Guest Post by Anonymous
This follows on from "THIS2:https://www.westhamtillidie.com/posts/2018/03/11/grown-men-behaving-like-spoilt-children article from the same author on the events of last weekend.
I just read your “piece for the Standard”https://www.westhamtillidie.com/posts/2018/03/13/evening-standard-column-be-careful-what-you-wish-for. You have just completely taken my head thoughts on this. Agree with every word and nuance in its entirety. Well done.
For the last two seasons, I witnessed two supporters who sit in front of me whom week in week out have hurled abuse at the players sat on the subs bench directly in front of us. Ayew, Carrol, Kouyate and even Antautovic have come in for nasty stuff at different times. I have come very close to pulling them up and telling them to shut up, but then it would kick off and just add to the woes amongst supporters and place me at risk.
The players sit exposed within inches of some supporters who are paying 4k a year for a seat and who have the manners of moronic pigs despite their earning capacity. My overwhelming impression of the last two years is of bunch of players terrified of the supporters. It reminded me of my years coaching kids football watching parents and other coaches scream at the kids terrifying the kids.
On a practical level the club should consider redesigning the subs seating in order to shield players from the supporters and get their focus on the pitch and not on what goes on in the stands. They perhaps also should start kicking out some of these abusive fans.
I mean in what other sport or entertainment industry event is it ok to scream ‘You f***ing lazy fat worthless useless c**t!’? Apologies for language, but this is what I hear week in week out, with many children present too. Whenever I have made comment on this I am dismissed with ‘Oh it’s just banter mate’.
And all this going on before the events of Saturday. Cancer starts small.
I brought up Brexit in my previous email that you posted on your WHTID. I am not sure if you read some of the replies on the WHTID forum, but some picked up on this and took my observations out of context in inferring I was blaming ‘Brexit’, identifying me as a ‘Remoaner’ with an ulterior motive and therefore totally dismissing my views because of this. They wholly missed the point.
We dropped a bomb with the EU referendum and it divided the nation, the same has happened with West Ham and the move to the Olympic/London Stadium, we are no longer West Ham United we are West Ham Disunited. This was the point I was making.
This is part of a much bigger picture, we are living in a way more aggressive abusive world than 25 years ago. The internet has also helped fuel this as people sit anonymously behind their screen typing their bile, something they would not do face to face, especially 25 years ago.
I have scaled down my involvement on social media to the point I am considering pulling out completely. I talk face to face more than I have ever done in recent years. ‘Talk Don’t Tweet’ is now my motto. Engaging with people in person is the medicine needed for over indulgence behind a computer screen.
Even amongst long term friends I pick up on massive polarization and divisive attitudes when on line/Twitter/Facebook etc. We can no longer beg to differ or engage in a civil manner, we are either A or B, Black or White, Gay or Straight, Left or Right, Fascist or Socialist, Tory or Labour or of course a Brexiteer or Remoaner. Everything now has a label. It feels that most people have forgotten that we are all humans with a limited shelf life. We simply need to talk face to face and rediscover the art of real communication and accept that we have different views. This world would be better for it. Of course, this is me being idealistic.
I do not know the answer to all this hostility and division, there probably isn’t one, I try not to get cynical about mankind, but it is very challenging not to just shut the door and stay indoors for the rest of one’s days. I fear for the future of my children and eventual grandchildren. The world has become a worrying place in recent times.