One Of Football’s Final Taboos, And Why We Should Be Grateful For The Shock That We Feel

The taboos of society can be fascinating to watch from the outside, and over the last forty or fifty years they have come to shift at such a pace that it is difficult to keep up with what is acceptable behaviour and what isn’t. Just as football mirror society in many respects, football has a habit of adopting the norms of society and, no matter what changes in the world around us, some types of behaviour remain off-limits in a way that makes their occasional incidences seem almost unbelievably shocking. So it was at yesterday’s Southern League Premier Division match between Redditch United and Chesham United. Yesterday afternoon at Redditch, however, fighting for three points took on an obviously unacceptably literal edge. Redditch United and Chesham United were seven minutes into the second half of their match yesterday when the national incident occurred that would propel the match into the national consciousness. Chesham were leading by a single, first half goal when Redditch’s Josh McKenzie conceded a penalty, and in the subsequent dispute McKenzie was reported to have “hit” the referee, resulting in him falling to the ground. McKenzie was, of course, dismissed and was subsequently arrested (he was released later last night with a caution), while the match was, perhaps understandably, abandoned. After the match, Redditch United acted with commendable efficiency in making their stance on such behaviour...

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