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Fabrice Muamba Twitter Troll Arrested – 21 Year Old Student Admits Posting Racially Offensive Tweets

By Chris Wright

On Saturday afternoon, a 23-year old professional athlete collapsed, requiring emergency defibrillation after suffering a heart attack on the pitch at White Hart Lane.

Empathy and support came flooding in from the four corners for Fabrice Muamba as he was rushed to London Chest Hospital’s intensive care unit in a critical condition; Andrea Pirlo dedicated Juventus’ victory over Fiorentina to him, fans of both sides chanted his name from the 41st-minute of Manchester United’s 5-0 thumping of Wolves at Molinuex, former teammate Gary Cahill had an undershirt printed up in support and Real Madrid followed suit shortly after.

While Muamba was being kept alive on an intravenous drip, a 21-year old Swansea University student by the name of Liam Stacey took to Twitter and let loose with a couple of choice tweets (click for full size image – expletives have been censored) about the stricken Bolton midfielder…

Unsurprisingly considering the widespread concern for Muamba, Stacey’s tweets drew a lot of heat, with several fellow users reporting him to police forces across Britain. Stacey used Twitter once again to proclaim his innocence, claiming his account had been hacked and that he wasn’t responsible for the offensive messages. He was arrested the following day.

According to the BBC, magistrates later heard that Stacey was close to tears when he admitted to the court that he was in a pub (having been drinking from early afternoon on Saturday) when he posted the tweets:

“I was at the bar when I heard what had happened to Muamba. I don’t know why I posted it. I’m not racist and some of my friends are from different cultural backgrounds.”

Ah, the Blatter Defence rears its ugly head again.

Stacey has since been bailed until he is sentenced on March 27th and has been ordered not to use Twitter or any other social networking sites.

There has been some debate as to what Stacey actually said constitutes a crime, though I’d wager that publishing racist dribblings in a public forum is illegal and therefore punishable by law. ‘Free speech’ doesn’t really apply.

However, surely the underlying mystery is why anyone, regardless of their prejudices, would feel the need to broadcast that particular sentiment in the first place? Unless, of course, being an absurdly unfeeling and abusive moron automatically overrides your sense of empathy and basic human decency.

The saddest aspect is you can probably bet your bottom dollar that Stacey wasn’t the only one spouting such filth after Muamba collapsed along the internet’s shit-strewn recesses. It really can be a sick, sorry place sometimes.

As for Muamba himself, the good news is that he’s showing ‘small signs of improvement‘ and is now no longer reliant on medication to keep his heart beating, while he’s also able to move his arms and legs.

Keep going Fab. All the best lad!

(Image: Anorak)

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By Chris on March 19th, 2012 in Bolton Wanderers, FAIL, Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
comments

42 Responses to “Fabrice Muamba Twitter Troll Arrested – 21 Year Old Student Admits Posting Racially Offensive Tweets”

  1. Davy says:

    Great news to hear he is improving….Go on son!!

  2. p says:

    frightening that you can be arrested for being a huge douche on the internet.

  3. Mr. Sparkle says:

    I agree with Davy.

  4. usrick says:

    As much as I despise this idiot and his drunken, racist dribblings, I must disagree with your suggestion that “free speech doesn’t really apply.” Of course free speech applies – it must. If free speech means anything, it must be that even the stupidest and the most foolish are free to say their vile worst – and those smarter and wiser are free to respond. As uncomfortable as the right to free speech may sometimes make us, it is a far, far better alternative than having the government decide what speech is permitted and which ideas may not be uttered.

    “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Seneca

    Keep on fighting, Fabrice.

  5. Shane says:

    free speech doesnt protect the speech you like it protects the speech you hate. Nonetheless, the asshole is defying natural selection.
    Hang in there Fabrice

  6. Bill says:

    I’m not a murderer, some of my best friends are alive.

  7. Lyle says:

    It is disturbing that people are arrested for “racist” speech.

  8. Lorenzo says:

    I’m sorry for my bad understanding of the english language, but I cannot understand where this event took place. Iran I guess.

  9. Arsenesbrasso says:

    Apparently FM is now talking which obviously really good news.

  10. Leels says:

    Why is racist in quotation marks, Lyle? I read all his tweets, they are very racist, no question. What he said could be construed as threatening language/inciting racial hatred, so no, freedom of speech does not apply when your speech breaks the law. Do I think he should go to jail or anything like that? Of course not, I think he did something really stupid and hopefully learned his lesson. He should apologize and maybe give his time or money towards the heart and stroke foundation.

  11. Andre says:

    Seeing people get arrested for speech really makes me appreciate America more; sure we have some stupid laws, but at least I can express myself, even if others disagree with it. Obviously not agreeing with what that twat was spewing, but you get the point. Glad to hear Muamba is moving and off medicine.

  12. Professor Erno Breastpinchd says:

    “It is disturbing that people are arrested for “racist” speech.”

    Why is it that it’s only when people are being massively offensive that the freedom of speech garble is trotted out. It’s not black and white (excuse the pun), it’s grey.
    This kid should have the book thrown at his spiteful little face.

  13. Don Diego Salongo says:

    Free-speech much?

  14. tupperwarebox says:

    I’m not a murderer – some of my friends are alive.

  15. Professor Archibald Krumbsnatcher says:

    Ahhhh no,

    In any democratic country, even America free speech does not include racial vilification, fighting words or inciting hatred. I am not sure about the UK but if its anything like Australia then Free Speech is not a right written in law, it’s only implied with limitations.

    In australia this would come under inciting hatred, Inciting hatred is not your right.

    Usrick, You are an idiot,

    ““I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Seneca”

    Firstly that quote is attributed to voltaire, secondly it wasn’t even voltaire who said it, it was a mistranslated by a woman who interpreted him last century.

    It’s funny the people who hide behind freedom of speech only do so to incite hatred, these people do not even know their own countries laws.

  16. QPR says:

    There is no free speech anywhere.

    Youll get arrested for shouting “fire” in a cinema or joking you have a bomb at an airport and the yanks like to bang on about it but you cant even post youd like to see the president dead without the CIA visiting you.

    Id rather have it like it is in the UK where you can say 99.99% of stuff than have it in the US where you get people trolling at funerals causing a lot of distress to families and they think that means there is free speech.

  17. macd says:

    This Liam Stacey prick should be put down

  18. usrick says:

    The issue of free speech only comes up in the context of speech that someone finds “offensive” because speech that doesn’t offend anyone doesn’t need the protection – nobody objects to it or tries to stop it.

  19. Nope says:

    What he said is bad but he should not be arrested for it. Throwing him in jail for saying something is simply wrong. Yes he is an idiot but the British law that makes what he said illegal is more stupid.
    In the US you can say what ever you want because words are just that words. When you physically do something to someone then thats a whole different story.

  20. Nope says:

    Also after reading these comments it really makes me feel disturbed that many of you British find it absolutely ok for a person to be arrested for what they say. You are allowing your government to control what you can and cannot say. I completely agree with Usrick’s comment too. What the guy said is disgusting but he should be allowed to say it. Allowing freedom of speech is one of the very rights that my country was founded on when we separated from British rule.

  21. Lyle says:

    “massively offensive”… who gets to define that? Why should it be a crime?

    Offensive speech is protected speech because of the chilling effect limiting speech has on people. You need learn to deal with being offended and learn to deal with the fact that other people disagree with you. And they may actually say hurtful, “offensive” things… but that’s just your problem.

    We are only talk about words after all and not sticks or stones.

    Freedom!

  22. Richard says:

    I agree that legislating and prosecuting people based on this kind of thing does more harm than good in the long run.

    Either you want freedom or you don’t.

    Get well soon Fabrice!

  23. RM says:

    As despicable as this Stacey turd is, free speech has to be protected.
    But that same free speech is also available for society to condemn and persecute (not prosecute) this loathsome idiot and hound him for the rest of his sorry life – every time he applies for a job, or to rent, or for credit, I hope his lack of humanity is there for all to see.

  24. sloth says:

    @usrick
    Freedom of speech in the modern era is not absolute. You don’t have the right to falsely yell, “FIRE!” in a crowded theatre, and you don’t have the right to spout offensive statements of racial hatred which are intended to attack and harm others. This is fairly well documented in legal decisions around the world.

    And before you get all JS Mill on me, remember the social context in which he was writing. Since his writings, I’d hope we’ve learned a lot from the abolition of slavery, the holocaust, totalitarianism, the civil rights movement, etc…

  25. Huye says:

    Racist or not, its free speech. Offensive or not, its free speech. Interesting how society is so uptight. Full of apology demanding, offended over anything people. The guy is an absolute low life, but there are bigger fish to fry.

  26. MoonPope says:

    Regardless of whether he has the right to spout this shit freely or not, he’s clearly just a mong who should be ignored to suffer at the hands of his own stupidity. That or set on fire testicles first, you can decide that :)

  27. Grant says:

    I don’t see where he said anything racist. “Suck his black dick”?

    Sure the guy’s a giant douche but you guys over in the U.K. have a funny definition of free speech.

  28. usrick says:

    There is a fundamental difference between limitations on inherently dangerous acts (including the act of speaking)like falsely yelling “fire” in a crowded theater and limitations based on the content of speech that is deemed to be offensive or otherwise objectionable. Both can be reasonably labeled “free speech” issues, but those issues are not the same.

    There are also plenty of situations in which there may be a reasonable basis for limiting the content of speech. One example would be broadcasting troop movements during wartime.

    We should be careful, however, to avoid assuming the right to free speech does not or should not apply to speech we find offensive or otherwise objectionable simply because we find it offensive or otherwise objectionable. The posts above show exactly how well free speech can work and why it is important – a free exchange of ideas among anyone who has an opinion and takes the time to express it. (And, of course, who has the good sense to follow Pies.)

    Fortunately, despite the offensive words of the odd idiot with a social media account, the information from the hospital seems to be positive. Here’s hoping for more of the same.

  29. Lyle says:

    Professor,

    Actually people are free in America to make racist statements. They may be criticized and ridiculed, but they will not be arrested.

    Lets get educated people.

  30. Professor Erno Breastpinchd says:

    Not sure where all these Americans came from, but I would consider the UK to be a good deal more free that “the land of the free”.
    I’d imagine that the unrelenting racial tension in America is due partly to the fact that people are free to spout xenophobic and racist propaganda with no recourse.
    Freedom of speech (to me anyway) is the right to question your government and express your opinion freely. However this stops short of anything approaching hate mongering, discrimination or libel.
    Freedom of speech Is NOT the right to be a racist little scrotum.
    Lyle you are clearly a little hard of thinking. “You need learn to deal with being offended and learn to deal with the fact that other people disagree with you” is such a wet argument for allowing this kind of behaviour.

  31. Grant says:

    But it’s only offensive speech that needs to be protected. Surely political speech should also be protected, but it’s precisely stuff like the EDL and the BNP that needs to be protected in order for a free and functional society to prosper.

    Personally, I still don’t understand where the guy actually said anything racist. Surely he’s a douchebag and a troll, but just telling someone to go suck someone’s “black dick” isn’t racist.

    The guy’s a yob to be ostracized, but not arrested IMHO.

  32. Professor Erno Breastpinchd says:

    Here you go Grant;
    “owwww go suck a nigger dick you fucking aids ridden cunt”
    “i aint your friend you wog cunt ….go pick some cotton!”

  33. Grant says:

    Okay, I didn’t see some of that stuff. I still don’t think he should face police action for that, but I’ll concede there’s all kinds of racist stuff there.

  34. usrick says:

    “Freedom of speech is NOT the right to be a racist little scrotum.”

    Why not? Because you (quite correctly) identify racist speech as offensive? Would you then be agreeable to the government punishing you for calling the racist little scrotum a racist little scrotum if your doing so offends him? How about if it offends me?

    If the right to free speech doesn’t cover the speech we find offensive, it isn’t a right at all – just a case-by-case decision by the government what it will and will allow its citizens to say.

  35. Andy Carroll's Ponytail says:

    Free speech or not, I hope that Mr Stacey’s doesn’t have to experience the heartache (no pun inteneded) of losing someone he loves dearly to a cardiac arrest and then have some jackass pounce and make fun of the situation. Cos you know..what goes around..

  36. Tom says:

    I hope Muamba gets well and gets back on the field. And as far as these racist comments this guy made, he is obviously a very rude dude and has no boundaries. This is something you learn at home, which he obviously failed to. We can’t just go around spitting on other people. Some respect is desperately needed all around!

  37. Clyde Cash says:

    He shouldn’t get punished; this is free speech through and through. He posted it on a public forum which can only be read VOLUNTARILY. So then how is it threatening if person being “threatened” never hears it? Similarly with the racist argument. It would be quite a bit different if this guy sent Fabrice a letter with all this in it, but he didn’t.

    This is the same thing as if I went to the bathroom stall and wrote “Jenny is a fat slut and I hope she dies”. Then I leave and don’t tell anyone I did it. Do I deserve to get arrested for “threatening” Jenny because someone walked in and saw it?

    Twitter is the same kind of public forum. If you don’t like it, don’t go there. Don’t read it. Free speech is the ability to express your ideas, good or bad, about any person or subject you wish to in a public forum, directed only at those who will willingly listen. Stop trying to be thought police and virtual nannies. If you’re going to ruin real life with political correctness and regulation, at least leave the internet alone to be the last bastion of true free speech.

  38. Professor Archibald Krumbsnatcher says:

    Lyle,

    Actually no,

    In the U.S. There are zones where free speech is restricted, there are also limitations which include, inciting hatred, fighting words and libel. You can be held accountable for all these things.

  39. Kyle says:

    @Clyde Cash and others spouting the ‘an infringement of free speech’ rubbish… you should do a bit of research if you believe that ‘free-speech’ gives you the right to say whatever you want. seriously…

  40. Meji says:

    He should get punished. If he could walk down the street calling every black person a nigger is that freedom of speech?

    Freedom of Speech – I’m all for it.

    Racsim – needs to be nipped in the butt.

    There’s always a right and wrong way to express yourself.

  41. usrick says:

    Well then, who is it that decides what speech gets the benefit of protection and what gets “nipped in the butt?” I’d rather let an offensive idiot use an offensive word, and let anyone who hears it respond, than have the government deciding what its citizens can and cannot say.

  42. Professor Erno Breastpinchd says:

    “the government deciding what its citizens can and cannot say”
    that’s like saying the government decide what the citizens can and cannot physically do. There is a line between legal and illegal there, and there should be just the same with freedom of speech.

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