Recently, a new member of the site unleashed a tirade in the comments of an article. I have offered this person a chance to speak with me before I do anything like ban them or delete their comment, so I am not going to link to the comment itself or the article he commented in, and I ask all of you to refrain from berating him for the time being. In this comment, the member claimed that Americans know nothing about football, implied that we're ignorant morons when we use the term soccer instead of football, and that we're all secret Chelsea fans if we're okay with Luka Modric leaving. Having never spoken to this person outside of the comments of the site, I cannot tell you about the content of his character. However, his comments are rude and ignorant, and they've compelled me to write this post.
I believe that fans of all nationalities and backgrounds have equal value. I do not care where you are from. Anyone from any corner of the globe is welcome to post at this site. I will consider someone from any country to be a writer for this site. We have writers from both the United States and England, and I assume that we have commenters from countries other than the United States and the Home Nations. It's going to stay that way forever.
Still, there are a select few complete jackasses who believe that they have some kind of claim to the sport or to supporting clubs in England if they are English. The sport and the clubs are theirs and theirs alone for some insane reason. In reality, people from outside the traditional strongholds of most sports teams are generally the most knowledgeable about the team. I'm not arrogant enough to think I'm the most knowledgeable Spurs supporter around, but I've met plenty of lifelong supporters who present a complete lack of knowledge about the game on a regular basis.
For those of you who don't know, I also contribute to Acme Packing Company, SB Nation's Green Bay Packers blog. My family moved to Wisconsin when I was three years old and my parents liked American football, but did not have a team when they were growing up. We all became die-hard supporters of the Packers after moving to Wisconsin, and I have been a fan of the team for as long as I have known that American football existed.
Until very recently, Acme Packing Company had a kid named Ryan from Australia writing for the site. Ryan had to quit because of personal time commitments, but in his time at the site he wrote some fantastic articles. His knowledge of the Green Bay Packers roster and history, along with his knowledge of the game of American football was fantastic. It was easily above the average level of knowledge for a Packers fan who has spent the entirety of their life in Wisconsin. People like Ryan are NOT rare and they are NOT random.
I'll give you another example. A good friend of mine once played in the Manchester United youth team. He is a lifelong supporter of Man United, and since leaving the club for reasons that don't need to be discussed, he has played at the highest levels of Sunday League football, winning games and scoring goals against semi-professional clubs. When it comes to non-professional footballers and coaches, he should have a knowledge base that exceeds just about anyone else. He knows a lot about association football and Manchester United, as one would expect.
But this friend of mine is also a fan of American football. He has never lived in the United States and he has traveled to the United States once in his life, where he did not attend any American football games in person. He does not have any close American relatives. He simply found the game interesting and got into it. Believe it or not, his knowledge of American football far exceeds his knowledge of association football. It would be well above average among American-born, lifelong fans of American football. This is the case for the same reason that Ryan's knowledge is so great.
When a sport is not particularly popular in your region and there are very few fans from where you come from, there are barriers to entry just to be a fan. When someone from Hicksville, USA becomes a hardcore association football fan or someone from the UK becomes a hardcore American football fan, they have to deal with all kinds of ignorant, prejudiced assholes telling them that they know f-all about the sport and the team that they support because of their nationality. As a result, to prove themselves, these people usually end up studying the game and the club that they support extensively so that they exceed the knowledge of their peers who were immersed in the game and the support of the club, and therefore, didn't have to do any studying at all.
Anyone who says [nationality] don't know anything about [whatever] is wrong, and is a bigoted asshole. There is no place for people like this anywhere in society, and there will certainly be no place for people like that on this website, ever. Anytime someone makes a comment along those lines, a reply will link to this post. If they do it again, they will be banned. I will be amending the membership agreement to reflect this policy.
If you claim that someone is not knowledgeable about something or is unable to do something because of their nationality, you are no better than someone who says that women, minorities, or homosexuals are not knowledgeable about something or that they are unable to do something. It is the exact same fucking thing. If you say that Americans know nothing about football, you are no better than racists or sexists, and you will never be tolerated at this site.
And with that, have a good day, and COYS.