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Don’t paint TFC fans with the ‘H’ label

It was all very sensational. Debate over a YouTube video of a TorontoFC fan allegedly being Tasered by Columbus police gripped much of thecity yesterday.

It was all very sensational. Debate over a YouTube video of a Toronto FC fan allegedly being Tasered by Columbus police gripped much of the city yesterday.

And predictably the video has caused quite the stir in the Toronto media. Some journalists — most of which were 600 kilometres away at the time of the incident — have cast judgment on the Toronto fans. They have called them an “embarrassment” and have suggested that what happened in Columbus is a sign that hooliganism is on its way to Toronto. Speaking as someone who was about 10 feet away from the man seen in the video, I can’t say that I’m surprised by the reaction.

However, the predictability of it doesn’t make it any less preposterous.

The truth is there are more fights on Richmond Street at closing time on a Friday night than there were in Columbus on Saturday — or, to put a sporting spin on it, at a typical NFL game.

At last year’s Dec. 7 NFL game between Buffalo and San Francisco, there were 33 arrests, 21 of which involved Canadians.

On Saturday, there were two arrests, one of which involved a Canadian.

Yet it’s the soccer game that is getting all the attention. Why is that?

Hooliganism is a dying concept that was rooted in class politics and was mostly a product of a certain time (the 1970s) and place (working-class England). No one involved in the TFC supporters’ groups is looking to return to that time.

It’s time to do away with the H-word when reporting about soccer in this country.

Duane Rollins writes everything football at the 24thminute.com. He also talks
everything footie for It’s Called Football on thatchannel.com

 
 
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