Fair play Rio, but what IS your beef?

Midweek Sport - - BOG BREAK -

man has come out of this Fergie v Fer­di­nand anti-racism T-shirt bol­locks look­ing too good.

Sir Alex Fer­gu­son seems more both­ered that his author­ity was un­der­mined than any kind of gen­uine worry about tack­ling racism.

To be fair, the Manch­ester United boss was made to look a right tit by Fer­di­nand’s stance af­ter the Scot had ear­lier told re­porters he had in­structed all his play­ers to wear the Kick It Out clob­ber.

But his scorned schoolteach­er­style in­ter­view af­ter the Stoke game was al­ways go­ing to pro­voke ac­cu­sa­tions he cares more about a chink in his man­age­rial ar­mour be­ing dis­played to the world than any kind of de­sire to stamp out one of the ills of the game.


Add that to the bizarre de­ci­sion to crit­i­cise Ja­son Roberts last week for tak­ing a stand against Kick It Out, and it looks like this time Fergie has picked the wrong fight.

As for Fer­di­nand, not wear­ing a T-shirt is all well and good. In my book, he has ev­ery right not to ad­ver­tise some­thing he doesn’t be­lieve in.

But what ex­actly is his point? He hasn’t said, has he? Does he think the cam­paign it­self is in­ef­fec­tive? And if so, has he got any bet­ter ideas?

I wouldn’t blame him if he did think it was a load of shite. I watch Premier League football ev­ery week and, apart from badges and T-shirts that ap­pear once a sea­son, I couldn’t tell you what Kick It Out does.

They don’t bother their ar­ses to en­gage with sup­porter groups, I know that, and that’s a pretty big hole in the plan when much of the racism in football has tra­di­tion­ally stemmed from the stands.

Per­haps Fer­di­nand’s beef is with the FA it­self, or was he specif­i­cally spit­ting the dummy over the han­dling of the John Terry case? What­ever the rea­son, it would help if he backed up his ac­tion with words – oth­er­wise it’s an empty ges­ture. GIVEN the me­dia re­ac­tion, you’d be for­given for think­ing that Rio was the only player to snub the Kick It Out T-shirts.

For the record, there were plenty more who did ex­actly the same thing: Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards (Man City), Ja­son Roberts (Read­ing), Fabian Delph (As­ton Villa), An­ton Fer­di­nand, Ne­dum On­uoha, Ju­nior Hoi­lett, Djib­ril Cisse and Shaun Wright-Phillips (QPR), Steven Pien­aar, Vic­tor Anichebe and Syl­vain Dis­tin (Ever­ton), Ken­wyne Jones and Ryan Shawcross (Stoke) and the en­tire Swansea and Wi­gan squads.

DON’T RUSH ME! Pipe wants to learn a les­son

from New­ton BIZARRE: Fergie & Fer­di­nand

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