Having read official statements from both Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace in the aftermath of Tuesday night’s game at The Amex Stadium, it seems only right that we would also draw attention to the first-hand account of a fan who saw it all unfold in real time.
Jesse Boyce was one of the Palace supporters caught up outside once the game got underway, with his account of the police response and proof of lies within Brighton’s official statement well worth paying attention to.
Whilst the actions of ticketless individuals storming through an open gate must be condemned, the treatment of more than 150 peaceful, ticket-holding Palace fans in the hour or so that followed deserves a platform too. Thankfully, Jesse has deconstructed the statement released by the Seagulls bit by bit in the article attached above, giving all of us an added level of perspective that could prove vital in the long run.
As is often the case in the world of professional sport, many seem completely happy to take every comment made in Brighton’s statement as gospel truth but through his recollections and video evidence taken himself, Boyce has debunked numerous aspects of the statement in question, highlighting just how easily authorities could spin a narrative to suit them if necessary. Call me cynical but after years of seeing football fans demonised without justification in the national press, I’m hugely grateful that someone like Jesse has taken the time to put the above article together.
Yesterday, a journalist from The Sun of all places got into arguments with numerous Twitter users over their defence of the innocent supporters who were kettled outside the stadium. Unable to see the irony of his presence in the discussion, his line of attack was to place all the blame on Palace’s fans as a collective whilst refusing to admit that the police or Brighton & Hove Albion may have played any part in the disorder; a chillingly reminiscent stance I’m sure you’ll agree.
Thankfully, the internet enables fans such as Jesse Boyce to get their stories heard. It may be the cause of countless issues in the modern world but social media and independently run websites do at least give a voice to those who would have been neatly swept under the carpet 20 or 30 years ago.