Manchester United fanzine, ‘Red Issue,’ released their latest fanzine on Monday before United’s match against Fulham. Now, if you are not aware of this yet, the cover is a satirical take on the events that happened at White Hart Lane on March 17th.
The defence for this issue is that it is not aimed at Fabrice Muamba, but the media circus that then followed on Twitter with thousands of people sending numerous tweets about it.
However, this is no complete defence.
Yes, people were posting to their Facebook and their Twitter updates about the midfielder, but that is because of the amount of support and fans Fabrice has. Not just within Bolton though, the whole of football has seemed to unite to show how much they care about him.
Another way people are backing-up Red Issue is by pointing out that no one cares when a young man dies in Afghanistan, but when a celebrity does, the world seems to stop.
I can understand where they were coming from and until recently I would have agreed. However, when the celebrity involved is so involved in part of your life, how can you not be effected? Every week, along with many Wanderers fans, I’ve been tweeting my support for Muamba through a seemingly tough stage of his career. Then for this to happen to such a nice and genuine guy was just so unexpected that I really didn’t know how to react.
Thousands of people were in that stadium and almost saw a 23-year-old man die in front of their very own eyes. Is it really okay to laugh at their grief?
Twitter is the norm these days. It is how many people communicate and it is a constantly updating source of news for others. If you hear the news about Muamba on there, where else are you going to communicate about such a big event?
And also, the fact that apparently no-one blinks an eyelid when a soldier dies is an incredible false fact. Using the apparent Twitter barometer, you’ll see that stories from Afghanistan about fallen soldiers trend. And going off the real world barometer, everyone talks about it, and whole towns often pay their respects.
I would in fact, almost understand if Muamba would have collapsed behind closed doors, but on a football pitch, for a nation to see, is a different matter completely. How many people across the country play football on a weekly or maybe even a monthly basis? Thousands – stemming from the Premier League to Sunday League to just a kick about in the garden. Those thousands of people see themselves in this, thinking ‘It could be them.’
And it could, Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) could effect any person at any time without them noticing, but now it is a national issue, steps can be taken to help prevent this happening to anyone ever again.
So in a time where football had seemed to unite as one, no matter of rivalries or grudge matches, Red Issue have, not for the first time, shown that it is not the case.