The vast majority of Sunderland supporters are rightly horrified and ashamed that one of their players Adam Johnson has been found guilty and sentenced for crimes most right-thinking people find absolutely abhorrent. But there are some goons who have harassed and insulted a child and her family – in real life and also via social media. Friends and relatives of Johnson have similarly been involved in a baffling attempt to justify the man’s actions and campaign his innocence.
There are others however who would like for nothing more than this whole episode to be swept under the carpet and for everyone to move on. These are no doubt strong Sunderland supporters whose devotion to their club has capsized their values and skewed their perspective. The latter group resent anyone discussing the Johnson episode and none moreso if those analysing the case happen to be Newcastle United supporters. Those connected to true faith aren’t the only ones who have been assailed via social media and received threats of the veiled and not so veiled variety but that won’t ever put us off from examining what has gone on with the case when much of the local media has backed away from it and given it only the most basic attention. In some cases we believe they have connived with Sunderland AFC to spin it out of the public consciousness. Its a difficult, uncomfortable area and has some much raised sensitivities for a lot of people with a lot to lose but that doesn’t include us.
This fanzine has had an interest in the Johnson case not for reasons of mischief making for our nearest rivals but because it happens to be the biggest scandal ever in North East football but also because it says so much about how Premier League football clubs operate, their values and ethics and the distortion of what they should all be about. For those who want to accuse us of mischief, I’d ask them to consider the pieces we have published dealing with the Ched Evans case not to mention wider issues in the game dealing with issues such as racism, homophobia, corruption and a plethora of other areas which are connected to our national sport.
Let’s be honest, I don’t think there are many who have watched the affairs of Newcastle United over the last few years who believe our club would have acted with any less selfishness than many believe Sunderland have done over the Johnson case and we are all awaiting the findings of Jonas’ Employment Tribunal to in many cases confirm our low opinions of the SJP regime. See also the Keegan tribunal too. We claim no moral superiority for Newcastle United and its risible for anyone to claimk that might be our purpose.
In our new issue of true faith (TF125) we asked one of our writers to examine the case and approach it from a female perspective. Blef has done a brilliant job in that regard and even though Johnson is now in the early stages of his sentence, we think with the heat and abuse removed from this sad chapter, its time to return to the subject and we hope draw some conclusions and we hope football learns some lessons.
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