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There's quite a lot to unpack from this whole affair and much of it won't be obvious to a lot of people, not just because Stoke-on-Trent isn't known for having a large Jewish community, but also because by it's very nature  Anti-semitism is quite often far less clearcut than other forms of abuse, and this is usually by design.

A lot of anti-semitism relies on oblique language, stereotypes, clichés or 'tropes'. Many people who use this shorthand know exactly what they are hinting at. It's a dog whistle. It's also ambiguous enough for them to be able to plausibly deny it if they ever get accused of being anti-semitic. But amongst like minded people,  if you know, you know. Nudge nudge etc.

On the other hand there are people who, perhaps, have a drink, get a bit opinionated, read far too many conspiracy theories on the internet on their afternoons off and repeat what they've seen without fully understanding its context. I suspect Pope falls into the latter category. And because it's complicated and he doesn't understand why it's wrong, he stands his ground. Maybe he should have gone on the course before he appeared at the hearing.

I don't particularly want to defend Pope on here, his record on social media is dreadful, his 'banter' is cringeworthy and he needed to put a sock in it a long time ago. But footballers aren't generally the sharpest tools in the box and a lot of them could get suckered into saying the wrong thing very easily. Fines like these are quite often a tax on a player's lack of intelligence.

However, this case is out of the ordinary and I would have liked to see the FA tribunal take a bit more time to consider the effects of their judgement. The reaction on here from some at the punishment: bemusement, disbelief, a bit of anger, underlines the lack of understanding by some of the wider fanbase about the nuances of anti-semitism. They had to wheel an academic into the hearing to explain the subtext behind the Rothschild trope, so what chance do the rest of us have? The punishment also risks emboldening the PC-gone-mad brigade and create a feeling of resentment towards those who are earnestly trying to eradicate racism from the game. 

The FA had the opportunity to educate us all about one of the more insidious forms of racism that exists in society. Instead they just got the ban hammer out and I think that could turn out to be counter productive.

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In my view, I don't care about what bans other players got - Pope has only himself to blame for this one. This isn't an isolated incident. He had already been charged twice in a matter of months

I'm sure this will all lead to civil and well-informed debate on the matter 🙂

There's quite a lot to unpack from this whole affair and much of it won't be obvious to a lot of people, not just because Stoke-on-Trent isn't known for having a large Jewish community, but also becau

1 hour ago, darren1810 said:

I don't think it will impact, but I think that this could be his last season as a Vale player. 35 in a few weeks.

Don't envisage him being offered another deal for 21/22 at the age of 36 

Great servant who has tarnished things for himself and the club with his stupidity and crass comments. 

 

Darren I completely agree with you and for a couple of seasons together with Brown they helped us to retain our league status. Tom will be a top earner at the club and into his last season so I’ll be surprised if a new contract is put on the table. IMO I hope that Toms place isn’t in jeopardy, especially with Cullens fitness and Rodney being an unknown quantity at this stage

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5 hours ago, Nofinikea said:

Stand you in good stead as a teacher that will Joe.

Yeah if you could stop using my job to have a dig at me mate, that'd be great. Bit weird.

Thankfully, teenagers are far easier to engage with than some on here.

Edited by Joe B

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7 hours ago, Nofinikea said:

First snide comment on the thread belongs to you.... go figure.

It wasn't snide.

It's been proven entirely accurate.

Go figure 🙂

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1 hour ago, Santa said:

There's quite a lot to unpack from this whole affair and much of it won't be obvious to a lot of people, not just because Stoke-on-Trent isn't known for having a large Jewish community, but also because by it's very nature  Anti-semitism is quite often far less clearcut than other forms of abuse, and this is usually by design.

A lot of anti-semitism relies on oblique language, stereotypes, clichés or 'tropes'. Many people who use this shorthand know exactly what they are hinting at. It's a dog whistle. It's also ambiguous enough for them to be able to plausibly deny it if they ever get accused of being anti-semitic. But amongst like minded people,  if you know, you know. Nudge nudge etc.

On the other hand there are people who, perhaps, have a drink, get a bit opinionated, read far too many conspiracy theories on the internet on their afternoons off and repeat what they've seen without fully understanding its context. I suspect Pope falls into the latter category. And because it's complicated and he doesn't understand why it's wrong, he stands his ground. Maybe he should have gone on the course before he appeared at the hearing.

I don't particularly want to defend Pope on here, his record on social media is dreadful, his 'banter' is cringeworthy and he needed to put a sock in it a long time ago. But footballers aren't generally the sharpest tools in the box and a lot of them could get suckered into saying the wrong thing very easily. Fines like these are quite often a tax on a player's lack of intelligence.

However, this case is out of the ordinary and I would have liked to see the FA tribunal take a bit more time to consider the effects of their judgement. The reaction on here from some at the punishment: bemusement, disbelief, a bit of anger, underlines the lack of understanding by some of the wider fanbase about the nuances of anti-semitism. They had to wheel an academic into the hearing to explain the subtext behind the Rothschild trope, so what chance do the rest of us have? The punishment also risks emboldening the PC-gone-mad brigade and create a feeling of resentment towards those who are earnestly trying to eradicate racism from the game. 

The FA had the opportunity to educate us all about one of the more insidious forms of racism that exists in society. Instead they just got the ban hammer out and I think that could turn out to be counter productive.

Fully agree. The lack of clear communication as to why this was a punishable offence is a big balls up.

I had to read the entire report to gain an understanding; before that, I too was critical of the punishment. 

I still don't think an appeal gains anything bar possible a slight reduction in games banned (for what will be a backup forward) and lots of negative national press.

Its clear this is a controversial topic and one none of us are well-informed enough about to truly form an accurate judgement upon. For the sake of the club, fanbase, and Pope, for me it is best to take the punishment, get him on a re-education course, and lie low.

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5 minutes ago, Coyney Valiant said:

People need to  loosen up a bit there’s a lot worse things happen in the world 

9GGA7aXlCigD.gif

 

Edited by Santa
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Couldn't agree more. Its on the back of two other bans during the season. He's let the club down big style.

6 game ban for that tweet is harsh.
6 game ban for years of Pope being unprofessional on Twitter is soft. I'll choose, for my own sanity, to take it that way.
I sincerely hope the club don't appeal and let this entire embarrassment go away, instead of dragging it along and getting us some negative press.
Time to move on. 

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So in the end he did not get a six month ban for anti semitism but for being ignorant. Is that right?

On another thought why didn't  the EFLban him for six games when we still had nine games to play during 2019-2020.

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14 minutes ago, rayzer said:

So in the end he did not get a six month ban for anti semitism but for being ignorant. Is that right?

On another thought why didn't  the EFLban him for six games when we still had nine games to play during 2019-2020.

Proving intent is nigh on impossible. The key point is the tweet itself was defined as racist. You make a comment at work which is deemed as sexist or racist and you can still get fired. There is no need to prove intent. I think the FA accepted ignorance as mitigation ...  otherwise I suspect it would have been a longer ban. The current atmosphere linked to Black Live Matter means they were always likely to come down hard on anything with a racist connotation. Being stupid isn't a defence in law, which was effectively Pope's defence. The facts are:

1 he admitted he posted the comment

2 it was deemed as a comment which was likely to cause offence

 

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Yeah we can debate it until the cows come home but it's hard to have sympathy with a bloke for posting something daft when he's been warned and punished multiple times for posting rubbish.

Six games gives us time to give a proper run of matches for Rodney, Cullen or someone else. Maybe it will prove to be a blessing, and if not then Pope will be ready to step in.

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1 hour ago, Joe B said:

Fully agree. The lack of clear communication as to why this was a punishable offence is a big balls up.

I had to read the entire report to gain an understanding; before that, I too was critical of the punishment. 

I still don't think an appeal gains anything bar possible a slight reduction in games banned (for what will be a backup forward) and lots of negative national press.

Its clear this is a controversial topic and one none of us are well-informed enough about to truly form an accurate judgement upon. For the sake of the club, fanbase, and Pope, for me it is best to take the punishment, get him on a re-education course, and lie low.

I agree. Appealing is a bad look for all involved. Crewe doubled down during their scandal and got mauled by the national press. It created a siege mentality amongst their fans that they were being unfairly victimised. If we get the same thing here then we'll be torn apart.

However I can't help but feel that the FA have missed a trick in the first place. You said it yourself, none of us are well-informed enough. Well this was an opportunity to address that. 

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Tom Pope being banned for 6 games 2 years ago would have seen us relegated to the national league. Tom Pope suspended for 6 games now isn't as big as a problem as we have Cullen rodney and another striker coming in and we can cope without him now. It does give a bad image to the club though after all the good press we got for the free meals and cancelling the season. 

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Originally, I gave my thoughts on the matter based on the summary given in the club statement. However, after reading further material published online, I've now seen enough to be able to hold my hands up and retract my initial verdict. In no way, shape or form, can I possibly defend him. Bit disappointed in his actions, in fairness. Thoroughly deserved outcome given what has transpired. He's heading to the final stretch of his career. He needs to buck his ideas up and bow out with decency and respect. Don't tarnish all you've achieved, and go out under a dark cloud, Popey.

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