Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The M-word Debate: Tin Hat Time

It's important (and the done thing, reading other blog posts) to preface this post by saying most certainly do not agree with or sing about Munich — especially the 'Runway' song, and I tend not to refer flippantly to the Rags by that particular term either. Of course, calling them Munichs is just about as geographically accurate as calling them Mancs...

But unlike many others, I don't see how the now-infamous song belted out on Monday night at Ewood Park has manage to cause an international incident.

There is a section City support who refer to fans of Manchester United as "Munichs". There are many City supporters who say they would never chant anything unpleasant or inflammatory about Munich but see no issue with using the word itself as shorthand for United and their supporters. On Monday night, there were several thousand of them. If the 1958 disaster is not being mocked, or directly referenced, then is the term in isolation offensive? Certainly distasteful, but no more so than racist/homophobic chants towards opposition players or fans?

Manchester United fans have sung about Hillsborough. They've mocked Marc Vivien Foe. They've mocked the Leeds fans who were stabbed in Turkey. It's not a valid argument to justify any form of offensive chanting, just because they're the ones wot done it too — but there is more than one guilty party in this equation.

Most curiously, I have witnessed (with my own eyes) United fans almost goading City fans into singing about the disaster, by themselves making aeroplane gestures — undoubtedly in the hope that they can claim pantomime outrage when a City fan returns the favour.

Perhaps when United cease using the disaster to their advantage, and City fans cease referring to a Bavarian beer-loving town in an unnecessary wind-up, the chants will stop. And then the perished can finally rest in peace.

Hopefully, that day will be soon. City fans who are against the references to Munich can do their bit and not sing about it. There will be some that do — but ultimately, that's their choice.

I'd prefer if we didn't though. We cop enough unnecessary and unsubstantiated flak in the media as it is — let's not give anyone anymore ammo. Be impeccable.

Manchester Remembers — brought to you by AIG.

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