Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola delivered a passionate response on the death threats that Mike Dean received after an error this weekend and the increasing amount of online abuse in football.
Dean has withdrawn himself from selection for a Premier League match this weekend after being sent death threats following the decision to wrongly send Tomas Soucek off for West Ham against Fulham.
Guardiola was questioned on this concerning growing matter in the pre-match press conference ahead of Manchester City’s FA Cup tie against Swansea City on Tuesday night.
Pep delivered a passionate speech about the impacts of online abuse, suggesting that it may have contributed to the suicide of Santiago ‘Morro’ Garcia, who took his own life after suffering depression.
City’s boss stressed that it’s ‘difficult to control social media’, before stating that those in the public eye are now ‘accused’ of ‘many, many things’.
Guardiola brought up the incident of racism involving Bernardo Silva, who was banned and fined after comparing close friend Benjamin Mendy to the dark-skinned mascot of Conguitos, a Spanish brand.
The legendary manager added that players, managers and referees do not go out with the intention of making costly mistakes, they all want to do a ‘good job’ and shouldn’t face this kind of criticism.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola on online abuse after Mike Dean received death threats for his decision during West Ham vs Fulham… pic.twitter.com/YiUpbhZ0wT
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“They have to be careful about the messages, today it’s difficult to control for the social media. What happened for example in South America, one football player killed himself (Santiago ‘Morro’ Garcia).”
“Now we are ‘oh oh’, we are ‘oh I’m sorry, it’s a pity’ but we forget what the people said to this guy – maybe he was not a good player, or the colour of his skin, or something about his family or his kids or his personal life.”
“The people today who are in public life are sometimes accused for many many things, for example what to Bernardo Silva he was accused of being racist when he is one of the most gentle and kind and nicest persons I’ve ever met in my life.”
“So, we have to be careful, for the people who judge the other ones because the people who suffer are maybe not strong enough.”
“That’s why it’s happened today, the referee can make a mistake but it’s incredible how people can accuse that or some players who make a mistake accused of racism.”
“All the guys, all the referees, all the players, all the manager, want to do a good job, they don’t want to miss a chance, miss a penalty or make a mistake. It’s part of the job.”
“Always it is win, win, win. Why don’t we start to take it as let’s play, good to play, have fun.”
“Ourself, we are the first to demand too much in responsibilities and accuse the players when they simply make a mistake that’s part of the game.”
“Everybody is involved, we cannot judge the guys who accuse someone when everyone is involved.”
Guardiola’s comment about football needing to be seen as ‘fun’ are spot on, sometimes too much is made of the beautiful game and the heightened importance focused on it perhaps unfortunately leads to incidents like this.