Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

FA in Danger of Deferring to 'Rooney Rule'; Barclay's Account Patrick Barclay

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

FA in Danger of Deferring to 'Rooney Rule'; Barclay's Account Patrick Barclay

Article excerpt

WELL DONE to the Football Association, who have chosen the slogan "so what?" for a campaign against homophobia.

A person's sexual orientation should be treated with the same respect as his or her racial classification -- though the latter concept was recently questioned by John Barnes, who implied that "race" was an artificial device contrived by supremacists.

I wish David Cameron had called for a debate on that when he hosted a meeting with football folk yesterday, rather than just asking the FA to report within three months on how to stem what one newspaper called a "rising tide of racism and homophobia". If this exists, it is only in the intellectual vacuum of Twitter, surely the most regressive of inventions, one whose prohibition would create a hurricane of fresh air.

Things have got better in the real world and, if you doubt it, summon the memory of Robbie Fowler, who mischievously turned his back and bent over, holding his buttocks, as Graeme Le Saux prepared to take a free kick at Stamford Bridge in 1999. …

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