On Sunday night the Patriots and 49ers played one of the most dramatic football games seen in a long time. The Patriots started sloppily before almost mounting one of the most dramatic comebacks in NFL history. The 49ers took full advantage of the mistakes the Patriots made and are now sitting pretty in the run up to the NFL playoffs. That should be the story of the night in terms of the football game.
Sadly, it’s not.
Before the game, NBC showed the President of the United States, Barack Obama, deliver his moving speech at the Newtown memorial for victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. Considering that one of the teams about to play football were wearing a decal on their helmets in memory of the victims, and considering that the tragedy has permeated all levels of US society, including sports, you would have imagined this was a safe enough decision by NBC (to show The President’s speech before the game).
You can probably see where this is going.
The President appearing before the game to an audience of primarily football fans invoked an explosion of hatred on the social networking vehicle Twitter unlike anything this column for one has seen before.
A couple of things before we really get started, before diving into the minds of some of the most ignorant, ugly and hateful people on this planet. First, be warned, some of the language in the individuals messages is triple X-Rated. If you are not into that kind of thing, definitely don’t read on from here. Second, these people don’t really deserve any exposure, however it is probably more important to expose the ignorant and hateful messages for what they are, than hide from the issue (like the cowards who deleted their twitter accounts once they were exposed).
Let’s get started with a question. Why is it okay in the United States for people to make hateful, racist and threatening comments in social networks? The USA, one would assume, imagines itself to be a civilized country. However, for some reason, these individuals have not been charged with a crime. Now, don’t bother coming back to that query blathering on about the constitution. That document protects ‘free’ speech, not hateful speech. Look it up, there are laws against 'hate' speech. Most other civilized countries deal with this sort of thing. Take the United Kingdom, for example. In the UK, if you make a racist, threatening or otherwise comment on a social networking site, you get to face police charges.
Take the three most recent cases in the UK. A Newcastle University law student was charged with sending grossly offensive messages, which included racist taunts and was sentenced to a two-year community order with 240 hours' unpaid work and ordered to pay £150 costs to the court. Another student from Swansea pleaded guilty to a charge under the Crime and Disorder Act of making racially aggravated comments, he will be sentenced this week and is going to most likely be jailed for a short period. A middle aged football fan was also given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to two offences under the Malicious Communications Act. It was said he had sent out "grossly offensive" racist comments.
It’s not just the UK of course. Other countries are adopting a zero-tolerance attitude to, in particular, racist tweets. Greece famously kicked the belligerent, aggressive and arrogant triple jumped Voula Papachristou off their Olympic team just before the games in response to her mocking African migrants and expressing support for a far-Right political party on Twitter. Zero tolerance in action.
Here’s the part that really bemuses this column. Not only are these comments hateful and racist, they are treasonous as well! They are not just insulting and in some cases threatening any old Joe Punter walking the street. These ignorant, seemingly uneducated, obviously misguided and foolish people are threatening the Commander in chief, the President of The United States. You simply should not be allowed do that. Question him and his politics, sure, but calling him names as are seen below? That’s really going to be allowed?
Why is no one suggesting these people are charged with treason?
They absolutely should be, at the very least. These people should have the book thrown at them.
The right wing nut-jobs that are the far majority in the below often spout forth about supporting the military. Well, as anyone who has served, as anyone who actually knows anything about the military knows, you salute the rank, not the man. The President of The United States is the highest rank in the military, and these disgusting, monosyllabic, Neanderthal-like idiots are insulting the highest rank in the military that they so often sycophantically heap adulation on.
This paradox shows most of them are not capable of exhibiting the free thinking, the ‘freedom’ of thought they so often thank that same military for protecting.
Let’s have a look at a selection of the offending messages. Please bear in mind the language in these is atrocious. It is as offensive in its hateful content as it is in it's often pathetic, mistake strewn delivery, even allowing for the 140 character limit on Twitter.
Interesting to note a number of the cowards have already fled Twitter.
However, many still remain, defiant and angry.
Once again, if you don't like bad language (or the butchering of the English language either!) do not read on. I do feel however that these ignorant fools should be named and shamed for all to see, hence the publishing of the below.
Where do you start? On a night when The President, the NFL, the Patriots and the 49ers all carried themselves with absolute class, these pathetic individuals chose to pour their disgusting brand of hate and abusive vitriol at the leader of the United States.
Most of them chose to use racism as their weapon of attack.
Racism is a disgusting disease. It needs to be hunted down and cut, knifed, scooped out of society completely before we can truly call ourselves civilized human beings. Treasonous racist comments are worse yet, and the United States should follow the rest of the civilized World and come down hard on these idiots.
The NFL can send a message by speaking out against these messages of hate. The NFL was the vehicle the culprits used, and if the NFL has a backbone, it should stand up for the leader of the country it is played in. Sports can send a message, as it often does. One of the greatest things about sports is it brings people from all races together to take part in sporting events together.
Sports breaks down barriers and welcomes one and all, by and large.
These fools who would spoil and indeed harm the overall ethos of sports, which is bringing man (and woman!) together no matter what race or creed we all are? Send a message to them and their kin. Send them to jail for treason. You salute the rank, not the man, and the highest rank in the United States came under serious attack.
No matter your political allegiances, we should not be accepting this.