Bizarre Dispute of the Week: Joey Barton v Martin Samuel

Stories » Bizarre Dispute of the Week: Joey Barton v Martin Samuel

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Olympique Marseille midfielder Joey Barton
Barton… Fink

Things got a bit weird yesterday when respected football writer Martin Samuel called upon Marseille midfielder Joey Barton to come out as gay in this questionable Daily Mail article (doesn’t that phrase just roll off the tongue?).

Citing the lack of homosexual role models in top flight men’s football, Samuel wrote:

Joey Barton continues his quest for intellectual and social respectability. Why not come out as gay?

Instant credibility, instant respect, untouchable by the Football Association or future employers. His past misdeeds mentally reprocessed and explained.

‘Well, of course he put his cigar out in that bloke’s face, Gary. He was a tortured soul, forced to live a lie.’

And imagine the new material. A never-ending treasure trove for Barton’s Twitter feed: Alexander the Great, Leonardo da Vinci, Oscar Wilde, Lady Bunny.

And, let’s face it, with that new accent, he’s probably halfway there.

Samuel was of course referring to this clip of Barton affecting a French accent…

…giving rise to the suspicion that Samuel believes speaking with a French accent to constitute just enough homosexuality to make someone half-gay. Hmmm.

Naturally, Barton took to Twitter to vent his spleen at this apparently groundless suggestion (unless of course Samuel knows something we don’t)…

The vaguely amusing Royle Family reference went over this guy’s head…

…but Barton had no inclination to stop and explain when he had legal advice to seek out…

Barton tacitly emphasised his heterosexual credentials…

…which sparked a debate involving Mirror journalist Simon Bird and Football Diaries editor Stuart Coleman…

By now, Barton had made up his mind on how to take this forwards…

…incurring the following rather salient warning…

Like Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor after someone covered all his darts in superglue, Barton just couldn’t let it go…

Jermaine PedantJermaine Pedant says… All litigious matters aside, the above message is bookended by grammatical inaccuracies: there should be an apostrophe in it’s to indicate that it’s a contraction of ‘it is’ and not the possessive form of it, while you end with a question and should therefore punctuate accordingly.

Furthermore, you should have separated that into two clauses. Splitting it into two sentences would also have sufficed, a device I might’ve opted for in my above corrections. As it is, I feel the colon stands its (possessive) ground.

One Chuck Taylor had this explanation for Samuel’s attentions…

…as Barton raged on, condemning Samuel by citing current events…

This chap needs to learn the difference between racism and xenophobia…

…while Sheffield FC manager and light-welterweight boxer Curtis Woodhouse simplified the whole palaver with the following razor-sharp analysis…

As of yet, Martin Samuel is not on Twitter, so we await with bated breath to hear what he, er, ‘comes out’ with.

Should Barton sue? Have your say in the comments section below…

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