Mason Greenwood is heard saying, “He does what he wants, he does what he wants, he does what he wants.”
Let’s face the truth—if Manchester United permits their disgraced attacker to rejoin the squad, the aforementioned will become a thing for some people.
There will be resistance in the ground when that chant and comparable events occur. Those who have spent months making supporting him a part of their identity on social media will get it.
When people my age and I first started watching football, you had to load it up a little to fit in. Even in the 1990s, attending games wasn’t always a sterile affair, and that was great.
There was no eagerness to get there and make everything clean. You adjust to your surroundings and laugh at jokes that would otherwise be, to put it mildly, embarrassing.
Yet it was never poisonous. I would modify my behavior to fit in with the guys, and they would do the same to ensure that things didn’t go too far out of bounds.
With the widespread adoption of social media and the anonymity it gives, many people no longer need to adapt. They have the ability to intentionally exaggerate their worst opinions in order to make an effect that the great majority of people would steer clear of in person.
Unfortunately, social media does not exist in a vacuum. What is said there affects actual events and particularly has an impact on young people. What was once kept quiet or at the very least tempered is now a way to get noticed.
Because of how long the Mason Greenwood scenario has lasted, there is an abundance of material. These incidents will begin on social media, and it is not difficult to imagine the effect on younger generations and their respect for women when we see middle-aged fathers, even grandfathers, proudly displaying their young daughters in their profile pictures before defending the Manchester United player with ever-wilder arguments.
Many of these males would be the first to tell anyone and everyone that they would gladly “do time” if someone injured even one of their little darling’s hair.
But there are also those other women and your women.
If Manchester United Football Club accepts him back, those individuals will sense some measure of vindication for their positions. The message will be evident even if they issue public statements, discuss rehabilitation, and brag about attempting to turn the situation around.
Although there isn’t a simple way out of this, they have certainly made things difficult for themselves. The slow trickle of information about a potential decision has clearly shown that a company is attempting to provide the foundation for itself to abdicate moral duty and, worse, to do so.
We have now reached the most recent briefing. Manchester United informed their preferred news sources that they wanted to speak with members of their women’s team but would have to wait until after the World Cup.
They no doubt wanted that message to be repeated, and it was done so without any significant criticism from those doing so. And yet, anyone using their intellect could see what would happen.
Those women would be the focus of the Greenwood Legion’s pressure tactics. A scenario that began with the documented abuse of a woman comes full circle when it ends with additional abuse of women.
We are watching you was one of the messages conveyed to Manchester United players at the World Cup.
The threat in the message in particular caught my attention. As a result, I contacted the sender, who – and prepared to be shocked – lacked the guts to respond.
It’s simple to target women online, and the circumstances in Greenwood have made it easier for anyone to do so.
Much of this has a hint that leads to the driving force behind the Greenwood Legion. Before this entire incident, several of the youngest, happiest soldiers had been questioning him.
They have transformed a person they had slight reservations about into the next Messi. A player who hasn’t appeared in a match since a January 2022 match against West Ham is portrayed as being absolutely necessary for the upcoming campaign.
For them, Greenwood is merely a means of transportation; what matters most to them are women. It would also be dishonest to disregard the fact that many of those engaged come from nations where women aren’t treated with the same respect as they are in the UK, despite the fact that this is a tough subject to broach.
Combating misogyny isn’t really hip, and it’s even less appealing when doing so could result in allegations of racism. Fighting back against this is naturally frightening, and we all witnessed something similar during the World Cup in Qatar.
It was taught to us that we must accept other cultures, even if they are homophobic and misogynistic. The yearning for respect does not, however, work the other way.
The fact that Greenwood hasn’t been adjudged guilty by a court of law is one crowbar used to start that debate.
Less than 1% of rape cases reported in the UK result in a conviction. Unless we want to believe – and some will absolutely want to believe this – there are thousands of women just making things up, the reality is that it’s near impossible to successfully prosecute sexual abuse cases.
The fact that the involved woman is still his partner is a counterargument.
According to the National Domestic Abuse Hotline, individuals who are still able to do so return to their abusive relationships on average seven times before making a final break.
The Greenwood Legion’s claim that other football players accused of comparable behavior didn’t exert exactly the same amount of energy may be their strongest defense. To some extent, that is true, but the significant anomaly in this situation is what we all witnessed and heard, which is etched into our memory and gives people the opportunity to grasp what actually occurs and to create their own, educated opinions.
We are where we are and have what we have.
Both sides of the argument won’t be altering their minds any time soon.
So Manchester United has the ball now.
Delays and tactics to avoid taking accountability must stop. Because of the talent present, they were able to overcome their major reservations about Greenwood’s character prior to this incident.
This guy hasn’t played in 18 months, even when evaluating just from a football perspective.
Someone who would be relentlessly pursued by opposition supporters at all times, which is both understandable and justified.
Someone who would cause a great deal of disruption for the remainder of his time with the club, garnering unfavorable front-page coverage just as rapidly as he did so.
Take it off the pitch a little, but not too much, and Manchester United needs to consider what they genuinely stand for to the fans that fill Old Trafford and have done so for decades.
those individuals in the crowd who have experienced physical abuse, sexual abuse, or partner domination.
Those who are aware that even if they tried, they would have little chance of being found guilty.
Those… who are still experiencing it.
The choice is simple if the club cares even the slightest about what occurs off the pitch. Unfortunately, Manchester United’s situation doesn’t seem to be that straightforward.
It definitely ought to be.