British tabloid The Sun has taken plenty of fire over the years, and that’s particularly intensified this year, with Liverpool FC banning the paper in February (citing their coverage of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster), Everton banning them in April (following notorious Sun columnist Kelvin MacKenzie, a key figure in that Hillsborough coverage, comparing Everton player Ross Barkley to “a gorilla at the zoo“), and Arsenal fans now calling for the team to ban the paper after they ran a front-page headline on the London Bridge terror attacks of “Jihadi Killer In An Arsenal Shirt.” Here’s the cover in question:
The Sun is known for its sensationalism, so this isn’t entirely surprising, but the people calling for a ban have a pretty good point. Why exactly is the killer’s clothing the fact to lead with here, especially in a headline? It’s not like the club gave him that shirt or endorsed his actions. What if he had been wearing a shirt promoting The Sun: would they have put that in their headline? At any rate, this led to lots of people asking the club to ban the paper:
— Jenks (@JustJenksFIFA) June 4, 2017
— #KroenkeOut (@TheArseneEra20) June 4, 2017
— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) June 4, 2017
— EmanDaGoon (@EmanDaGoonn) June 4, 2017
We’ll see if anything comes of this, but it might not be a bad move for Arsenal. The paper has proven time and again that it’s willing to violate widely-accepted journalistic standards and run needlessly-inflammatory stories and headlines, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of value for the club in allowing them access. Generally, when teams want to cut off a media outlet for writing something negative, it’s easy to side with the media, but that’s not so much the case with The Sun. They’ve shown over and over that they’re willing to print anything to stir up trouble, and that’s not exactly a great reason to keep giving them access and prominence.