Have the media forgiven and forgot the past of Paolo Di Canio?


A little story that some of you may have missed in the press a few weeks ago was Paolo Di Canio’s appointment as Sunderland manager.

He moved into the Stadium of Light role following Martin O’Neill’s shock departure in March with little fanfare or attention.

I’m joking; the furore couldn’t have been any worse if he’d bitten one of the journalists present and then smiled at the camera straight after.

Nothing to do with his football, it was his alleged fascist beliefs and comments that had got the media all riled up.

The Black Cats form has mirrored the temperament of their volatile manager in that they’ve been up and down. The first three games resulted in an honourable defeat against Chelsea followed by a famous victory at Newcastle and home win against Everton.

Then came a shattering loss at Villa and a hard fought draw against Stoke, this has left them three points above the relegation zone with two games to play.

Whilst watching Di Canio being interviewed after the Stoke game I wondered what had happened to all the frenzied coverage.

I’m not advocating that the sports media continue to rehash the same old story or rewrite from a slightly different angle (although they seem to be doing a sterling job of this in relation to Bale’s transfer situation) but for a story to be so newsworthy a mere few weeks to now not appearing to be relevant at all is slightly disconcerting.

Is it simply because life goes on and the old adage that its tomorrows chip paper, whilst not quite working in this technological age, still rings true? Or is it that no one really cared in the first place?

The political beliefs of our sports stars are not generally something that we’ve been concerned about. Should we be? I’m inclined to believe from the way Di Canio’s name is sung by Sunderland fans that they are not overly bothered.

Is it because Fascism itself is a bit grey area? If you asked five people to define its meaning to them you’d likely get five different answers. It may have been different if Di Canio’s alleged comments had been openly racist.

Even then however I wonder how long that would be held against him before we all moved on to the next headline.

Luis Suarez and John Terry were both found guilty of racial abuse by the FA but that is something that now rarely warrants a mention. We’ve moved on, so much so that until his teeth baring episode Suarez was possibly favourite to win football writers and players, Player of the Year.

It does make you wonder if there is anything a player or manager could do that wouldn’t be forgotten after a few wins or beating your local rivals.

Allen Whyte

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