”, but in reverse.
What qualifies as “lacking goodwill” and what is “just part of a highly emotional, competitive game”?
The answers aren’t making anyone happy. Teams and players who have been found to have been racially abusing people have been met with police investigations and eight game suspensions. If you haven’t read about it, I wouldn’t recommend it.
The coverage and fan comments does no one proud.
And ill-prepared TV pundits have weighed in about how much they like ‘coloured people’. It’s just hard to watch.
None of the people involved have a history of covering themselves in glory.
So it comes back to a question of what we will tolerate in our society and what we won’t. And although I have heard lots of people say “it’s much better than it was 20 years ago” and “it’s just a bit of fun… you get used to it”, you don’t and you shouldn’t.
In the next few days football fans and football players, reporters, columnists, politicians and you and I have a chance to show some goodwill toward men. Let’s do it.
Peace on earth in 2012.