World Soccer Daily host Steven Cohen issued an apology Monday in response to his inaccurate statements he made in April when he blamed Liverpool fans for being the root cause of the Hillsborough Disaster, as well as other false claims.
In an open letter to his listeners and readers, Cohen said “I would like to apologize for comments made on World Soccer Daily on Monday April 13th that referred back to an event from April 1989 (the Hillsborough Disaster). My apology is directed at any and all people whose feelings have been hurt and people who have had awful memories and scars re-opened. The apology is heartfelt, genuine and sincere.”
While he didn’t go as far as retracting the inaccurate statements or admitting he was wrong, EPL Talk is pleased that Cohen accepts that he has a responsibility either to share the truth or keep his controversial opinions about Hillsborough to himself.
The controversial remarks by Cohen have splintered soccer followers both in the United States and around the world, with plenty of fans taking one side or the other. What it does show is that there’s still a lot of confusion regarding what happened at Hillsborough even 20 years later, which is unfortunate because the truth is black and white. I encourage you, if you haven’t already done so, to look through the evidence compiled at http://www.hfdinfo.com/
The whole incident regarding the unfortunate remarks made by Cohen illustrates how powerful the Internet can be in creating online communities to generate pressure on advertisers and enacting change (note, however, I did not condone the death threats Cohen received). As a whole, the campaign by neutral fans and Liverpool supporters was done in an intelligent and effective matter that encouraged lively debate.
Another important point about the whole episode was how inept the mainstream media was in covering the controversy. The three media clippings in the LA Daily News, New York Times and National Public Radio were poorly constructed, failed to accurately provide both sides of the story and left the glaring facts out. These three clippings are a perfect example of how mainstream media continues to fail the public in providing objective pieces that feature exhaustive research.
UPDATE: The comments regarding the Steven Cohen controversy have been closed. It’s time to return the discussion to football.