Justarsenal are right to Question AFTV by Dan Smith
I was not aware of any racist comments on AFTV last weekend till an article on this website brought it to my attention. I have never heard the racial slur myself and foolishly only watched an explanation video from the channel.
I thought Claude was being criticised for simply saying Spurs were making a DVD (banter that stems from them actually doing that after a 4-4 draw). Once I watched the actual footage which caused offence it was clear his explanation does not make sense. He clearly says ‘there goes the DVD’, at the exact moment a man from Asia is being subbed.
Only a week previously I wrote about the pros and cons the rise of the internet/social media has had on football. Here though was a problem that was always going to happen.
Host Robbie has took an individual who admits to battling depression and encourages him weekly to shout and say outlandish things. Heck he gave him his own show because views showed he had a character who was entertaining.
When your lonely but suddenly getting attention online, invited to be on radio stations, etc that’s great for your ego …. until it’s taken away. Admin did a great job of detailing how the fan channel once again embarrassed the club.
I read comments where some suggested any critique was born out of jealousy. After all, why would Justarsenal choose to refer to a topic not related to Arsenal?
Yet you can’t have it both ways. AFTV’s content is Arsenal. They have made money off Arsenal. A few have become famous on YouTube because of Arsenal. They have interviewed ex-players because of Arsenal. They have been on TV because of Arsenal.
Yet when they get bad publicity don’t associate their brand with Arsenal?
The likes of Gary Neville, Hector Bellerin, Simon Jordan, even Mr Wenger to a degree warned the channel about the sensitivity of its business model and were mocked for doing it, so it’s hard to not judge a company who make money out of hammering another company but not liking it when it’s done to them.
I let myself down by not giving my opinion based on being accused of an agenda. I have contributed many articles preaching for the sport to have a zero tolerance towards racism. About how we need to educate a new generation that football is not a bubble where you can say and do what you want.
Yet when the owners of this fine site rightly pointed out how a product mishandled allegations of racism some excused it as JA picking on AFTV? Sorry, fan channels claim to be the new version of the media and want the same respect as a Sky Sports or a BBC. When they get questioned, they claim the likes of John Cross are jealous that journalism is changing. So, on one hand they are asking to be viewed as media.
So okay, if Gary Neville or Robbie Savage called Son a ‘DVD’ would you expect fans to talk about it? What’s the difference?
Robbie showed his true motives this week by backing Claude, then only doing a U turn once he lost sponsors. The irony being his ethos is ‘giving fans a voice’, yet when he knew fans were upset, he was happy to film Claude refusing to apologise. Yet once it hit his bank balance, all parties were magically sorry?
It’s hard to feel sorry for a man who didn’t think twice about the feelings of players, managers and fans when he was swearing at them. The same man who boasted to the camera how he didn’t have the respect to applaud Arsene Wenger in his last home game.
From a mental health point of view though, I hope he has support and the channel don’t wash their hands of him. His outburst made a lot of people a lot of money, so they owe him loyalty in his time of need. Saying you are backing him then changing your mind based on peer pressure is not a great quality
I want to quote the following for those who say this platform (made up of Gooners) have no right to question a channel who say they represent us ……
“This channel is about giving fans a voice.
“It’s about allowing ordinary Arsenal fans to have their say on the club they love.
“It’s made some popular but it’s not about that
“It’s about the ordinary guy who goes to the game ‘
That’s a quote from the host himself! So, if he wants to give fans a voice, what’s wrong with saying we don’t tolerate racism and don’t like the idea of that being seen as a representation of gooners?
Before kick-off players take a knee to show solidarity for equality. Being treated based on how you look has caused protests worldwide. The only way to educate is to have debate. The more kids who read what Claude said and see a consequence the better. We are past the point where people should be judged for saying racism or discrimination is wrong.
Justarsenal didn’t put words in anyone’s mouths. Nor did they defend it. They reported it and said it was wrong.
Don’t blame them for that, say well done for their integrity.