The above image was found on the back cover of Red Issue #258, which was passed around Old Trafford prior to United’s league match against Liverpool on February 11th. It was topical, controversial, and – let’s be honest – hilarious. Sure sure, a few Scousers were offended, but they are dirty and poor and just lost consecutive games with QPR and Wigan and … sorry, I got side-tracked for a second.
Anyways, the monthly magazine is known for its sharp satire and frequent mocking of the club’s own players, coaches, and management. Issue #260, which will be distributed before today’s critical tie with Fulham, addressed the public reaction to the Muamba tragedy, and let’s just say that they did a very, very poor job of getting the point across. The cover comes after the jump.
Yup, that’s the image they chose. The one that most of us will never forget. The one where paramedics, police, and players are hovering around Muamba’s lifeless (at that time) body. The MS Paint-quality thought bubbles are meant to simulate a conversation between spectators and express the thought process of the so-called “grief junkies”. A spokesman of the magazine explains:
“It’s aimed at the people who latched onto the situation and all their fake sentiments. The self-satisfaction of so many people on Twitter and other social networks as though their thoughts and prayers were responsible for his (Muamba’s) recovery rather than the paramedics and those involved and the player’s own fitness.”
To a certain extent, I agree with the message. But the execution? Oof. Insensitive, tasteless, and lazy are a few of the adjectives that come to mind. I’ve seen several other places openly question the outpouring of public grief, but none in such a callous manner. I would say that hopefully Red Issue’s editors will require a little more tact from their staff going forward, but that ship has probably sthey’re once they’re only two issues removed from their last controversial publication.