Friday, 9 January 2015

Good people getting caught up with what they say!

No sooner had I published my blog piece on the Ched Evans affair and the potential for good people to find themselves looking like they were plain and simply wrong than the head of the Professional Footballers' Association, Gordon Taylor, popped up and gave a real life example of how easy it is to engage in logopodia (foot in mouth syndrome) and end up vilified by others.

Speaking on the end of the 'Will Evans join Oldham' saga, Taylor spoke in support of the man with the words, 'This latest Oldham situation has not made anything better for him. He is a human being, he is one of our members, we are a civilised society and the rule of law having done your time he has been asked to show some remorse and it has always been in the hands of lawyers. 

It’s been very delicate and word has to be checked because of the situation he’s in and with the probation office he’s under. It’s not looking good for him at the moment and he will need support like everybody else in this unfortunate situation needs support.'

Taylor continued by saying, 'He  (Evans) would not be the first person or persons to have been found guilty and maintained their innocence and then been proved right. If we are talking about things in football we know what happened, and what was alleged to have happened at Hillsborough, and now it's unravelling and we are finding things are very different to how it was portrayed at the time.'

Now what Taylor is trying to say is that the bloke needs to be treated fairly and I think there might be some frustration at the noise surrounding this situation. He is trying to be open-handed and tries to bring some balance by repeatedly saying that there is a need for support for all involved in this situation (and I quote): 'Obviously it’s not a good time for him, he needs support like everybody in this particular incident needs support not least the woman concerned.'

The problem is that many are saying that Hillsborough was a wrong comparison to make and whilst I can understand this, and feel some sadness for the Hillsborough tragedy to be linked with it in any way, Taylor is speaking about things in the world of football and using an internal situation as an example.

He is not, as some have claimed, 'Comparing the plight of a convicted rapist with 96 innocent victims,' but what he is saying is that one person's story sounds plausible until the other side of the incident's side is heard. He is saying that we were told that those who died were perhaps the victims of their own folly and yet, as the evidence and the changed evidence is brought to light, you realise that everything reported isn't always what we were first told!

The man is trying to be balanced and fair and has fallen into the 'condemnation' trap so loved by others when they perceive something they do not like has happened.

Had he really needed to speak on this situation then there may well have been a number of other comparatives on offer. He chose to keep his comments within football and legal things and I guess it is true that finding out the truth with regard to Hillsborough is actually not the worst of comparisons he might have made UNLESS you happen to have family members who died in it and think he's somehow comparing the two (which in terms of situation he is - but in terms of people and their fates he isn't).

I am sure he didn't intend to offend anyone and this is of course where the major pitfalls lie when communicating: Intent is not reception. What we mean to say isn't always heard and this is where good people end up looking wrong.

There is a link to the BBC and his words which you will find here
Some 13m 20s into the transmission

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