Comparing the reporting of The Mirror newspaper and their chief sports writer following the Luis Suarez ban and John Terry’s ban.
Spot the difference?
When Luis Suarez was banned after being found guilt of racially abusing Patrice Evra, The Mirror newspaper’s back page featured an image of Suarez looking down on a forlorn Evra with the headline RACIST.
As you can see above, the same can’t be said when John Terry was banned after being found guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.
In fact, The Mirror’s chief sports writer Oliver Holt instead launches a defence of Terry, alongside photos of the Chelsea captain with his hand on his heart and with his arm around black teammate Ashley Cole.
Holt’s article following Suarez’s ban was headlined:
Why Luis Suarez’s eight-game ban for racism is absolutely right
Holt’s article following Terry’s ban is headlined:
Loud and clear: First Suarez, now Terry – FA show there is no room in the modern game for racism
Yes, he manages to use Suarez’s name before Terry’s.
Holt goes on to say of Terry:
He has made plenty of mistakes in his life, but he is not a monster. Far from it.
He is generous.
He is courageous and bold on the pitch.
He is a loving father to his children.
Holt, of course, forgets to mention Terry’s alleged affair with a teammate’s partner.
He ends by saying:
Once he has served his punishment, though, just like Suarez, he deserves to be allowed to move on.
That’s right, because Suarez has really ‘been allowed to move on’ when Holt mentions his name five times in the article.
Amazingly, The Mirror were defending their headline within minutes of it going online. Taking to twitter to explain that the backpage headline is regarding black players not being happy with the verdict. Interesting that they were so quick to defend themselves, and that they choose a completely different angle to address the subject. Surely they don’t have an agenda?
But wait, what of Holt’s article following the Suarez ban? Oh, that one. The Mirror removed it from their website shortly after Holt’s Terry piece was published on Thursday evening. Surely they don’t have an agenda?
We can neither confirm nor deny suggestions that Holt was the ghostwriter of Terry’s biography. Mind you, here’s a few clues; Terry’s book is written by “Oliver Derbyshire”. Oliver Holt is the son of Thomas Holt and Eileen Derbyshire.
Agenda? Surely not.
Recommended reading: A Tale of Two Racisms (News Frames)