Jacob Steinberg – The Guardian Feb 5, 2020
Port Vale’s Tom Pope has been charged by the Football Association after posting a tweet last month linking the Rothschilds to “every bank on the planet”.
The 34-year-old striker has served two one-game bans following improper social media activity this season and he faces further punishment if found guilty after the FA alleged his post about the Rothschilds constituted an “aggravated breach” of its rules regarding social media activity. Port Vale said Pope would “vigorously defend the charge”.
When asked by a fan to “predict the World War III result” Pope tweeted: “We invade Iran then Cuba then North Korea then the Rothchilds [sic] are crowned champions of every bank on the planet.” When another Twitter user highlighted why the FA might want to investigate a potentially antisemitic remark, Pope defended himself.
“How is it racist??” he replied. “Seriously is someone out to destroy me or what? Someone asked how does WW3 end and I replied when said countries were invaded and they have all the banks!! What’s the problem with that? Seriously??”
In another post, he tweeted: “They own the bloody banks! There’s no racial malice whatsoever and anyone would say the bloody same! I didn’t choose a side I merely stated they own the banks and that’s it!”
An FA spokesperson said: “Tom Pope has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to a social media post on 5 January 2020. It is alleged that his social media activity breaches FA Rule E3(1) as it was abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.
“It is also alleged that his social media activity constitutes an ‘aggravated breach’, which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as it included a reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or religion and/or ethnic origin.”
A statement from Port Vale said: “The Port Vale forward strongly denies allegations that his Twitter comments made ‘a reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or religion and/or ethnic origin’ and will vigorously defend the charge.”