Racism, xenophobia and anti-semitism have returned to the streets of Europe with a vengeance. Tolerance is in short supply. In times like this, we look for havens that provide shelter from the hate and intolerance, havens that provide opportunity. Football, as the great sporting and social leveler, should be that safe haven.
The deafening silence from fellow football professionals coupled with the absurd comments from the LMA, Redknapp and others are only making a problem that is deeply entrenched in society worse.
When we see the ugly and offensive spectacle of Yaya Toure being targeted for racial abuse in the recent match in Russia, it goes to show that some parts of the world have yet to even get to the starting blocks.
Conversations are now elevated and scrutinized in an amphitheatre of social media. There are those that spectate, speculate, and jump on the bandwagon - whether that's with good intentions, or to kill the show. The Internet means that people don't forget words, and events are recorded forever at the end of a web search. Over time, the moment, context and goodwill crumbles away...
We only need to look at the events over the last 18 months or so to question why are the football authorities such as FIFA and UEFA not doing enough to crack down on this violence?
What do bishops, Bartoli and Boris (Johnson) have in common? Answer: They all show us that sexism isn't taken as seriously as racism. You disagree? Well why are there still the phrases 'casual sexism' and 'sexist banter' ? Why is this OK when - 'Oh it was just casual racism' or 'racist banter' is not alright?
Comparing boys football to girls in terms of quality is unfair. Girls' football is growing fast but there's so many more boys playing the game. In our league alone, there are 79 teams and around 1,200 boys. The equivalent girls' league is tiny in comparison. There are very good girl players, but there's a lot fewer of them.
It was Sunday afternoon. I was cold, wet and bored. And a 13-year-old boy had just called me a 'f***ing b*stard'... This is the kind of behaviour, completely unacceptable in the real world, that passes for normal in the world of kids' football.
The way forward must surely be members within the crowd calling others to account - it's surprisingly easy to say to somebody, "Mate, that's not on" even if you're not as physically imposing as me.
English football is still light-years from a state of good health, exemplified by exploitative ticketing. Unless concrete action is taken to challenge this, admonitions like Mr Farron's will, with any luck, become more frequent and more radical until something is done.
The resurgent Evening Standard newspaper in London, which still manages to look and read like a real newspaper whilst being a "free-sheet" held its an...
Mark Clattenberg is no angel, we all know this and he has had his troubles in the past. I do not want those misdemeanours to cloud this issue in the way they appeared to in the John Terry case.
It pains me to say that a bit of me will likely enjoy the unfathomable awkwardness that the whole case represents for the FA and the football press. I will, I am sorry to say, enjoy seeing how they manage to reconcile their recent history with their growing realisation that fate has dealt them a cruel, almost perfect and mouth-wateringly delicious blow.
Perhaps the 'beautiful game', isn't so beautiful after all?
It has boiled down to this; Rio Ferdinand's right not to wear a t-shirt supersedes that of a man found not guilty in a court of law.
Credibility is fundamental to campaigning organisations. People need to trust you in order to back your campaign and - crucially - tell someone else about it. They want to know you are speaking out and standing up for what you believe in. But you also need to have some access to those in power if you are to get them to listen to you and secure change.