In most sports, when a player from the opposition is injured and prone on the field of play, there is a sense of empathy from all fans, including the opposition.
Allegedly, that wasn’t the case at Hull City’s KCom Stadium yesterday afternoon as Leeds United’s Swiss/Italian defender Gaetano Berardi laid injured.
Berardi went over badly on the same ankle that he injured against Charlton earlier in the season, an injury that led to a lengthy absence from the team for the cultured right-back. Berardi has certainly been in the wars this season for Leeds, what with this injury and two separate injuries to his face courtesy of challenges by Rotherham’s Leon Best and Matt Derbyshire which opened up deep cuts.
However, the larger controversy comes from the fact that there are allegations that a section of the Hull support were somewhat less that empathic with regard to Berardi and his injury. As Phil Hay tweeted about his post-match interview with Steve Evans: “Evans said he didn’t see anything being thrown at Berardi as Berardi was stretchered off.”
This was picked up by other commentators such as the ever-popular Adam Pope, who tweeted the following observation:
No comment from Berardi so far re allegations of objects thrown at him at Hull today. He's having an X-ray on injured ankle. #Lufc
— Adam Pope (@APOPEY) April 23, 2016
The replies to Popey’s Tweet were pretty damning as to the rumours of Berardi’s injury not being treated in a sportsmanlike manner.
This first one centres around an object being throw onto the field of play.
— Paul Kent (@kenty227) April 23, 2016
The following two replies focus on the manner in which a selection of Hull fans reacted to the injury, and the Leeds United fan’s feelings about them.
@APOPEY i thought it was disgraceful when he was getting stretched off & Hull fans were shouting 'Wanker Wanker'
— Helen Walker (@hellsbelles92) April 23, 2016
— dave lufc (@ShipleyWhites) April 24, 2016
This Twitter user hints at the fact that it wasn’t just one isolated incident either, that objects were thrown at other times during the game too.
The Leeds United fans reactions on Twitter, to what many saw as ‘classless action’ from a minority of Hull City fans, was pretty damning – as it should be. It included the following from Leeds fan James:
Can't get over how classless those Hull fans were when Berardi was stretchered off. If that was Leeds…
— James (@JamesLUFC) April 23, 2016
and also this from Richard that points out the perfect retort from Leeds fans.
— Richard Blackburn (@RichardBlackb18) April 23, 2016
What do you think about objects thrown onto the field of play?