I remain so utterly baffled as to why footie fans tend to have a generally poor reputation amongst those not inclined toward the sport. Sure, we get pretty riled up and a little rowdy, but so do all sports fans, right? It’s not like we’re losing our minds and going completely flipping mad over routine things that happen in sports all the time…right?
Around 30 Manchester United supporters, many hooded and wearing balaclavas, stood outside Rooney’s Prestbury home and invited the player to come out.
When he declined, they unveiled a banner reading ‘If you join City, you’re dead’ as he watched from an upstairs window.
Totally reasonable behavior.
Now, of course these nuts are outliers in the big picture. As I always point out when a non-soccer person starts spouting off about hooligans, the majority of soccer fans are just normal people with normal levels of fandom – we get really excited sometimes, we get dejected, we moan and cry or jump up and down…for most of us, it’s no different than it is for hardcore baseball fans or basketball fans or any other game. However, soccer fans, especially outside the US, do tend to do the whole eat-sleep-breathe-your-team thing to an extraordinary degree, and this kind of incident just fits the damn narrative so well that it makes me more upset. Like…don’t play to the stereotypes! And also, you know…don’t make death threats.
I mean, this is just absolutely ridiculous. Sure, no arrests were made, and as the Cheshire Police spokesman said, “the group dispersed peacefully, no offences were committed”. Goody. But this is still frightening behavior, and I’ve got to wonder what is wrong with people who process the news that one of their top players is probably leaving and maybe he might end up on the rival team and come up with “Let’s go threaten his life!!” That’s such a crazy and overblown reaction. Of course I understand the anger, but how many players stay with a team for their whole career, or even a majority of it (since Rooney started with Everton, of course)? It’s quite common that players – even the top guys, the favorites, the best – end up leaving their team, for various reasons. I know the chance he might go to City is like rubbing salt in the wound, but even so, this shit happens and if you’re going to lose it like this every time, maybe you need to take a step back and examine your mental health.
If he goes to City, write nasty blog posts, boo him at the games, call him a traitor and a jerk and whatever. Fine. But let’s try to keep the crazy in check. No one deserves the scariness of a death threat (no matter how “serious” or non-serious it might be), and the community as a whole would benefit from not having embarrassing shit like this in the books.
(H/T to Dirty Tackle)