Thursday, November 25, 2004

Punishment out of proportion to the crime.

I was surprised to read in my newspaper today about the case of Jason Perryman, 22, a Blackburn Rovers supporter, who was caught on television cameras making monkey chants and gesturing towards Yorke during a match at Ewood Park on Sunday. He was banned from attending matches in England and Wales for five years and fined £1,000 yesterday after he admitted racially abusing the Birmingham City player Dwight Yorke. Appearing at Blackburn magistrates' court, Perryman, of Chorley, Lancashire, admitted to an offence of racially aggravated disorderly behaviour. He was ordered to stay away from football grounds until 2009 - the maximum ban available to the court - and fined £1,000 with £75 costs.

David Macro, prosecuting, said Yorke, a former Rovers player, had expected some jibes on his return but, as he warmed up on the touchline, he was aware of racist taunts.

"Perryman was seen to be gesturing towards Yorke, imitating a monkey by moving his arms up and down to his armpits. At the same time, he was making `Ooh ooh ooh' monkey noises.

Has the world gone mad? This football supporter was imitating a monkey, that is all he did. He was simply behaving like a wally and if the target of his taunts had been a white footballer then he would not have been appearing in court for allegedly racially aggravated disorderly behaviour. What possible harm could this have done to Dwight Yorke, are his feelings and skin so shallow? Has the paying public not the right to heckle an entertainer they have paid to watch perform? These footballers are paid a lot of money to entertain the public and if their ego and feelings are so fragile then they should not be doing such a job if they are so sensitive. This supporter is not a criminal and has been victimised for acting like a wally, nothing more. To be fined £1,ooo is stupid and out of proportion to the alleged crime. I do not believe that it was in the public interest to prosecute. Dwight Yorke has done his communtiy and football club no favours by acting like a spoilt child. This supporter has been banned from football games for 5 years and who would want to watch, if the players are running around with the added burden of chips on their shoulders - not me or anyone else with their feet on the ground.

In this case the law is clearly an ass!

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