The Brits are a bit touchy when it comes to knives. In fact, they have an epidemic of gang-violence, which happens to be perpetrated with knives. So naturally, instead of taking issue with the “south-Asian Immigrants” (read: Muslim) who populate said gangs, they get weak-kneed whenever someone says something positive about knives that are not stabbing anyone.
Tonight I bring you the latests bit of manufactured hoplophobic outrage. The target of the pearl-clutchers – Dutch footballer Wesley Sneijder, who plays in Turkey, tweeted an announcement about the release of a kitchen knife set he is endorsing shortly before the 15th anniversary of the stabbing deaths of two British fans of the Leeds football club after an exhibition match in Turkey. Apparently Sneijder plays for the team that Leeds played against that day, the Turkish team Galatasaray. I know, that was hard to follow, but the connection is pretty tenuous. However, the grievance industry leaves no connection, no matter how trivial, unexploited.
Leeds will on Saturday afternoon mark 15 years since the deaths of supporters Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight, who were stabbed by a Turkish man ahead of their side’s UEFA Cup clash with Galatasaray in April 2000.
A minute’s silence will precede Leeds’ Championship fixture with Blackburn, but United fans were enraged on Saturday morning when Netherlands international Sneijder tweeted a picture of a Gala-branded knife set which carried his image, saying the item was now “finally” available for sale.
His Tweet was met with an angry response from Leeds fans and was soon deleted, and Sneijder wrote to one supporter apologising, saying: “@Leedsu1Ross Very sorry. I didn’t know this and deleted our promotion for the merchandise kitchen item. £Respect.”
A Leeds spokesman said: “It would be disappointing to see this on any day but especially this weekend when we have a number of tributes planned out of respect for the fans who went to watch their team and never came home.”
That last portion is what I have the greatest issue with. Why exactly would it be disappointing (irrelevant maybe) for an athlete to endorse a legal product which is in almost every home on the planet?
The knives themselves appear to be quite pedestrian. They are available at at Senvi.com, and retail for 30 Euros, or about $35 for the entire set. They are made from “conventional stainless steel”, whatever that means. But they have an ergonomic grip and non-stick coating in the colors of the Galatasaray club. Nothing I plan on picking up in the near-future. Or the distant one for that matter. My next kitchen knives will be from Shun.