Manchester United Fan Charged Over Offensive Hillsborough Reference
In a distasteful incident that sparked outrage amongst the football community, a Manchester United fan has been charged for wearing an offensive shirt with a direct reference to the Hillsborough disaster. The incident took place amidst the recent FA Cup final at Wembley, further marring the competitive spirit of the occasion.
An Offensive Statement
James White, 33, from Warwickshire, is now facing charges for displaying threatening or abusive writing that’s likely to cause harassment, alarm, or distress. This report comes directly from the Metropolitan Police. The offensive Manchester United shirt bore the number 97 and was emblazoned with the words ‘Not Enough’.
The Metropolitan Police on High Alert
The Metropolitan Police Events Twitter account shared a picture of the man and his shirt, alerting the public to the inappropriate action. The timing was unfortunate, as the local Manchester teams were battling for the coveted FA Cup, a match that saw Manchester City emerge victorious against Manchester United, 2-1.
In a statement, the Met explained that White was arrested due to the offensive reference on his shirt relating to those who lost their lives in the Hillsborough tragedy.
The Aftermath and Additional Offences
Post the unfortunate incident, White has been released on bail and is set to appear at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on June 19. This however, wasn’t the only incident warranting police attention. During the course of the match, 22 more individuals were arrested for a range of offences including assault, affray, possession of drugs, and drunk and disorderly behaviour. Additionally, there are ongoing investigations regarding an item thrown onto the pitch after the Manchester United goal.
The FA’s Firm Stand Against Insensitivity
— FA Spokesperson (@FAspokesperson) June 4, 2023
Responding to the controversy, the FA released a statement condemning the actions of the individual. “We saw a photograph of the offensive shirt on social media and immediately started working to identify the perpetrator. Our security team were able to quickly locate the individual based on the image, and we welcome the swift action which was then taken by the police. We will not tolerate abuse relating to Hillsborough or any football tragedy at Wembley Stadium and we will continue to work with the authorities to ensure strong action is taken against perpetrators.”
The Hillsborough tragedy remains a dark memory for football fans, especially for those affiliated with Liverpool. Ninety-seven football fans tragically lost their lives during a crush at the Liverpool vs Nottingham Forest match at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield on April 15, 1989. An inquest jury in 2016 determined that the fans were unlawfully killed due to a series of police errors.
In conclusion, football is a sport that unites people and evokes passionate sentiments. Actions such as this, which intentionally disrespect the tragic incidents of the past, have no place in it. The swift response from the FA and the Metropolitan Police demonstrates that such instances of abuse won’t be tolerated, preserving the true spirit of football.