Banter and beyond

Banter is defined as the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks. As suggested below, the banter that is perceived as fun and colourful inside a stadium, may be ‘wrong’, or less appropriate outside. Obviously, when part of the fun is to target and get at the opponent, banter becomes intimidation – as the singing of the Jimmy Savile song whenever Leeds is the opponent.

Similarly, the stereotyping of the linesman, as narrated in Father Owen’s anecdote (below) is, in the words of another interviewee, ‘funny, but at the same time wrong’.

‘I remember a few years ago, at the Old Den. I think there was a Pakistani or Indian linesman, and there was deadly silence, while someone took a corner. It was into the crucial, final stage of the match, and then somebody from the crowd shouted very loud: “Get that linesman of the corner, before he opens a shop”. A lot of the way, it is just spontaneous, and it is fun.’

‘Sometimes the abuse or the language or just the comments are, were funny, but at the same time wrong. You know, when you look back, you think, oh yes, they weren’t great but, yeah, it was what it was. I used to like going. I used to think it was great fun.’

(Carole Brady, White British)

‘I hear people say ‘cor,it’s so violent down there’ […] Just the language, it’s raw. It’s, I’ve seen people blow fuses over the ref giving the other team a corner. I thought, slow down mate, do you know what I mean? But he’s tanked up, he’s paid his money, he wants to express himself, he’s got his boys behind him’.

(Ron Bell, Black British)

‘Just insult them. Insult whatever you can find about them. Find any sort of feature of them you can pick on. If you can’t think of anything, then just go for the fact that they are from the North, and have a go at it.’

(Liam Smith, Black Mixed)

 

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