The Daily Mirror have reported that Liverpool FC have been ‘hit by new racism row‘ and more specifically that:
a fan was arrested on suspicion of racially abusing Oldham player Tom Adeyemi…
Eyewitnesses saw two fans wearing Luis Suarez t-shirts, and heard one of them clearly shout “You f***ing black b*****d.”
Police immediately moved in to restrain the two suspects, and later confirmed arrests had been made.
However, the Guardian allegedly also reported that arrests had been made – only to remove all references to arrests shortly afterwards. Furthermore, BBC Sports Correspondent Dan Roan has tweeted that:
LFC & M’side Police say they are investigating “an incident” that occurred in the 2nd half v Oldham “to establish details of what happened” …but police “can confirm no one has been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated behaviour during the match at Anfield”.
Once again Twitter is full of many different reports from many different sources. Whilst the Daily Mirror that eyewitnesses clearly heard racial abuse, Twitter users claiming to have been at the match and witnessing the incident deny that any racial abuse. Indeed, the BBC’s Nick Parrott was at the game and tweeted:
No fan was ejected following Adeyemi incident. I spoke to fans nearby who claim “Manc bastard” was the only thing shouted.
He was then able to confirm:
No #LFC fans were arrested on Kop tonight. Three were ejected, but this was unrelated to the #Adeyemi incident. I was there & spoke to cops
Before addressing the false claims in the Mirror he also commented that:
There were black and Asian fans near the fan who hurled abuse at #Adeyemi, I didn’t see them react to the fan. #LFC stewards didn’t react
What is clear is that the sheer speed at which information travels through social networks can both clarify and confuse situations. The Mirror clearly jumped at the initial incident, without first checking if any reliable sources could shed more light on the matter. Clearly a BBC reporter at the game should be considered a reliable source – and it seems according to those tweeting about the incident that the Guardian certainly corrected their article pretty quickly. It remains to be seen how long the Daily Mirror will take to correct its article – especially now that Merseyside Police have confirmed via Twitter that no arrests have been made – but an investigation into an incident is taking place.