Edouard Mendy does his bit to highlight racism how football and society need to do better

A hard look in the mirror

It happened again, racism isn’t going away. A large published paper with circulation of around half a million, eight thousand subscribers online and over eight million followers on social media, is racist.

The Mirror today posted the below article in relation to a story about Benjamin Mendy and his verdict at the Crown Prosecution earlier today.

Repercussions

Now for any football fan, you will notice that the person above is in a Chelsea shirt, which is suspicious as Benjamin Mendy plays for Manchester City as stated in the first line. The player in the photo is also a goalkeeper, and although shares the same surname is most definitely not Benjamin Mendy and is in fact Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

IMAGINE. Just imagine, that a photo of yourself was place in a national newspaper, along with the line “faces six counts of rape”, how would you feel? How would you friends and family react to seeing that. The incomprehensible mistake is cataclysmic, sending shock waves of confusion, rage, and upheaval for all those that saw it. Let’s not hide behind it. This is racism.

Re-offending

Luke Rooney is a former EFL footballer, I have no doubt that any story about Wayne Rooney would feature an incorrect photo, let alone a picture of Gillinghams’ Luke. There are countless, Jones’, James’, Browns’ and Evan’s out playing football today. None of these footballers, if in an article, would have featured a photo of someone else. To call it lazy journalism would be an understatement. It is not the correct player, let alone the correct team, position or colour kit.

It gets worse, the Mirror didn’t apologise for the tweet. The paper did not bat an eyelid. Simply removed the photo and reposted the article. This was then followed by a stream of clickbait rubbish about 90’s Disney films, celebrity harassment and tattoo stories. Business as usual.

Perhaps, it’s a one off? It could be that it was a simple mistake and click of a button? Perhaps someone who did not have enough time to proof read. Its not like its happened before….

Photo from the Evening Standard, evidence of the racism - https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/i-don-t-find-this-funny-stormzy-fuming-after-newspaper-mixup-with-footballer-romelu-lukaku-a3584361.html
Photo from the Evening Standard, evidence of the racism – https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/i-don-t-find-this-funny-stormzy-fuming-after-newspaper-mixup-with-footballer-romelu-lukaku-a3584361.html

Alas, here is the Herald in Ireland, physically printing a picture of rapper Stormzy instead of an image of Romelu Lukaku back in July 2017 after his move to Manchester United. Do you see the common theme here? This isn’t harmless, it’s racism.

Reset

This is happening again and again and again, and it simply must stop. Media is everywhere, it is at the click of a button. You can access it on apps, social media and if you are reading this blog, likely partnerships too. It not only points in the direction of Fan owned media, in my opinion, but also in accountability online.

With huge implications in the cricketing world right now, BLM movements in the Premier League, Formula One and the NFL, how can a company that provides us with “entertainment” be so blazae about a blatant racist post and be fit to get away with it?

Therefore we all need to hold ourselves accountable for the content we provide online, it cannot be just about what we say anymore. It must be about our actions and who we hold accountable. Whether its pointing out racial slurs at the Emirates, reporting content online or holding global news companies to account, we all have to be campaigners for anti racism. Enough is enough.

Thankyou for reading.

Written by Rob Edwards (@robrambles)

Edited by Tom Coley (@tomcoley49)

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