Date: 26th September 2016 at 1:14am
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Manager Sean Dyche was playing his cards close to his chest when facing the media and answering questions about the historic punishment handed to Andre Gray for four year old social media remarks.

Now nobody is downplaying what he said, or how wrong he was to say them, and had the punishment come at the time I don’t believe there are many (there are always some!) who wouldn’t have said ‘good decision, had to be done’ and ‘he’ll learn from it, as will others.’

However, the posts came to light conveniently after he bangs a goal in against Liverpool last month in our two nil victory, and plenty of fans have already made comments questioning whether the Football Association – with all due care, attention and balance – will now be investigating the historic social media posts of others, or are they only going to act when questionably timed tabloid exclusives are used?

Speaking to the Telegraph, whilst Dyche wasn’t quite as blunt, and whilst in no way did he try and defend ‘what’ the player had said back in 2012 – he more than acknowledged Gray was a completely different individual now and had matured in the four years since those ridiculously offensive opinions were aired.

Thus, the severity of the punishment was questionable.

‘He has been punished for something that he said four years ago. The world is clambering for football to put everything right, but there is a common sense view and there is a politically correct view. He came to me straightaway and said, ‘this was me in the past, it’s not who I am now’. He prepared his own statement and gave it to the press people here. He’s still got a life away from football and he still has quirks, many people do. You can’t just jump out of one life and into another one. But he was authentic with me, he was honest with me and I said okay. He’s apologised for it and he knows it was wrong.’

Adding.

‘I can’t control people’s lives four years ago, I can only try and put them in the right place now to be respectful and to conduct themselves in the right way, which he has done since he’s been here.’

With Gray yet to comment on the ban himself, he is set to miss the game later this evening with Watford, and then the Arsenal, Southampton and Everton fixtures before his punishment ends but again.

A four game ban for something said four years ago?

Surely some of the boffins at the Football Association had it within their IQ to instead maybe use Gray’s earlier idiocy in life as an example of how football can help change, how a man like Gray can change his own perception of others. Present him as an ambassador for change within football whether it’s racism or homophobia and use the now role model status he has to help educate others from that position.

Surely that would serve a greater benefit for all concerned and actually attempt to achieve something in the process.

Probably too intelligent a suggestion – I’m off to suspend myself for a bit instead and compare punishments handed to Luis Suarez and John Terry for example.

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