News broke last night that Rotherham United – and former Rangers – player Kirk Broadfoot had received an eye-watering 10-game ban from the FA for verbally abusing James McLean on 14 March.
You would imagine that he must have said something pretty astonishing to merit that kind of ban.
And indeed it seems that he did.
The English Daily Mirror contains the following headline
…and reports that
“It is understood he received the record ban after being called to an FA tribunal with club officials to face charges relating to sectarianism”
Earlier this week, Rotherham and the FA refused to comment on the matter because of a strict confidentiality agreement that prohibits anyone connected to the case with making any comment about it.
It believed that was put in place over fears of a risk to the parties involved if details were revealed.
Broadfoot was born into a Protestant family in Ayrshire and is known to be a staunch supporters of certain cultural traditions relating to his religion.
McClean, a Catholic who signed for West Brom this summer, has been in the news over his refusal to wear a shirt with a poppy symbol in it, turning his back on the Union Flag prior to a game and refusing to sing the British national anthem before kick-off at a game for his new club during their pre-season tour in America.”
This is very striking stuff indeed. And you would assume that the Mirror’s sister paper in Scotland would also run the story.
Well… The Record DID run the story, but it would be fair to say that it was ‘sanitised’ to a considerable degree.
The Record article expunges all mention of sectarianism, runs a shorter story, and says
“Broadfoot has been handed a staggering 10-game ban for launching a verbal tirade against James McClean.
The former Scotland and Rangers defender will have to serve what is believed to be the longest ban for verbal abuse in English football history.
Broadfoot launched the volley of abuse against the Wigan and Republic of Ireland winger at the New York Stadium on March 14.
He later called the Wigan player a “cheat” for diving during the 2-1 defeat for Rotherham.”
There is no mention of the background or religion of the two players, nor is the material about “fears of a risk to the parties involved if details were revealed.”
It’s all very curious indeed!
On the one hand Mirror Group Newspapers tell us that Broadfoot launched a “sectarian tirade”, and on the other that he “verbally abused” McLean…
There’s quite a difference between those descriptions!
It’s almost as if they decided to play down the story for a Scottish audience.
The Clumpany wonders why on earth they would feel the need to do that…
Update [10:15am, 24 July 2015]
The Record has now added a sentence saying that
“The abuse is reportedly of a sectarian nature”.
And @DarrenBSCooney of the Record has explained on Twitter that the ‘sectarian’ part of the story couldn’t be “stood up” last night.
Further to the above article… The Clumpany was hat-tipped in this piece by Roy Greenslade on the Guardian website today!
Which is very nice indeed!