Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Respect for the 96

It's been 25 years, of heart break, pain, suffering and more importantly, fighting for justice, justice for the 96 people who were killed on that day, the 15th of April 1989. You've heard the stories, read the articles and seen the pictures of what transpired at Hillsborough but still to this day the families of the fallen are seeking the truth. Their fight is ongoing and they have the full support of the club and many fans from around the world. This blog post isn't one to highlight what happened that day but I felt the need to write this to educate the few who seem to not realise the significance of it all. 

I'm an avid twitter user and I follow some fans of the opposition, there's always banter going about and given Liverpool's resurgence in the Premier League, its gotten a bit heated from time to time but I don't mind that, what I do mind is them picking on the club about this day. I saw comments such as "always the victim" and "what about Munich" doing the rounds. Let's get one thing straight, this isn't about who's tragedy was more important. All tragedies are deemed that because they are, tragic, it's sad to see certain members of the opposing fans thinking this is a competition. Yes, this one does generate the most interest in the press and media, firstly because the case is still on going to find out the truth, secondly this tragic event hit the footballing association world wide and enforced changes that are still applied to the modern game. 

It's because of Hillsborough, football globally had to re-look safety measures for fans in stadiums. It is because of Hillsborough, standing terraces were banned and only all seated stadiums were deemed legal for clubs. It is because of Hillsborough, policing at grounds on games day were jacked up and better training for emergency situations were implemented. It is because of Hillsborough, we are able to enjoy football games in an environment that is safe for everyone. The consequences of the 96 lives that were lost, served as a catalyst to make the game safer for the paying fan, who knows how many other accidents were prevented because of these changes. 

So you see, as much as it does affect the club, this day in history affects football worldwide. Coming back to Munich, yes that air disaster that killed 23 passengers on the plane that was carrying the famed Busby Babes was tragic and should be honoured in its own right, one cannot compare it to Hillsborough simply because of the differences between the two disasters. Nothing was changed after that plane crash in terms of air safety or in football and as sad as it was, it was an accident. The people who died in that flight deserve respect and not made to be in comparison to anyone else. 

In the same way each and every member of the 96 that died at Hillsborough deserve respect as well. They left home to watch a football game and never returned home, then made out to be the cause of the accident and labelled as criminals and drunks by the media and police. For 25 years their families have been fighting to clear the names of the innocent deceased and subsequently the Hillsborough Inquiry began in March of this year. For all those years, justice finally seems to be coming for those who loss their lives that day and hopefully bring peace to the families affected. 

The out pouring messages of support came in from all over this weekend and today with various clubs and supporters of other clubs showing their solidarity with Liverpool FC and the families because they know, it could have been anyone, it could have been them. So I urge each and every football fan out there, no matter which team you support, no matter what tragedies you or your club have incurred, have some respect for the 96, because of them, we are now enjoying a safer experience at stadiums all over the world.

You'll Never Walk Alone

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