23 December, 2011



The racism-in-football hysteria gets better and better. According to last night's Een Stannat, Alan Hansen used the word

(*roll of drums*)


(*sharp intake of breath*)

on Match of the Day to refer to footballers of, er, ..., well what exactly can I say that doesn't give offence?

You can't say "Black" because apparently the word itself is inherently racist, unless spoken by a bla, er, thingie person,er, you know, one of them. You can't even say non-White because apparently that implies that Whites are the norm (in a North European country) and because the prefix "non-" carries negative overtones.

You can't say, look they're all just footballers, what does it matter what, er, colour they are, because by including them you are discriminating against their distinctiveness, you are depriving them of their special victim status. But by recognizing them as, er, being of that category which we cannot name, you are stigmatizing them and not treating them equally.

A ... well for conciseness and pending the establishment of an agreed terminology acceptable to all participants, let's call them a half-caste and a nig-nog ... offered their opinions,

Ex-Liverpool player Stan Collymore led the protests against his choice of language, saying: "What colour would that be? Blue? Green? Orange?" Former Tottenham player Rohan Ricketts tweeted: "Is this Alan Hansen guy taking the f****** p***?? I'm not coloured??? He is part of the problem when using that word."

Alright lads, you tell us. Given that, let's call them Uncoloured, commentators on the telly are being asked to discuss the issue of racism in ze futebol, what terminology is acceptable to you?

You know, when this was just business as usual, just the priesthood of antiracism trawling for anathema and counterrevolution and extracting penances, it was mildly irritating. But now it's all becoming delightfully surreal, and I look forward to future developments. As Julia is wont to say,

*gets popcorn*

You cant make it up Colly the Golly led the protests.

Excuse me; I wonder if you might clarify a small thing for me. Is this the same Stan Collymore who has form for beating up women? Or is it wimmin? And for being less than saintly or gentlemanly on the pitch from time to time?

Perhaps we should be told before getting too het up. He clearly sees a chance to raise his flagging profile again. Oops, sorry, flagging, or was that dogging? I seem to recall stories of incidents in car parks.

Scene in a car park by a muddy field on a Sunday morning, where a football match is about to take place.

"Billy, you take the ginger Welsh bastard, Joe, you have the whiny fat scouse git in the middle and Charlie can look after the long tall cockney piece of piss in the middle. Danny, watch that little Jock number ten. He's a nasty bastard.

"Oh, and I'll take the person of no description on the wing."

We have 'mond' for a man of no description, as well as 'pond' for person of no description.

But now we must add 'fond' for a footballer of no description.

Just remember, they all rhyme with 'conned.'

Once, within living memory, "black" was considered bad form and "coloured" polite. The American NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) was founded in those days and still bears that name. It would have been the polite form in Hansen's youth.

But I don't think its about politeness any more - it's about control.

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