Don’t know what thread to put it in. Any moderator thinking it should be in a different forum, please move it, but please leave it open.
Am too saddened to rant, but here’s the story.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF HILLSBOROUGH TRAGEDY
On 15th April 1989, a horrific sporting tragedy occurred. 96 people were crushed to death on the terraces of the Liverpool vs Nottingham Forest FA Cup Semi-Final, played at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield. This was caused, according to the Taylor report (official independant inquiry into the disaster, set up by the Government), by police negligence. They did not take heed from previous near-misses at the same ground (including the corresponding fixture the previous year, between the same teams) that congestion occurred at the Leppings Lane end of the ground, where thousands of people have to get through a very small amount of turnstiles. The crush caused by thousands of fans turning up at the stadium half an hour before kick-off, without barriers/fencing to disperse the crowd/slow them down or adequate police coverage created panic, and the police ended up opening a gate allowing thousands of fans to run unchecked through the outer gate. Lack of adequate policing or signs once inside the ground meant that the fans all headed into the central pens (already full), when the side pens were half-empty. Because there was mesh at the front of the pens, designed to stop “hooligans” getting on the pitch, there was nowhere to go, and people were crushed under the feet of other helpless fans. 96 people died, men, women and children. People trying to escape by climbing over the fencing were pushed back in by policemen outside the barriers. Fans in the fans’ areas above these pens tried to help the trapped fans by hauling them up to safety. The police responded to this by, among other things, releasing a statement to the police that the “drunken” fans had broken the gate open (later retracted as a falsehood), taking the alcohol level of the dead fans (even the children) in a step never taken before, and destroying a video tape from a security camera that they then declared was faulty, even though the technician says he’d fixed it that morning, and was watching the disaster on that particular camera as it unfolded.
snips brief history even though many more unsettling facts have not been mentioned
Cut to: Gladiator DVD. The makers, thinking of add-ons to make the DVD more enticing, hit upon a programme showing the correlation between violence with sport. In this programme, now on release in the UK (and I presume the same version is on sale in America), actual footage of fans desperately trying to save others from being crushed, is being shown as an example of violence in sport. The grief this must bring to the survivors and bereaved is incalculable. Not only is footage of their loved ones dying being thrown out as titillating backup to a Hollywood film about gladiators, the link for doing so is to show an example of thuggery and violence, when the actual scene was anything but, as it has been proved to have been caused by police negligence.
For anyone interested in more facts on the Hillsborough tragedy, check out the book “Hillsborough: The truth” by Phil Scraton (reviews can be found on the net, eg Amazon.co.uk) and do a search for “Hillsborough Tragedy” using a search engine.
For anyone interested in criticising the producers of this film, check out the following forums at the websites of the companies concerned:
and add your own comments.