THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF FOOTBALL
By Don McMahon
One thing is evident. All bloggers and posters, whether dyed-in-the-wool AAA, AKB believers or those falling along the spectrum of these two extremes desperately need a basic ten commandments when posting on UA or any other website dedicated to Football. So here is my basic code of civility and proper conduct, which imho should always be respected when posting on the net:
1) Every supporter of any team, club or country is a fellow traveller and human being who deserves respect and tolerance regardless of their point of view. Denigrating, demeaning or disgusting name-calling or insults have no place in a supporter’s repertoire, even when they started it first.
2) Every professional player, no matter how nasty a character, vicious a competitor or despicable in their adversaries’ or opposition or home supporters’ eyes should ever be wished an injury or similar fate such as an illness, family tragedy or personal disaster. Football is, after-all a sport, not war.
3) Criticism of any player, manager, coach, administrator or owner of any Football enterprise should be supported by proven and verified (verifiable) information readily available to any other supporter or reader. Stating as fact, that which has been proven to be false or spreading a rumour not based in firm fact is a cowardly act of character assassination and beneath a true supporter’s dignity.
4) Expressing one’s opinion is an inalienable right inherent in the democratic process, but it must be made clear that one is stating a personal opinion and it must not be based on religious, racial, ethnic, geographic or gender/sexual prejudices or intolerances.
5) No matter what the imagined or real justification, there is NEVER any reason to boo or mock, ridicule, demean or catcall one’s players based on one or two game performances or a ¨perceived¨ lack of effort or worth to the team. We all have a bad day or two at the office and need support, tolerance, empathy and compassion more than at any other time. True supporters support in the best and worst of times.
6) Unless one has equivalent or superior experience and expertise to the professional administration, manager, physio or coach there is no inherent entitlement negatively to criticize their decisions and efforts solely based on one’s conviction that they know better than the professionals. Being entitled to your own opinion is one thing, feeling entitled to tell full-time professionals how to do things is another.
7) Referees deserve the benefit of the doubt regarding their character, their motives, their decisions and their intrinsic honesty and ethics. However, when ample evidence exists that there are ¨issues¨ involving an official, any accusations of unlawful or criminal behaviour MUST be supported by incontrovertible evidence of such misbehaviour, otherwise it is pure speculation.
8) It is entirely acceptable to hold senior authority figures and the powers that be in disdain or contempt when that attitude is supported and consistently reaffirmed by their collective or individual actions. This right to hold them in contempt comes with an obligation to denounce such behaviour to the highest level and to insist that the integrity of the Beautiful Game be protected at all costs.
9) It is pointless and illogical, irrational and inconsistent with true membership as stakeholders in a Club to persistently bemoan or rant on about purchasing a specific player while pretending that he will be the ¨solution¨ to imagined or real lacunae in the team, especially when that team already possess enough youth or mature talent to address the aforementioned lacunae. The transfer process is so complex and strictly regulated that the vast majority of supporters have no idea how it works and when it is actually working so venturing spurious solutions that are vacuous and reactionary is totally counter-productive as well as being bad for one’s emotional and cardiovascular health.
10) It is uncivil and impolite in the extreme to hijack or distract a serious discussion or thread on any blog with ancillary, disingenuous or unrelated posts, whose only purpose is to gain attention or to promote one’s own personal agenda. That also includes monologues and dialogues between two posters who ignore the initial subject and hijack the discussion, while ignoring others opinions and posts.
I am sure there are many more commandments we can suggest as being fit and proper for internet etiquette so please feel free to, while respecting the above guidelines, suggest alternate viewpoints.
Enjoy the WC as well everyone.
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