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What Ron said


MillionLiraMan

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Ah, a rare venture out of the music forum!

 

Anyone else watch this? I thought it was a bizarre programme. It must be intended to get Big Ron back on the telly, which I'd like to see personally because I find him quite entertaining, but it was just so odd in places and quite funny in other places!

 

How Ron is supposed to benefit from going to Alabama and asking American sports commentators and various groups about what happened I have no idea. The thing is that Ron was right at the end - he had over-apologised. There are only so many times that you can say sorry about something and for it to mean something or have a genuine impact. Although I would say that I think Ron does seem to have a bit of racism in him, I think the reaction to it has been hysterically over the top. He made a terrible comment in 1990, which shouldn't be condoned by today's standards, but how many more people made racist remarks back then who have changed now? What he said about Desailly was terrible, but if you want to go all the way back to 1990 there are any number of people you could call racist who aren't anything of the sort these days or at least don't seem to be.

 

When I say an overreaction came about as a consequence of what Ron Atkinson said, I'm comparing it to other examples, some of which were even highlighted on the programme. Stan Collymore can beat up a woman and apparently go back to his job, R Kelly seemingly can have sex with minors and still be revered as some sort of hero, footballers these days can on occasion seemingly get away with all sorts of crimes that are far more serious. Ron Atkinson said a horrible word once - is that really worse? I don't think it is.

 

There's another kind of racism that isn't covered and that's black racism. It was especially stomach churning to see Darcus Howe on the programme, who would be an arsehole whatever race or creed he was, trying to take the moral high ground against Atkinson. As usual though, he ended up looking like a thicko trying to sound intelligent. How can he judge anyone over anything? The same can be said of Ian Wright, sure he tried for Arsenal, but once he arrived at Celtic he did just about bugger all for £20,000 a week and now wants to tell everyone else how we should live our lives. I seem to remember him at Euro 2004 going on about how Sol Campbell was 'his man' and seeming to talk up all of the black London players over everyone else. I suspect that he's as racist as Ron Atkinson, only the other way - that's just my view.

 

I'm not condoning racism or saying that Ron Atkinson shouldn't have been punished, because what he said was not acceptable at all and he got what was coming to him for it, but isn't it all getting a bit out of hand and going too far? If I get insulted for having ginger hair or being Scottish that's something I have to take, but say anything against an ethnic minority and you're in huge trouble. It's landed Ron Atkinson in more trouble than Collymore was in for beating up a woman - I mean, come on. No racial abuse is acceptable but there has to be a point where some sense is restored and the hysteria calms down to view things more objectively when something like this warrants more attention than violent crime.

 

Anyone else see this or have any thoughts?

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I didn't see it, but I did listen to him on The Frank Skinner show a while back. And I think he's not a racist in the slightset. He made a stupid statement, but surely it's no worse than calling someone a Jock, Queer or a chubster. Im not condoning those, but it seems racist comments get blown so much more out of proportion than anything else. I have my own views on this issue, but it's kinda hard to put into words. I just dont see why it's still such a big issue. Sometimes the media and people in general remind me of David Brent. They try so hard not to be racist, and are so worried about being percieved as such, that they end up thickening the dividing line even more. And that works both ways. Ian Wright for example. His views that he's sticking up for black people everywhere are all well and good. But he seems to make them seem like victims when he should be trying to make them seem equals. Plus, why any black person would want Ian 'Im funny 'cause I shout real loud like' Wright as there honary spokesman is beyond me. I personally see no difference in colour, just as I see no difference between blondes and brunettes. In my eyes the ethnic difference is that minimal. But the politically correct jumping so hard on what was so obvioulsy a wrong, yes, but throwaway comment from someone who is so obviously not racist it's almost funny, only makes it more of an issue. He made a mistake, and he's been punished. Lets put it behind us and get him back on TV. I for one missed his predictions for the Premership title (Liverpool last season, Leeds the year before. Priceless). Besides, he's half hour in the tanning booth from being an ethnic minority himself.
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I watched this show last night, even although I didn't intend to. I thought it would be a puff-piece about how Ron is such a nice guy and how the evil media unfairly made him out to be a wild racist. Instead, it was a pretty unbiased look at the whole situation, even if it did go a bit over the top.

 

The things like the situation in Birmingham, Alabama, where Ron was a guest on a radio show, really surprised me. It seemed to me like Atkinson was actually disagreeing with the people who were supporting him. With the puzzled look on his face, and very awkward body language, Ron wasn't happy being associated with these people phoning in. Maybe that shows he's not a racist.

 

However, it still doesn't mean that he's a great guy. He blatantly lied on that radio show, saying "I didn't swear" when it was quite clear that he did. And the fact that he made a similar mistake a few years ago, got away with it and didn't learn from it shows that he really was quite stupid. Then there was the whole bit where he was at the University saying things like "If you can say the word to a friend, why can't I say it?". That's totally deviating from his arguement. At first, Ron was saying "I admit it, I did something wrong". With that comment to the student, he was saying "It's not fair that I can't say this". Maybe he realises that in today's world, apologising and admitting you were wrong tends to get you off the hook from most things, even if he feels that he wasn't in the wrong.

 

The whole debate about how Ron brought black players into the mainstream of British football doesn't really affect my judgment of whether he's a racist or not. The fact is, if you're managing a side and you want to stay in your high profile job, sometimes you need to do things regarding players that you don't want to do. Ron knew that these players would do a job for him, and I don't think it's about the fact that he thought "Hey, it'd be great to allow this minority to be accepted by all" but more about him thinking "I'm so desperate to do well at this job, I'll sign anyone who's a good footballer".

 

I also have to agree that Darcus Howe is one of the biggest fools I've seen on TV. "You should be punished by cleaning Rio Ferdinand's boots for 10 weeks". What the hell? What does that have to do with the price of cheese? Just because Ron Atkinson said a racist comment about Marcel Desaily, he now has to go to a high profile black footballer and do a menial task? That idiot Howe just didn't grasp the situation at all, or realise anything that Ron had said since his quitting. He quit a high paying job, he gets lynched every time he appears somewhere, but this guy Howe wants Ron to be put in an even worse situation, essentially, reverse slavery, albeit in a dilluted form.

 

I can't believe that someone's mindset would be "Black people had problems for decades with being slaves for white people. Now that the world has changed and in the majority of the civilised world, and people of all backgrounds are accepted, when someone makes a comment that is out of order, he should be subjected to doing this terrible thing that coloured people were subjected to". I cannot believe how this guy thought he would make the situation better, and all the things that Ian Wright wanted to stick up Atkinson's backside, I'd love to ram up the Arsecus of Darcus.

 

But hey, it was worth watching the show to hear John Motson come out with a piece of commentary that would get him disciplined these days, when he said "The two black players combined there". If Motson said that about in an Arsenal game when Sol Campbell passed to Patrick Viera, people would be calling for his head. And while it's not the ideal circumstances, I would love to see that moron Motson off of my TV.

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I would love to see that moron Motson off of my TV.
Very true, we've finally been rid of the scourge of that idiot Barry Davies, now it's time for Motty to go too. He's a commentator that I used to have a lot of time for but the guys a senile old fool these days.

 

As for Atkinson, I agree with what's been said really so not much need to elaborate any more. Yes he said a terrible thing, yes he should have lost his job. End of story though. He's hardly satan incarnate is he.

 

I was well chuffed to see Atkinson go as I think he was an awful guy to have commentating on football matches. I've always been a bit of a BBC mark where that's concerned, in that BBC get everyone who makes sense when talking about football (Hansen, Lawrenson, Strachan, O'Neill, O'Leary, Brooking) while ITV get what's left (McCoist, Townsend, Atkinson, Gazza of all people, Pleat). This point was never more apparent when during Euro 2000 on one of the matchdays the BBC had Johan Cruyff, and ITV got Ruud Gullit. Anyways, back on track, I was glad to see Atkinson go, not because of what he said but because he didn't have a clue what he was talking about.

 

I remember when Man Utd played Real Madrid in a European Champions League quarter final a few years ago. In the first leg Atkinson never had a clue who Fernando Redondo was (despite him being one of the best midfielders on the planet at the time) but after a stonking performance in the second leg Atkinson was all "I tell ya what, he's the man, there's the man right there" as if he'd been a fan of his for years.

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Anyone remember Ronglish in the last World Cup?

 

Absolutely brilliant, I forever now will always use the phrase, "he's gone in a bit milky there" for a weak challenge.

 

And the time when Philip Cocu in Euro 2000, belted the post with a 20 yard screamer, then headbutted his own post, when clearing a header from a corner, and what does Big Ron say

 

"Oh, Cocu, he's hit both posts!" Brilliant. Just bring him back for inane comedy value. He's so bad, he's good.

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Russ, that reminds me of something else Motson said. It was a good few years ago, and he said something like 'when two black players go for the ball at the same time, it can be a bit confusing because they all look the same'. Now thats pretty open to debate on wheter it's racist or not, but he got jumped on for it at the time. I mean I sometimes get confused over white players, but thats generally because Ive never seen them before. But if you've seen all the players beforehand, and t's pretty much in your job description to know them if your a commentator, I'd classify that as racist ignorance. Maybe some people dont consider themselves racist, but ther'e still stuck in some past mindset that clumps all people from certain ethnic groups together. And it's only your own that you view normally. Now thats not the same thing in my eyes as going to Japan for the first time and getting a bit confused. Because it's a fact that they look different, and if you haven't met a Japanese person before and aren't used to it it takes a while to see the differences. But if you live in Britain, the same doesn't apply to Black people, because they are a major percentage of the population.
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