Bernado Silva misconduct charge: one game ban, £50k fine

Chris in London

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I've thought about this quite a bit before posting in this thread. I also took time to read the independent panel's reasons for imposing the penalty they did.

We all get that Bernardo isn't racist by nature and didn't intend anything more than a pisstake of his mate. I think what throws us perhaps is how people have reacted to what seems at first to be an innocuous cartoon. I think if (lets say) John Stones had posted a picture of (lets say) a young Leroy Sane and then posted a picture of the old Robertson's marmalade golliwog and said 'guess who' or something similar, it would be easier to understand the outrage. Why? Because we are more attuned to how the golliwog symbol can be interpreted, whereas none of us had ever heard of the cartoon Bernardo posted. In other words, we get that although Leroy Sane himself might have known it was a laugh, and John Stones might not have intended to do anything more than take the piss out of Leroy's hair when he was 10, there are people out there who would have twisted his message, and there are others who (not knowing John Stones) would not have known that he didn't mean any offensive beyond normal piss taking between mates.

What's interesting about the FA's reasons is that they accept no offence was intended, and none was taken by the target of the comment, but the fact remained that bernardo said something that could be interpreted as having racist undertones. He was charged with bringing the game into disrepute. What was regarded as an aggravating feature was that he has 600k followers on his insta account. In other words, Bernardo's crime was to say something that could be taken the wrong way, and say it in front of a very big audience. He will learn from that.

By the way, I'm disappointed in the ban, but plainly they felt they couldn't let it go without a ban at all. The written reasons make it clear that the starting point where an 'aggravated breach' occurs - in other words, one where whatever the misconduct is, there is an element of racist conduct in it - is a six game ban. Plainly, if they'd really wanted to throw the book at him they could have left it at that.
 

domalino

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27 Mar 2011
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23,076
I've thought about this quite a bit before posting in this thread. I also took time to read the independent panel's reasons for imposing the penalty they did.

We all get that Bernardo isn't racist by nature and didn't intend anything more than a pisstake of his mate. I think what throws us perhaps is how people have reacted to what seems at first to be an innocuous cartoon. I think if (lets say) John Stones had posted a picture of (lets say) a young Leroy Sane and then posted a picture of the old Robertson's marmalade golliwog and said 'guess who' or something similar, it would be easier to understand the outrage. Why? Because we are more attuned to how the golliwog symbol can be interpreted, whereas none of us had ever heard of the cartoon Bernardo posted. In other words, we get that although Leroy Sane himself might have known it was a laugh, and John Stones might not have intended to do anything more than take the piss out of Leroy's hair when he was 10, there are people out there who would have twisted his message, and there are others who (not knowing John Stones) would not have known that he didn't mean any offensive beyond normal piss taking between mates.

What's interesting about the FA's reasons is that they accept no offence was intended, and none was taken by the target of the comment, but the fact remained that bernardo said something that could be interpreted as having racist undertones. He was charged with bringing the game into disrepute. What was regarded as an aggravating feature was that he has 600k followers on his insta account. In other words, Bernardo's crime was to say something that could be taken the wrong way, and say it in front of a very big audience. He will learn from that.

By the way, I'm disappointed in the ban, but plainly they felt they couldn't let it go without a ban at all. The written reasons make it clear that the starting point where an 'aggravated breach' occurs - in other words, one where whatever the misconduct is, there is an element of racist conduct in it - is a six game ban. Plainly, if they'd really wanted to throw the book at him they could have left it at that.
I think you've summed it up very well, but as a point of clarification, the 6 game minimum only applies to incidents on the pitch. The minimum for Bernardo's charge was 2 games.
 

MillionMilesAway

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I've thought about this quite a bit before posting in this thread. I also took time to read the independent panel's reasons for imposing the penalty they did.

We all get that Bernardo isn't racist by nature and didn't intend anything more than a pisstake of his mate. I think what throws us perhaps is how people have reacted to what seems at first to be an innocuous cartoon. I think if (lets say) John Stones had posted a picture of (lets say) a young Leroy Sane and then posted a picture of the old Robertson's marmalade golliwog and said 'guess who' or something similar, it would be easier to understand the outrage. Why? Because we are more attuned to how the golliwog symbol can be interpreted, whereas none of us had ever heard of the cartoon Bernardo posted. In other words, we get that although Leroy Sane himself might have known it was a laugh, and John Stones might not have intended to do anything more than take the piss out of Leroy's hair when he was 10, there are people out there who would have twisted his message, and there are others who (not knowing John Stones) would not have known that he didn't mean any offensive beyond normal piss taking between mates.

What's interesting about the FA's reasons is that they accept no offence was intended, and none was taken by the target of the comment, but the fact remained that bernardo said something that could be interpreted as having racist undertones. He was charged with bringing the game into disrepute. What was regarded as an aggravating feature was that he has 600k followers on his insta account. In other words, Bernardo's crime was to say something that could be taken the wrong way, and say it in front of a very big audience. He will learn from that.

By the way, I'm disappointed in the ban, but plainly they felt they couldn't let it go without a ban at all. The written reasons make it clear that the starting point where an 'aggravated breach' occurs - in other words, one where whatever the misconduct is, there is an element of racist conduct in it - is a six game ban. Plainly, if they'd really wanted to throw the book at him they could have left it at that.
I agree with all that apart from the last bit. I think it was specific that the 6-game minimum does NOT apply, as it's not on-field (paraphrased). Haven't read it today to find out, but there is a clause in the regs (and I think the statement) that there is no minimum penalty for social media.

Might be wrong though.
 

MillionMilesAway

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From here:
http://www.thefa.com/-/media/thefac...019-20/fa-media-essentials-guide-2019-20.ashx

From page 33 {my comment - clearly the timeframe was waived here)
PROCESS for FA RULE E3[1] MEDIA COMMENTS
• This does not apply to media comments cases charged under FA Rule E3[2];
• Within three working days of The FA being aware of the comments, it may charge or contact the individual and seek their written observations before deciding whether to issue a charge;
• The participant will have three working days to provide any requested observations;
• The FA will have three working days from the deadline for the provision of the observations to decide whether to issue any charge;
• The participant will have three working days to reply to any charge;
• The Regulatory Commission hearing will take place within 10 working days of receipt of the reply.
SANCTIONS
There are no set sanctions for media or social media charges that are found proven. It is for the Regulatory Commission to decide what punishment it deems appropriate for the offence.

(my bolding)
 

threadkiller

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7 Apr 2006
Messages
171
You don’t deal with Bernardos intent of a laugh with a mate, with a hypothetical situation that someone may intend to send that tweet to cause offence. Tolerance & understanding are valuable commodities.
But, like I've been saying, if no action is taken, the person intending to send that tweet, with malicious intent, now can justify his or her actions as 'just a joke' and point to Silva's tweet as being perfectly fine.
So what does the person being bullied do now? Because you can't really complain can you? when everyone has already said its perfectly fine, no racism here. Now you're just being a spoil sport, not being able to take a joke, which opens you up for more abuse.
 

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