Keys & Gray: Just the Tip of the Iceberg of Institutional Hatred for Leeds United – by Rob Atkinson


Image

Two smug idiots: merely a symptom rather than the disease itself

There’s been a bit of a storm over the picture above, which I have reluctantly reproduced for the dubious benefit of those who may not have seen it so far.  It’s understandable that people should be angry and upset over what is, even allowing for the dribbling idiocy of the two has-beens concerned, such a blatant example of ignorance and disrespect.  Let’s face it, Keys and Gray are not the sharpest tools in the box.  Sky viewers were unwilling witnesses to their developing bromance over far too many years as lynchpins of the Sports Channels’ football coverage.  This came to an abrupt end when the gruesome twosome allowed the baser end of their base personalities to show itself in all its shameful horror with a short series of hatefully sexist outbursts in 2011.  Sky dropped them immediately, and they have been relegated to marginal interest media ever since – though still hopelessly devoted to each other and to their “grinning schoolboy” manner of presentation.  So clearly, we can expect moronic, insensitive behaviour from insensitive morons – that is their stock in trade.  But the important thing is – what about the people who advise them?  What sort of thought process leads up to the disgraceful picture above?

For the benefit of those who may be unaware, two Leeds United fans were brutally murdered in 2000 by followers of Galatasaray, an Istanbul club which glories in the slogan so proudly displayed by the leering Gray and Keys.  That being the case, you’d have thought that some caution might be exhibited by two formerly mainstream broadcasters, or at least by whoever bears the responsibility of doing their thinking for them.  The fact that no such caution was even thought of is down to the involvement of the media’s favourite hate figure, Leeds United  I can state this with total certainty: if the fans so tragically killed all those years ago had been followers of Man U, or Liverpool, or any other club with the scandalous exception of Leeds United, then the above picture would not have seen the light of day.  I am absolutely 100% clear about that.  And therein resides the problem for all who love Leeds United.  The level of hatred and disrespect for our club in the media, and in the football world and the country more broadly, is absolutely unprecedented.  It is institutional in its nature, all-pervading in its extent and eagerly subscribed to in just about any organisation you might care to name.  It goes back a long, long way and has affected the club in its dealings with not just the media, but the games authorities both on and off the field.  I have written in the past about how this has manifested itself, both among referees (abroad as well as at home) – and in the broadcast and print media.

Ask yourself – and try to be honest.  Yes, I’m talking here especially to those who disagree with this blog automatically, as if on principle.  Go on – ask yourself.  If the two murdered fans had been Man U supporters – would Keys and Gray have been allowed to perpetrate this moronic picture stunt?  Would they even have shown any desire or agreement to do it?  No, of course not.  But because it’s Leeds, it doesn’t matter.  Because it’s Leeds, the question isn’t even considered as to how appropriate or otherwise this might be, how insensitive, how callously, needlessly hurtful and insulting to those who were bereaved, and to the wider Leeds United community.  If it had been two Man U lads murdered, hands would have been thrown up in horror at the very idea.  No, no, guys – they’d have said – you just can’t do this.  You all know this is true, and you all know the distinction being drawn in shallow, dishonest minds between Leeds United – the Damned United – and all the other clubs.  It goes on everywhere, and it’s symptomatic of a national sickness where Leeds are concerned, manifesting itself in various degrees of shocking disrespect, overt, ugly hatred and a contemptuous dismissal of any protests from those of us who love the club.  And then they have the brass nerve to call us “Dirty” and “Damned”.

We can look after ourselves and our own, of course.  That’s what “being Leeds” is all about.  Those who strike against us as a club, or as a global community of fans, tend to reap the whirlwind – especially in these days of social media.  Keys is finding out about this right now.  But still it goes on, time after time, year after year – so we always have to be poised and ready to defend ourselves against attack from the outside.  Whether it’s a paranoid failure calling us all “vile animals”, or a complacent Match of the Day presenter waggling his ears in his eagerness to include every single managerial legend except the Don in a montage of Great Bosses, or even these two relative nobodies above, posing with smirks on their faces and those shameful shirts proclaiming their ignorance and contempt – it all comes down to the same thing.  It’s the ultimate siege complex, Leeds United against Everybody Else.  But we’re on our way back now, and they’re going to have to live with that.  Keys and Gray in isolation are nothing – two annoying bugs to be swatted away.  It’s what they symbolise in that embarrassing image that we have to be aware of – that’s what we have to be ready to deal with and oppose, especially when we are unwelcome top-flight members once again, back at the top table with the rest of them trying to pretend it hasn’t happened.

And deal with it we will.  We Are Leeds, we’re Marching On Together.  Stuff the lot of them.  All we as Leeds fans need is to know our enemy.  And that means accepting that the enemy are everywhere and that we only have each other to rely upon as we gate-crash that Premier League party.  Let them hate us, let them show themselves up in these utterly disgusting and shameful betrayals of any class or dignity.  Hate away and see where it gets you.  You won’t be able to ignore us.  We Are Leeds – and we’re on the way back.

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39 responses to “Keys & Gray: Just the Tip of the Iceberg of Institutional Hatred for Leeds United – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Totally agree. Changing topic slightly, my twin brother for one very odd reason (maybe because he was born 20 mins after me???) supports Bradford City. He is baffled why the Bradford Fire in 1985 never seems to be acknowledged by national media where instead they grieve over Munich and Hillsbrough every anniversary.
    Maybe, like Leeds, Bradford Fans quietly grieve in house for there own and that perhaps pays more respect to those who lost their lives rather than it being splashed all over the tv for those part time supporters to show ‘respect’.
    Balls to those two has beens wearing those shirts. Leeds fans remember and pay respect and at least that has integrity and honesty.

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    • Difficult for me to comment on the Bradford fire. I was at College in Bradford in the early eighties, so it had a big impact on me. But the point about the blatant manner in which everyone goes out of their way to disrespect Leeds United is one that I feel had to be made. I was as forceful as I could be, and I hope the bastards sue me, to be honest.

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  2. Not one leeds fan would disagree with you mate.

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  3. United Irishman

    Congratulations, you have somehow turned what started as an interesting read to an attack on Manchester United! Keys and Gray are idiots agreed, but this article just exposes your hatred for United more so than your claims that everyone else hates Leeds.

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    • Don’t be so bloody silly and paranoid. It’s a perfectly acceptable “what-if” scenario, based upon the fact that media organisations bend over backwards to treat Man U with kid gloves.

      I don’t need any contrived excuse or reason to have a go at Man U – I do it all the time, feel free to peruse my blog and see for yourself. You’d possibly learn a thing or two.

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  4. They should take that picture and put it in the changing rooms at elland road , it could serve to remind all those players who only put on a shirt without really knowing what it is to put the shirt on , the sacrifices that have been made and the cinical way the media belittle , disrespect and even ridicule us , let every player walk a mile in our shoes and then maybe , just maybe , we’ll get this great club back where it belongs and we can shove the bile back down the Leeds utd haters throats

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    • I think this is part of the problem whereby certain players can’t hack it at Elland Road, but go on to do OK elsewhere. The history and aura of the club is too much for players at this level. Our recruitment policy needs to be advised by this. I well remember hearing about the depth of enquiry Wilkinson and Hennigan used to go into when assessing potential targets. They went for big characters, people who could handle the situation. Not too many of those about and available now, sad to say.

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  5. Just sent a complaint to the Talk Sport website, asking for an appology. I suggest all Leeds fans bombard them with the same.

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  6. Call this ‘playing devil’s advocate’ but, as Leeds fans we are always bemoaning how we are tarred with the same brush as an undesirable minority. Take Aaron Cawley’s silly antics, for instance, last season. Galatasaray’s ‘Welcome to Hell’ slogan is part of their culture (whether we like it or not) and was used effectively as an intimidation tactic, over the years, to help beat stronger opposition, such as Manchester United, for example. The two murderers were not at the game itself, nor even (necessarily) Galatasary fans. It was more of an anti English, xenophobic act, than a football hooligan act, from what I recall. Are we to frown upon any reference to Instanbul or either of their football clubs in that case? Or (for another angle) would an Italian presenter now be castigated for wearing a Liverpool shirt?

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    • Devil’s advocate is a fair enough position, but I’m not sure how that argument addresses the motives of Keys and Gray – nor does it deal with the blatant exclusion and marginalisation of Leeds by the media at large. The person responsible for at least part of the attack on Chris and Kevin most certainly is a Gala fan, and is regarded as something of a hero and patriot by sections of their support as well as by broader factions within Turkey. He has never satisfactorily been held to account due to various legal and other machinations.

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  7. sniffersshorts

    wouldn’t let Zippy and Bungle get to you Rob, what with them and the sky team …. all very sickening to say the least, as with Leeds Lad comment an apology is needed. your thoughts on Harrogate game please WTF was that about.

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    • I haven’t paid too much attention to the Harrogate thing mate tbh – it seems to have been a development squad, slightly top-heavy with marginal senior squad figures who appear to keep getting chances to prove they’re worthy of stepping up – and failing to take them. I’d hazard that this is not the best time to demonstrate you’re not up to it, with some sort of influx due in the next week or so.

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  8. I think you’re being polite by calling them smug idiots. They knew exactly what they were doing and it would not be surprising if the Turks were not paying them for the picture. Why else would they put them on?

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  9. Bloody well written and balanced too. Completely agree with you. But then, if it HAD been Man Utd or Chelski, or any of the ‘big’ clubs, that match would never even had to be played. THEY would have automatically gone through, and Galatasaray would have been booted out. Again, because it’s Leeds United, we had to play it, knowing the players were not in the mood for the match because of the tragedy.
    Keys and Grey are where they belong – in the bin – and long may they live there, but that picture is an absolute disgrace. They owe all Leeds fans and in particular Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight’s families a HUGE apology.

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    • They certainly do. As for that match, to my mind both UEFA and the Galatasaray club were guilty of the most disgusting contempt. No postponement; shocked and harrowed players had to face a howling crowd of animals making throat-slitting gestures. No minute’s silence (fat chance) not even black armbands as a gesture of respect. The actions of the Leeds fans that night, turning their backs to the pitch was a spontaneous and fitting gesture which at least lent the occasion some air of dignity, which was totally lacking in the conduct of the host club and the cowardly fools representing the governing body.

      I get called paranoid, but I am convinced things would have been very different if it has been some other club, and not the club that every two-bit moron out there lives to hate but couldn’t articulate a reason why.

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  10. You aren’t paranoid. I think every right thinking Leeds fan would completely agree with you. Sorry, I should have said, every right thinking FOOTBALL fan would agree with you,.

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    • Thanks again, that IS reassuring. And it would be nice to think that this isn’t just a parochial issue and that there might be some sensitivity towards feelings around this disgusting image outside of the whole Leeds United constituency as well.

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  11. Simon Banks

    A great read Rob and totally agree.

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  12. The medias favourite hate figure ? Jesus get over yourself Rob. A good blog that shoehorned an ‘LUFC hatred’ into it and ‘how could they be so insensitive’ thread which spoilt the point really. I don’t think it was a blatant two fingers to LUFC, just a pair of crass, idiotic football dinosaurs who make Ron Atkinson look like Aristotle. And as you are fully aware I am outside the LUFC constituency. The point is who employs them and does their thinking for them ? That’s easy, the same people who employ a depressed, woman beater to talk shite on a Saturday afternoon.

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  13. These two are a pair of cocks, scarcely worth our contempt or your outrage, Rob.It is extraordinary that they managed to find someone willing to tolerate their tired old routines after (justifiably) getting the push from Sky. Changing tack slightly, not everyone in the wider football world “hates” Leeds. There’s an excellent article by Sam Wallace about gay footballers in today’s Independent and i newspaper — in which our club and fans are praised for the warmth and maturity of the reception given to Robbie Rogers recently.

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  14. Totally agree with everything said. And ‘Dan’, if you walked a mile in a LUFC fans shoes you might better understand the points Rob is making, but you arent a LUFC fan, so you’ll never know. I was at that game in Istanbul. There were only 200 or so of us. We went over the day before, and i was very close to the centre of events that day. In fact so much so, that people came up to me the next day surprised to see i wasnt one of those murdered or stabbed in Taksim Square. Im not going to relive that episode here, but let me tell you for years afterwards a day didnt go by where i didnt think about and remember what happened. For those chummy morons ‘Graysie and Keysy’ to show such disrespect shows what a pair of out-of-touch clowns they are.

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    • Mark, if you ever decided you did want to write about how it felt to be in Taksim Square that night, and about the aftermath including the strange atmosphere in the stadium, I’d be grateful and privileged to run it here.

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  15. Its good to be King. Sorry for showing symptoms of the national sickness…Lol. I do hope your as sensitive towards Kirklands family , as big gob Cawley is telling everyone he’s off to Sheff Wed Saturday so i’tll not be nice for his family to read that. Pretty insensitive actually. Why don’t you do an article on that daft twat ? Because not everything is inextricably linked, that’s why. As with the photo above. Football and the circus around it unfortunately allows people with no social skills or awareness to act like absolute cunts in the media. Di Canio ( overt facist) Anelka,(same) Michael Johnson (on the panel for football equality, hates gays) are just a few lately. Its not a conspiracy theory against Leeds, or that the authorities are scared you may take over the universe, and make late tackles and pitch invasions a national sport, just that the whole lot needs proper management and censoring.

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    • I’ve had my go at the moron Cawley, long ago back when he was news. The last thing anyone needs to do is give the daft little attention-seeker the oxygen of more publicity.

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  16. Just had talksport on before as i can’t listen to womens hour whilst at work and lo and behold that fat cockney turd danny kelly was getting a little dig in aswell. Something about Leeds always being in the championship. It’s not the first time kelly or the other little shithouse have made anti Leeds comments. I notice they never slag off the London teams though. Leeds are at a safe distance for any cockney gobshite to mouth off about. As for keyes and gray,the ghastly creatures can’t help it, they really are that thick. I’ve had the misfortune to hear their show on talksport and it was one of the worst instances of car crash radio i’ve ever heard. That andy gray has clearly had too many bangs on the head,every guest was greeted with really interesting questions like “hows the golf going?” blah blah and keyes would start every show by replaying the previous shows, highlights. Does he tell everyone what he had for tea the day before? The talentless,useless cretin.

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  17. In the most general terms I say, ‘bring it on’, and ‘so what?’. For me, one of the more attractive features of being a Leeds fan for over four decades is the fact that we are disliked so much. I think the marginalization makes us collectively stronger. I rather like being on the outside looking in!

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  18. Paul Millward

    Villa fan here. Well written mate. I lived in Leeds when this happened, sickening. Just for the record not everyone hates Leeds . I don’t. But everyone does hate man utd. Good read well balanced and I agree. All the best for the future.

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    • Many thanks. To put it in perspective, it sometimes feels like the whole world is Villa – and we’re Birmingham! But I like to think you’re right about Man U. Cheers fella.

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  19. Ade Campbell

    This is my message sent to talk sport.

    I am appalled to see the latest photo of these two wearing T shirts with the slogan Welcome to Hell. In the year 2000 two Leeds United fans were butally murdered by Galatasary ‘fans’ in Istanbul. The motto of the Galatasary hooligans “Welcome to Hell” is well known so for these two idiots to be wearing such an inflammatory piece of clothing is disgraceful. It is not official murchandise it is promoting their ‘ultras’. They are surrounded by official murchandise so why did they choose to a publicity photo promoting hooliganism? Especially when the subject is still so raw in this country and especially in Leeds. Please suspend these idiots while a full investigation is carried out behing the motive and thoughts behind such an insensitive publicity stunt. A public apology is a must. Does Talk Sport want to be associated with two individuals who constantly provoke public backlash? Does Talk Sport want to be boycotted by all Leeds fans and all decent non bigoted listeners similar to the way the Sun was in Liverpool?
    I wait in hope for common sense to prevail and a public apaology from Keys, Gray and Talk Sport.
    Regards Adrian

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  20. Hello Rob,

    Just wondering if you know whether any apology (public or private) was ever received?

    Cheers, Fish

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  21. Pingback: Wes Sneijder and His Galatasaray Knives; Vicious, Malicious or Just Stupid?   –   by Rob Atkinson | Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything

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