Joe ‘Jaws’ Jordan: His bark worse than his bite?
Joe Jordan pulled out the oldest trick in the playbook winding up Gennaro Gattuso. He might have indeed called the Milan midfielder ‘”f****** Italian b******'”.
But Gattuso defending his actions as a response to racism borders on the comical. Italians know racism – the indefensible sort that Mario Balotelli faced.
At his former club, there is graffiti on the wall leading to the San Siro stadium.
“Non sei un vero Italiano, sei un Africano nero,” it says. Translation: “You are not a true Italian, you are a black African.”
Gattuso’s eruption to standard playground sledging is par for a player of his reputation but can he compare his faux charges of racism to the real virulence which players like Balotelli, Lilian Thuram, or Patrick Vieira have been subjected to in Italy from fans, players, and even coaches. He’s fortunate that he does not have to listen or learn to tune out monkey chants or Holocaust references on a regular basis.
His reaction is childish and inexcusable.
Jordan’s background suggest that he’s probably not too fazed with what transpired. He was after all a notorious hardman in his days as a central defender for arguably the dirtiest team in the English league, Don Revie’s Leeds United. His present milquetoast looks as an assistant coach are deceptive because ever so often he serves up reminders to his past. Gattuso chose to pick a fight with the wrong person. He also chose to go after someone with strong past and present links to Italy, as a player and now father.