You may or may not have read my previous article where I wrote about the media bias shown against Arsenal; well it was all but confirmed this past Monday by the divisive Sun paper.
The Sun’s coverage of the tragic and indeed shocking London attacks was a downright disgrace, eight people were killed and just under fifty people were injured as three men drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before getting out and stabbing innocent people in nearby Borough Market on Saturday. Firstly may I take this opportunity to extend my deepest and sincerest of condolences to anyone that was affected by these terrible and unnecessary attacks. Secondly, how did The Sun cover this story? By highlighting the most irrelevant of details, the fact that one of the attackers was wearing an Arsenal shirt!
The Sun ran the front-page headline “JIHADI KILLER IN AN ARSENAL SHIRT “they also ran a rather distasteful joke next to the picture of one of the killer’s lifeless body’s saying “Gunned down”. I am sorry but regardless of whom it is about, making such jokes shows a total disregard for human life. I do think it needs to be asked, why oh why does it matter what football shirt the attacker was wearing? The shirt bares no relevance to his actions, that is abundantly clear, even if one do gooder Millwall fan tells you otherwise.
The fact that the paper chose to highlight the team and shirt he was wearing not only infers Arsenal fans are terrorists but is highlighting the wrong thing and thus trivialises the atrocities that took place. There is also the issue that in August last year we found out ISIS were flogging people for playing football in Iraq and that they have banned people in the area wearing any football shirts as the terror group had ruled that football was “UN-Islamic” and banned referees because they enforce “laws of Fifa not Sharia”. So this poses the question why would an ISIS attacker be wearing a football shirt if he knew it was against the terror group’s laws?
With all these things said this is not the first time The Sun paper has picked on football and demonised a set of fans or football club. Obviously, there is the terribly sad Hillsborough disaster from the 1980s where in its coverage of the event, the paper made up all kinds of stories about the Liverpool fans, who were the victims in the situation but were made to look and feel like criminals by the paper. Ever since this happened the Liverpool fans and indeed both Premier League Liverpool clubs have banned the Sun from being sold around the grounds, while banning reporters from their grounds and training facilities.
The Sun don’t like football, they just like people buying papers and know a lot of people that buy their papers like football, but don’t think them people don’t get punished for liking it though. At every possible point, they will try to paint football supporters as, thugs, louts and Neanderthals. At this point, I think it is about time Arsenal took a stand like Liverpool and Everton did. They have faced a season long campaign against, manager Arsene Wenger, trying to get him sacked by the paper among other media outlets, which stoked the fires of an already fractured fan base over the subject, the season bore the bruises on and off the pitch from this campaign.
Its time Arsenal football club banned the Sun from covering them, from coming to games, to press conferences, anything. I know there are many well-known fans on social media saying ban The Sun so this won’t be a hard thing or even a surprising thing for them if it happened, it’s time to unite as a fan base behind the club and against The Sun.