Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

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Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by cbtroman on Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:26 pm

As the title suggests. Has it basically gone too far?

Football was based very much on a working class culture and if anything, going to a game was a place to let off steam. Now even swearing and even criticising player is sometimes frowned upon.

Obviously some changes are for the better such as stamping out hooliganism/racism but are we now in danger of silencing people?

Will we soon be selling cucumber sandwiches to the masses at games?


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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by Steve Whites Missus on Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:32 pm

No just frothy coffee and pizzas....

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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by cbtroman on Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:26 pm

I suppose the general point is that although posh coffee, pizzas, cucumber sandwiches will appeal to some, it will not others.

It's something I've noticed in football generally.

It is of course difficult if not impossible to get the perfect balance, but I do think it's heading that way where football is rapidly becoming an exclusively middle class sport with arguably an excessive liberal agenda too.

Just observation







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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by stillmanjunior on Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:18 pm

I've re-written my reply about three times but have decided to keep it brief instead.

Basically, I do my best to treat others as I'd like to be treated. So maybe that's different than the norm in terms of football fans. I could count on one hand the number of times I've drank pre-match, let alone been intoxicated at a game (would be good value on the radio, I guess). That's the clear key in fans' behaviour for me. I watched Bristol City v Millwall on Saturday and had to catch a train back, which meant sharing a platform with mainly Millwall fans. There were more cans of Strongbow and Carling than supporters basically. They couldn't bear the thought of being sober, and you could tell that not drinking would have been frowned upon. I'm not an angel, I'll have a few glasses of wine at weddings and do the (very nowadays) occasional night out where I would pass the tipsy barrier, but football is a hobby, I don't need alcohol to enjoy it. Ditto darts - I went to the Premier League final in May, sober, and I would imagine 99% of the crowd were off their faces. Other sports seem to be the same.

The other thing is I've never grown into this habit of goading opposition players or fans, because I've lost count the number of times it has come back to bite us. How many times did Martin Paul score against us? If you can't take the stick, don't give it, basically. And there are plenty out there who are happy to give the abuse, but when it's back at them they have a hissy fit.

Well, that's brief compared to my previous attempts to reply, anyway.
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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by cbtroman on Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:53 pm

Fair points.

It is of course totally subjective as to what the definition of liberal/working class etc. is, and it's open to interpretation, though I think the point about alcohol is very true regarding behaviour.

I do think though that it's worth remembering that football was based on a traditionally working class movement, and therefore was no accident that the first football league clubs tended to be established from industrial working  towns.

General point of consideration is that is there really a "good" type of supporter?

Football has developed for the better in many ways such as being more community diverse (as it should be) but I do think there's a risk that if football clubs become too PC, then it will in fact alienate a significant section of society.

As an example giving stick to the opposition such as "your team are ****", is not something I tend to do because I personally prefer to just watch the game; but I don't hold it against those who choose to give them a bit of stick/banter either.

It's certainly not unique to Bath City though. Had this experience at Rovers when a mate of mine was given them some stick in their relegation season from league 2 a few years ago and he was told to basically shut up.

Don't want a return to the dark days of hooliganism etc. but I think there is a danger with going too far the other way as well when the passion goes out the game altogether.

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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by OliverH on Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:05 pm

I'm slightly confused as to why you've titled your post "political correctness/liberalism" when the substance of your complaint seems to revolve around family friendly vs less family friendly behaviour. Anti-swearing is not part of any " liberal agenda " that I'm aware of.

If you have a problem with middle class influence in football that's fine, but I don't see what that has to do with PC or liberalism?
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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by cbtroman on Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:55 pm

It's certainly not a complaint, it's an observation. I also finished with a question mark at the end and emphasised that it is a very subjective issue. So this is from an open minded stance.

Ok, it's definitely fair to say is it not that football has changed?

Certainly in the top flight (particularly after Hillsborough) with the change from terracing to all seated stadiums, to the birth of sky sports etc., very few could deny that things are different.

How much is it for a premier league game now? Not sure, but I know most people could not afford to watch games on a regular basis. The big clubs know this and don't care. Consequently the social background of paying supporters has changed, certainly at the top level.

The general point is that I think this is filtering down to the lower leagues and I would argue it isn't always that much of a good thing.

Nothing against those who can afford to watch it but it's a real shame that ticket prices for example are out of reach of many people of whom football clubs don't care for them at all.

I am not sure whether it's a middle class thing, liberalism thing, political correctness thing but it seems to be one of those things at least that seem to be dominating the game at the moment.

It isn't just prices; it's a cultural change too.

As an example it was well known that rugby fans tended to be different from football fans. I think that gap is narrowing.

Might come across as controversial but not intended to be. I think demographics are good information for football clubs to consider.

Emphasise again this is about football in general. It does worry me when clubs up and down the country try to turn the football "experience" into mere viewing.

That said I could just be a football traditionalist!

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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by OliverH on Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:25 am

Apologies, you're quite right, it was wrong of me to characterise your post as a complaint.

You raise a very interesting topic, but I will just say that this is very much a middle class thing rather a PC or liberalism thing. It's important not to conflate the two because there is a proud history of working class football fans fighting racism, sexism, homophobia and fascism (particularly on the continent but also in the UK) - these things are not just middle class concerns.

Broadly though I agree with you, the working class has been priced out of football and it is getting a bit gentrified. It's a delicate balance at Bath City that the board are very conscious of, how to bring in a bit of pizza and frothy coffee to attract the predominantly middle class and student population of Bath without losing the authenticity and tradition that made the club worth preserving in the first place. I'm confident that the two can live side by side, but with swearing and being "passionate" it's a bit more difficult - I suppose the family section is there if you really don't want to exposed to that, but it's a small ground and voices carry. Tricky but as with many things it's a case of finding a balance.
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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by cbtroman on Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:17 pm

Agreed, and it is true that you can't please everyone anyway. I just believe this will become a bigger issue in football generally in the future

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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by Marc Monitor on Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:47 pm

First of all, there is no such thing as political correctness. It is a figment of the media's imagination that has now become a meme in real life. There isn't even a working definition for it. As Gary Younge says, "political correctness has come to mean whatever its opponents want it to, so long as they don't like it. Usually, the policies and dilemmas referred to are difficult to fathom or entirely invented". Banishing racism, sexism and homophobia from football isn't 'political' 'correctness', it's evolution, societal maturation, respect. Indeed, what it usually really is is something else beginning with 'po..." and that is just plain old politeness.

As someone who supported a club that was riven with hooliganism and not a little racism, sexism and homophobia, I am quite glad to see these elements gradually being eradicated from all sports (and, indeed, society) and don't think that anything is diminished by their gradual decline. I am also realistic enough to know that we will never be completely rid of them.

This has nothing to do with swearing, shouting at players or chants slagging off other teams or supporters. These are all part of football. Football is an adult environment, like pubs, and, like pubs, it is up to parents to explain that swearing is not appropriate for children to repeat. At our level, people are going to hear swearing from the players anyway.



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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by BenE on Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:57 am

I will give you a definition of political correctness.

It is the expectation that other people will conform to one's own political views. Of course the current political convention will be different in London to say Riyadh, Pyongyang, Havana, Myanmar or Dublin. And of course as you identify it will change over time.

For instance it used to be acceptable for organisations to have different standards to what was common elsewhere. The BBC used to expect people to have an estuary accent, but this has now gone by the board and it is a struggle to understand what people are saying.

Sexual organs were never shown on TV but now it is commonplace. Whether you regard this as liberalisation or a descent into depravity depends upon which side of the political divide you sit.

But Political Correctness expects that you will accept it whatever your views.
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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by Marc Monitor on Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:25 pm

BenE wrote:I will give you a definition of political correctness.

It is the expectation that other people will conform to one's own political views.

That sounds more like false-consensus effect/bias or something. The rest of your post, while giving good examples, deals in the subjectivity that reiterates the need for a good working definition. That really is the issue. People using this red herring phrase actually rarely think about whether it makes any sense or what it means. The changes that they are addressing are actually usually cultural or legal, not political. That is if they are exist at all and aren't myths made up by a media with an agenda (you remember the "EU banning straight bananas" bullshit). As you suggest, there is no actually "correctness" as all the cases are subjective. The canard that is "political correctness" is usually, in fact, politeness or respect for others which happens to curb one's prejudices or, to put it another way, increases awareness.
Language and social mores have always adapted and changed. It is only now that we have come up with this term "political correctness".
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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by BenE on Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:22 pm

You seem to have a narrow definition of politics.

I think all those subjects are politics.

So deciding whether to wear your pyjamas to shop in Sainsbury's is a political decision. Even if you just can't be @rsed to get dressed.
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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by Marc Monitor on Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:54 pm

I think that is a symptom of politics.

To be honest, this is one of those threads that loses something because of the paucity of and time between posts.

Going back to the original post, I don't think that getting rid of hooliganism, racism, sexism and homophobia in football takes away from the 'working class culture' especially as all those -isms aren't necessarily intrinsic or exclusive to the working classes. I also don't know where any proscription on swearing and criticising of players is happening. I stand in front of the boisterous Tea Bar contingent and, when they get a bit shouty, I just walk around to the Mo-B-Q. I am not frowning upon them just choosing to standing elsewhere and we are blessed in our division that we can stand wherever we want.

Equally, I think that, at Twerton Park, we have the tea bar, the Mo-B-Q, Randalls/Charlie's and the pop-up catering which caters for everyone. We are adding to the matchday experience with all that is going on this season not taking anything away. I appreciate that isn't the same at other clubs but that is football capitalism - chain catering franchises, allocated seats etc - it isn't anything to do with respect for others/liberalism/'political' 'correctness'. It's about cold hard cash.
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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by BenE on Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:01 am

Agreed and as one of the most sweary people on the terraces I have a weak case. I am aware of the littluns standing nearby but it just pops out sometimes.
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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by Marc Monitor on Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:16 am

Well, you definitely want to watch that....oh, the swearing.


Last edited by Marc Monitor on Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by BenE on Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:53 am

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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by comrade powell on Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:21 pm

Did the mother ask her children's permission before rushing to post it on Facebook?
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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by Marc Monitor on Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:29 pm

I am not sure what this has to do with football but the actions by the Fire Brigade seem like the minimum I would expect. They have only been suspended from community work (assumedly because it involves children) and, of course, there has to be an investigation as to whether child protection and/or health and safety rules have been broken.

Without knowing all the details, obviously, I would just say that a fire station is a highly specialised workplace where games or jokes shouldn't be played let alone with children. A fair few of us will know that firemen do pull pranks on each other and, if caught, would fall foul of rules. That is one thing but pissing around with kids in clingfilm is on a different level. Put it this way, I doubt very much whether they filled out a risk assessment.
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Re: Political Correctness/Liberalism in football?

Post by BenE on Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:16 pm

And that in a nutshell is my point.
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