Steven Cohen, co-host of the World Soccer Daily radio show, has been at it again.
While the rest of the world last week was paying tribute to the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough Tragedy, Cohen was complaining on his U.S. radio show that Liverpool fans failed to take responsibility for Hillsborough as well as claiming that if 6,000-8,000 ticketless fans had not shown up, the Hillsborough Disaster would never have happened.
The problem is, he’s wrong. Dead wrong.
Steven Cohen’s Statements About the Hillsborough Disaster
So what did Cohen say that was so wrong? Here are three statements that Cohen made about the Hillsborough Disaster on his Monday, April 13, 2009 episode of World Soccer Daily (note, you can listen to the entire audio clip at the bottom of this post):
“People showing up without ticket, hell bent in getting into somewhere where they shouldn’t be going because they don’t have tickets, is the root cause of [the Hillsborough Disaster].”
“I’m yet to read anybody write in this weekend’s Sunday papers in England, where they’re all doing big commemorations about the 96, and why we should never forget and how it’s changed the game, nobody discusses the 6-8,000 who showed up without tickets and my argument has always been, if those people don’t show up, this never happens.”
“[Hillsborough] is a stadium that week-in week-out, Sheffield Wednesday used without incident.”
World Soccer Daily Playing With Fire
Hosted by Steven Cohen and Kenny Hassan, the Los Angeles-based show is broadcast nationwide each weekday on Sirius Satellite Radio and also available as a daily podcast, which is one of the top 10 most popular sports podcasts on iTunes.
Without a doubt, Cohen is the voice of soccer in America. Since the launch of his network in May 2002, Cohen has succeeded in growing World Soccer Daily into the must-listen show about soccer in the United States. Coupled with his weekly co-host slot on Fox Soccer Channel’s Fox Football Fone-In show, 46-year-old Cohen has built a sizeable following, many of whom are impressionable fans who are relatively new to the sport and hang on his every word.
That’s fine when it’s fun and games, but when Cohen (a Chelsea supporter) spews out misinformation about the Hillsborough Disaster, it’s dangerous. One, because his beliefs about Hillsborough are completely wrong. And two, because by making his beliefs public, he’s giving many newbie soccer fans false information and thereby spreading the wrong information about the cause of the disaster. With such a large audience on radio and television, he has a responsibility to educate listeners on what really happened on April 15, 1989.