Home » “Shocking” and “Abhorrent” – Backlash over Mason Greenwood reaches fever pitch

“Shocking” and “Abhorrent” – Backlash over Mason Greenwood reaches fever pitch

by David O'Neill

Rachel Riley, television presenter and lifelong Manchester United fan, has made her feelings on the Mason Greenwood situation clear.

Taking to Twitter, Rilely said that she “won’t be able to support United if Greenwood remains at the club,” adding that we have “all seen and heard enough” regarding the case and citing the statistical failure of authorities to clamp down on violence against women and girls, with less than 1% of reported rapes leading to a conviction.

A Man United fan and an MBE, Rachel Riley took to twitter to make her views clear in response to a video posted by The News Agents, in which Jon Sopel interviews Em, another lifelong supporter.

Em called on the club to “act loudly and vocally against any aggression towards and against women,” particularly given football’s chequered past in that area. She points to the tapes that made their way onto social media 19 months ago and adds that the contest of the audio makes things seem very “clear cut.” Given the nature of those audio recordings, it would be nigh-on impossible to disagree.

Sopel pressed Em on her thoughts on how Man United have handled the situation so far, leading Em to admit her disappointment, particularly with regard to the slow and protracted nature of the club’s internal investigation. Em points out that if the decision makers wanted to consult members of the women’s team, they had ample opportunity to do so.

The “shocking timing” of the leaks, given Mary Earps, Katie Zelem, and Ella Toone are all currently playing in the World Cup, was particularly sickening, especially when considered alongside the abuse they received from so-called United fans as a result.

A common mistake with the Greenwood saga is to say that the footballer has been ‘proven innocent’ when it isn’t really the case. Charges against him may well have been dropped, but the Crown’s Prosecution Service was clear in its message that this was due to the withdrawal of key witnesses and evidence. This is why, for Em, the situation is not a contract issue, but one of ethics and morality.

The backlash extends far beyond Em and Rachel Riley, with a number of fans directing their ire at Richard Arnold, with whom the final decision over Mason Greenwood’s future rests.

Social media is awash with posts featuring screenshots emails sent directly to Arnold, beseeching him to do the right thing and dismiss any notion of Greenwood returning to the first team.

One such email, which was retweeted by Rachel Riley, criticised Manchester United’s official statement which claimed that no decision had been reached, amid leaks that a a statement announcing Mason Greenwood’s return was scheduled for the 4th of August.

It goes on to deliver a heartfelt account of the writer’s love for the club, along with the deep sense of discomfort he will feel at having his club tainted by the presence and celebration of an “abhorrent” man.

The club did reply, with what appears to be an automated message. It is likely that thousands of such robotic responses are being delivered every hour. “Unsettled and panicking,” Manchester United may well be forced to rethink their original decision.

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