Martyr Syndrome – Double Standards, Doublespeak and cognitive dissonance.

Martyr Syndrome – Double Standards, Doublespeak and cognitive dissonance.

The ability of many football fans and professional observers to bury their head in the sand or apply their standards only when it suits them is symptomatic of a wider social problem. Some of you may call it ‘Martyr Syndrome’:

  • The martyr fails to take responsibility for his/her life, instead blaming all failures, oppression, repression and unhappiness on his/her family and friends. The martyr also exaggerates his/her level of hardship and mistreatment and ends up alienating those he/she loves.

The above definition is from the following webpage

My definition extends beyond this a little because the true sufferers don’t just make themselves the victims:

It’s the people/groups/organisations for who it is never their fault but they are all too keen to stand in judgement of others. You know the ones everything always happens TO! But everyone else has made their bed and can lie in it.

You probably see examples of this every day. We had a guy in work who always complained that he couldn’t get what is required from his team, his manager or anyone else for that matter. But he never provided anything and acted like he told everyone already. It’s disturbingly funny to watch. Although his actions had never affected me directly, I had called him on this a couple of times and it got messy as he denied his fallibility and sought someone to blame usually the most junior person in the room. Even when it was proven beyond all doubt he could never accept it and would never apologise. He left quite recently and the change in atmosphere in the office is fantastic; he is never even mentioned. The point is he should have been dealt with by his manager and if appropriate by HR. NOT allowed to swan off in to the sunset with his Martyr Syndrome fully intact; and for his benefit more than anyone else’s.

Which brings me back to football and those double standards. The recent Celtic v PSG game saw a fan (21 years old) invade the pitch and attempt to assault Kylian MBappe. I never saw the footage just some reportage online. By all accounts the lad never denied his actions, blamed the drink and was dealt with by the courts. That stain will never leave him. Some Celtic fans and bloggers wanted him punished because he had apparently tarnished their great club. One blogger in particular wanted the club to take him to court and sue him for the cost of any fines. Seemed a bit extreme to me but understandable as they had lost patience with repeated offences at Celtic Park and being punished by UEFA so frequently. The bit I couldn’t understand was the reaction to the fan that actually committed assault. As the young pitch invader was being led away by police he was assaulted by another Celtic fan (61 years old). He was also arrested and dealt with by the courts, receiving a fine for his trouble. The Celtic fans we’re told now want to rally round and pay his fine! So, in summary, drunken boy runs on pitch makes a complete arse of himself and will never live down the shame – but we should make sure he is bankrupt and devoid of any second chance. Whereas the guy that assaulted someone without any provocation is lauded and we’re to set up a charitable wing just for his fines! Double standards? I think so. Situation dealt with? Yes, but by the courts / correct authorities.

Then of course we come to doublespeak, ‘language used to deceive usually through concealment or misrepresentation of truth’, and our greatest exponents of the art; the media, or at least parts of the media. Ok large parts of the media.

A recent example of this is was the public exchanges between a member of the print media and the Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC – Educational Charity). The statement understandably highlighted the reporter’s profile of Ibrox striker Alfredo Morelos could have been based around an alternative subject rather than the stereotypical view of his homeland the author had apparently gleaned from the TV show Narcos. But the doublespeak of both parties sadly left our country looking at itself shamefully and only through sideways glances in the mirror; unable to stare down the blatant imbalances that exists on our shores and is fuelled by the use of language that tries to conceal the real issue and misrepresent what is happening in our society.

Below is the final paragraph of the statement issued by SRtRC after a meeting with Phil MacGiollabhain and their subsequent decision to distance themselves from Phil, a man the acknowledged as a victim of Racism earlier in the statement, as apparently they were completely unaware that he was not a fan of elements of the Ibrox support base.

Within the meeting, and again during the phone call it was reiterated that we do not label people racist – only a person’s language and behaviour can be racist and through labelling we only further entrench divides, shutting down discourse and the opportunities to find solutions and create a fairer Scotland for All.

In my view they are labelling Mr MacGiollabhain as intolerant here and don’t really take into account that his intolerance is only towards the intolerant i.e. it’s aimed at the correct target! Maybe he isn’t the best guy to help facilitate a fairer Scotland but it seems strange to shut down discourse with the one man who has been vocal and accurate on the subject for many years. They misled the reader in this statement as, I believe, they are reacting to a complaint and siding with the people who acted in a racist manner towards him. I only hope they didn’t find themselves the victim of any death threats, as many before have, but if they have then hopefully they will report this to the correct authorities.

Another example was Mr Jackson’s response to SRtRC in the following article:

When Rangers and Celtic clash we’re all guilty of turning our backs on hate and poison to revel in chaos of derby day’ – Keith Jackson

This is just the headline by the way. This was doublespeak at his best / worst. As well as claiming he is no worse than anyone else, he then goes on to blame SRtRC for the continued silence of our society on anti-Irish racism. He is correct that there is a conspicuous and suspicious silence on the subject; but I thought it was the job of the authorities first, and if needed, the media to call out these issues.

But then maybe Mr Jackson and his colleagues are victims of something far wider reaching

Stewart Regan interviews Daryl Broadfoot?

Daryl Broadfoot meets the press?

As always we have to support those who will call out the injustices so I support all of the above.

The young fan that invaded the pitch – I may never meet him but I’ll try to remember that we all make mistakes.

The fan that clobbered him – I won’t contribute to any fine he gets but hopefully the courts will only reprimand him and I’ll remember not to be as judgemental as him in future. I am known for this.

SRtRC – in not labelling people for their actions and encouraging social inclusion through education. I do this at home with my kids every day. We all should.

Keith Jackson – calling out all illegal chants at the next Celtic – Rangers game. I’ll even watch this one and make a list for Mr Jackson of any that I hear and submit them to the correct authorities. Maybe we all should so Keith won’t have to fight this battle alone.

Maybe a bit fewer double standards, less doublespeak and some personal awareness will mean we will have less victims of the Martyr Syndrome and maybe just maybe that will mean we have more people willing to call out the true culprits in the Scottish game. If not then I guess a Judicial Review may do the trick.

By Tin Tin Quinn The Karaoke King 🙂

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