Steve Bruce, racism and The Sun that doesn’t shine: a solution

Honestly, I am not saying this just because he writes to me after every match, and sometimes between games, but Steve Bruce has every right to be furious with The Sun for its ridiculous treatment of Marcos Angeleri’s ‘ee no like me because I no Eeenglish quotes.

He, or the club on his behalf, has banned the paper from press conferences and the press box at the Stadium of Light. Bruce is considering suing for libel, or so I learn from the Sunderland Echo.

Again, all within his/their rights.

Quick recap: Angeleri, miffed at not figuring much in the team, apparently told a South American radio station: “The boss doesn’t talk to me, he doesn’t even say hello to me when he sees me. I think he doesn’t like me because I’m not English.”

The interview was picked up in the UK and the quotes appeared in The Sun under the headline “Bruce in New Race Row”, the story recalling comments made by Gerard Houllier during the controversy surrounding Darren Bent’s transfer.

There is no need to quote Bruce’s protestations that his record shows him not to have racist bone in his body. I never thought otherwise for a second, and I doubt anyone else, with the possible but unlikely exception of a few Sun readers, did either.

When Salut! Sunderland reported on this matter – our headline was Steve Bruce, racism and journalism for the hard-of-thinking – I wtote this:

… in attempting to suggest the behaviour of a serial offender – “another race storm” – and, indeed, to say there is the least hint of racism in the first place, every media outlet that has reported the non-story in such terms has succeeded only in making itself look very foolish.

So sue away, Steve. Ban the Sun for life, SAFC. Or maybe not …

I am sure Murdoch’s finest were not alone in reporting the non-story with a similar headline. If that is the case, Steve and the club may have to be consistent and have a go at them too. There are lawyers who spend a lot of time trawling for libel potential; its a lucrative business.

But I do not wish to see the manager of Sunderland AFC bogged down with legal consultations, court cases and the rest, especially if it turns out I am right and there are multiple possible defendants.

Bruce is justifiably hurt but his reputation has probably not, in reality, suffered one iota. And he is unlikely to need the tax-free windfall a successful defamation action brings.

Let him leave it to SAFC legal folk to squeeze what they can out of Murdoch – £5,000, maybe £10,000, plus a grovelling printed apology – and repeat the process with anyone else who turned a few crass quotes from a disgruntled, underachieving player into a bogus “race row”.

And give the proceeds to an appropriate cause. Maybe a movement supported by Steve Bruce, SAFC and Salut! Sunderland, Kick Racism Out of Football – these days Kick it Out – could do with a bob or two.
Monsieur Salut

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

2 Responses to “Steve Bruce, racism and The Sun that doesn’t shine: a solution” Subscribe

  1. Ian_SAfc March 31, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    Ludicrous to suggest Angeleri was benched because of a race issue. He just wasn’t better than Ferdinand or Bardsley. The Bard has upped his game this year and now is looking very good.
    Even scored a couple!
    Looks like Riveros, Ang and Da Silva were not good buys for us. Overall tho, Bruce has done us good in the transfer market.

  2. Kelli Jones April 12, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    We have no right to ridicule minor and ineffective player. We are only allowed to watch and comment but never degrade someone. Good for Bruce for banning The Sun.

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