November 28, 2023

Manchester United and the Mason Greenwood disarray of their own making

Manchester United and the Mason Greenwood disarray of their own making

Manchester United and the Mason Greenwood disarray of their own making

I’ve been dreading writing this all day, unsure where to begin. I’m burned out on toxicity, like many in this community.

Please be patient as I unload a mess.

The Athletic reported today that Manchester United were considering re-signing Mason Greenwood.

Greenwood lost 18 months of football due to attempted rape, assault, and controlling and coercive behavior charges. His companion uploaded frightening photos of her wounds and recordings of Greenwood’s attempted rape.

The Crown Prosecution Service withdrew the charges in February, with a spokeswoman explaining why:

The withdrawal of key witnesses and additional evidence made conviction impossible in this case.

“In these circumstances, we must stop the case. All parties were informed of our decision.

We constantly encourage potential victims to report to police, and we will prosecute if our legal standard is met.”

The transcript of one of the audio recordings in a reply to Manchester United’s Twitter message is here.

Greenwood and his girlfriend have since rekindled and had a child, and many have used it to explain his conduct.

The phrase “Innocent until proven guilty” concerning a trial that never happened has also inspired a stupid argument that he deserves a second opportunity.

After his partner’s evidence withdrawal, many feel that Greenwood’s second chance is playing out by him not being sent to prison. That doesn’t remove the distressing facts, and her boyfriend giving Greenwood another chance is different from Manchester United giving him another chance.

The club is not compelled to let him play again. It should be a privilege to wear the badge, but this low bar for players makes it not. Football does not have the burden of proof like a court of law, and what was posted online 18 months ago was so terrible and disgusting that most people properly thought football was out.

So it was for 18 months. Despite internet hatred, several declarations, fan sites, and organizations have expressed their desire to never see Greenwood return to the club.

Include this amazing statement from Female Fans Against Greenwood’s Return.

Since the charges were dropped, why the wait? What did Manchester United gain from delaying decisions? Will they say that bringing back a player who hasn’t played in nearly two years is a football move? Maybe it was cheaper since he got a new contract? Is a player who hasn’t played football in nearly two years and allegedly battered and attempted to rape his partner worth bringing back?

How does that make sense? How was that decided?

Unfortunately, I don’t represent all Manchester United fans. Many internet fans are celebrating Greenwood’s impending return with messages about ladies and footballers. The ugly speech, prevalent in powerful individuals and claimed sexual abuse, has worsened as the club delays their judgment. This language has attacked Manchester United women’s supporters, pundits, and players, who were unnecessarily implicated in the probe (reports are still up).

The club dismissively called Greenwood’s partner’s vivid proof “partial evidence” in “public domain,” which is a horrible approach to diminish the shocking start to all of this. The club’s entire response looks to have been a poor attempt to dismiss The Athletic’s claim after being courtesy informed. Instead of replying, the club issued a cryptic statement.

Adam Crafton’s thread perfectly captures the club’s professional displeasure with the situation and its worrying lack of understanding and institutional chaos as they struggle to display any sense of uniformity.

This is a scathing attack on Manchester United. At best, they were shortsighted and unprepared, and they still seem to be leaning toward alienating and upsetting a huge portion of the fanbase to find value in the contract of a player who hasn’t played football in 18 months for genuine reasons.

Everyone should be proud of their club. Most essential, club members should feel safe. Even if the verdict is changed, the way this scenario was handled may make anyone feel unsafe.

Worst of all, this may have been a test of reaction if Greenwood returned to Manchester United. If so, they’ve welcomed abuse to the women’s squad, misled journalists and the public, and made little headway on any alleged internal probe.

Over this so-called probe, the club leadership has only shown a dysfunctional institution driven by financial interests. They alienated and invited abuse, destroying fan relationships and putting their athletes at risk.

People the club should protect and care for as much as Mason Greenwood.

Many will draw a line in the sand if Greenwood returns, and no one can blame them. Why would anyone feel safe or comfortable knowing that the person allegedly responsible for the violence seen in those photographs and heard in those recordings 18 months ago was allowed to represent one of the world’s major sporting enterprises?

How dare you criticize them.

How should anyone laugh at being deprived of something so pure and communal. Something lovely, that is monetarily valued because of people’s love, has been made nasty and painful.

What a shame. So heartbreaking. Infuriating.

The idea that football skills should exempt someone from basic ethics and norms is absurd. The team and manager Erik ten Hag have been in this scenario previously.

Marc Overmars, Ryan Giggs, and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Club officials promote and defend men accused of horrific actions.

It’s a constant in sports, politics, business, families, and social groups. A cycle of violence.

What are the moments to continue or stop? Decisions like whether to give a Manchester United player accused of horrific things power, privilege, and status.

Manchester United and the Mason Greenwood disarray of their own making

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