LATICS CHIEF’S LEGACY REMAINS POSITIVE
AS DAVE Whelan bows out of Wigan, let’s not remember him as the blundering buffoon of recent times.
Yes, he said things that, by today’s standards, are patently unacceptable. But to judge a 78-year-old man by today’s standards is neither helpful or fair.
I have argued many times that using racist language does not equate to being a racist; peddlers of this simplistic dogma are, at best, naive, and, at worst, willfully ignorant.
We have all met fundamentally decent people who, through age or background, parrot racial stereotypes without malice or meaning. It isn’t pleasant and shouldn’t be encouraged, but let’s not make monsters of men who don’t know better.
Ultimately, though, we have to balance bad with good and, on this count, Whelan more than tips the scales.
Not only did he raise a club from Division Four and take them to the Premier League. He won the FA Cup. He gave breaks to young managers and players. He built a stadium.
How many local people were employed along the way? How many millions of pounds has Wigan’s rise pumped into the local economy? How many dreams did he fulfil when the top-flight was finally reached?
These are the questions we should ask when assessing his legacy. Anyone who feels a few out-dated views invalidate that cannot see the wood for the trees.
ERRORS: Dave Whelan