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Opinion: “Rising to the bait... I’ll go where other Sunderland fans should not tread!”

Twitter arguments between Geordies and Mackems are tiresome and futile, but in the wake of Fendergate, Jon Guy is going to go there so you don’t have to!

Photo by Rich Speight

The following few hundred words have been written with intention of doing exactly what I plead that other fans actually do not do themselves - rising to the bait of Mag players and fans on social media!

Ever since we have been consigned into this hellscape of a division, we have been encountered Newcastle fans who think it is clever or funny to wear their colours in the opposition section of many games we’ve played both home and away.

It isn’t clever; it’s a handful of idiots paying money into the club’s funds to goad us by showing their kit during our games. In their warped worldview, it is funny and they continue to think that we would be upset by their mere presence. But we do laugh at it.

Marco Gabbiadini
Remember that time they tried to get the game abandoned because they couldn’t handle the G-Force?
Photo by Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images

Online it tends to be the ubiquitous comment “League 1” randomly appearing under any Sunderland-related content. Which is a statement of a fact we’re all very much aware of.

This series of strange provocations reached a new level this week when “professional Geordie” Sam Fender got a bunch of his local fans to fly some black and white flags and sing along as he desperately tried to establish his relevance in Newcastle.

It prompted Newcastle’s most expensive ever signing and perpetually injured full-back Kieran Tripper to post a video on his Twitter asking “Can’t beat the Newcastle crowd, Sunderland where you at?”.

Sadly, it had the intended reaction with Sunderland fans going online to fight the club’s corner. The question as fans we have to ask is... why? Is it really worth the bother?

What followed was a day or so’s worth of fume and outrage from SAFC Twitter, with the expected (and probably justified) volley of fishing emojis and gifs from NUFC Twitter in response.

It even elicited a now-deleted tweet from our good friend Andy Dawson, who had decided not to attend the concert because of the ever-increasing Magification of Fender’s act. The Top Flight Time Machine and Athletico Mince star rightly called out Trippier as a “willing employee of a misogynistic, homophobic death cult...unaware that transport links exist outside Newcastle”. But then he received a backlash from Saudi apologist Mags crawling all over his account.

We really should learn to, as my granny would say, “ignore them and they will go away”.

Yes, we can let them know what we think of them whenever we next play them, and quite frankly where it counts on the pitch we have beaten them six times in a row, with a one-all draw they celebrated like a victory thrown in for good measure.

They can bait us ball they like but they cannot avoid those facts, or that their women’s side is still in Tier 4 (something we’re too polite to mention).

We need to concentrate on what really matters – supporting our club to promotion rather than rising to barbs from the players and supporters of a club that have become our whipping boys.

Newcastle United v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images
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