Editorial: One Punch Does Not Make A Deduction

The 128th Second City Derby has been one of controversy. While the result saw Blues suffer defeat to their hated rivals and ensure the long run without a league win in this fixture goes on, an incident at the ground has further marred the fixture and has caused all manner of hot takes on the internet.

St Andrew's taken 26 December 2018

As I said on Twitter during the game, I hope the authorities throw the book at the person who ran on the pitch.

His actions have reflected badly on the club and have forced Blues to humiliatingly apologise both to Jack Grealish and his team after they have beaten us on the pitch.

However, some of the comments about today have been ridiculous.

As bad as that incident was, it was not the only incident in a game today where someone has got onto the pitch and assaulted a player.

At the Emirates Stadium Chris Smalling was shoved by a fan who had run onto the pitch to celebrate with the Arsenal players following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s penalty.

That fan was arrested and has been charged with not only pitch invasion but also common assault.

On Friday a fan confronted James Tavernier of Rangers as he went to take a throw-in at their game against Hibernian at Easter Road.

It’s clear to me that what happened at St Andrew’s today was not an isolated incident, but a symptom of a much wider problem.

There are all kinds of political arguments that are opened up in that discussion – political arguments that I really don’t want to get into.

The only thing I think that I can say without doubt is that there seems to be a lot more confrontational situations these days and that fining a football club for one of them is not going to touch the bigger problem.

In the midst of all this darkness I have seen a spark of light.

The reaction of former Zulu Barrington “One Eye Baz” Patterson to a particularly bad online Blues troll deserves a wider audience.

Baz tweeted that he wanted to meet him face-to-face; to talk about some of the “old skool ways” with him and show him the work his outreach team BHST do out on the streets of the city.

This has nothing but respect from me and I think shows the way forward.

I think it’s important that people are reminded that there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed; that their actions have consequences that reach further than simply being arrested and charged.

I also believe it’s important for people to understand that while it’s an important game, it is just a game and that real life can be somewhat harsher.

Before today’s unfortunate incidents the staff, players and management at Blues had earned plaudits from across the press and the footballing world for how they have reconnected the club with the community.

The actions of one person shouldn’t detract from what has been in the main a positive season for the club.

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