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Subject: ESPN 30 for 30: Hillsborough

Written By: AL-B Mk. III on 07/23/15 at 1:57 am

American cable sports network ESPN has been producing a series of excellent sports documentaries called 30 for 30 over the last several years, and Netflix has been streaming them. Most of them have to do with American sports, but there was one on my Netflix queue that was called Hillsborough.

I had never heard anything about the Hillsborough tragedy. I faintly recall hearing about mass casualties at a soccer stadium that had caught on fire and I assumed that's what it was about. So, out of curiosity I began watching the Hillsborough documentary a few days ago. I had no idea what I was in for, and what I ended up seeing was perhaps the most outrageous and emotionally charged film of the entire series.

In hindsight, the design of the stadium at the time was a disaster waiting to happen, one which had only been prevented by an experienced police commander who understood the inherent dangers of the stadium and knew how to properly direct the large crowds of people in a safe and orderly manner. Unfortunately, this commander was transferred two weeks before the semifinal match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest and his replacement, David Duckenfield, didn't have a clue as to what he was doing.

The film went into detail (using the original CCTV footage) of how Duckenfield ordered the outer gate opened up while failing to close off the central tunnel leading down to the pens, which was what caused the tragedy. What made me angry was not only how Duckenfield, instead of owning up to his mistake and trying to stop the crush, instead immediately blamed the fans and did nothing to prevent the situation from worsening.

Perhaps the thing that outraged me the most was how, after the tragedy, the coroner ordered blood alcohol tests on all the bodies and subsequently published the victims' names in a local newspaper with their BAC's beside them. This seemed absolutely insane to me. It was clear that the South Yorkshire Police Department was trying to smear the victims' reputations to save their own, and to make matters worse, The Sun falsely accused Liverpool fans of looting the bodies of unconscious and dead victims and urinating on police who were trying to save them.  I actually founding myself yelling "WTF" at my TV several times as the movie went on.

It amazes me that this happened over 25 years ago and yet no one has been held accountable, especially for editing the statements of the police officers that were on the scene.  The documentary was originally aired last year on ESPN on the 25th anniversary of the tragedy, and I read that it was not allowed to be shown in the UK because of the ongoing investigation but that recently that ban has been lifted. The film is on YouTube and I am posting the link to it here in case you haven't seen it yet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0DLrEa1Pnc

I'd like to hear back from some of our friends from the UK and maybe get your takes on all this.

All I can really say is that I hope that the 96 can finally get their justice.  :(




Subject: Re: ESPN 30 for 30: Hillsborough

Written By: Philip Eno on 07/23/15 at 2:34 am

I was shocked the day it happened, the sport program for the Saturday afternoon was cancelled and was showing what they could live. I was dumbstruck looking at the screen wondering what the heck is going on, and in my mind at the time what caused it. I am still amazed ( like you) that it is still making the news today with the trails and inquests, and the police reaction.

Subject: Re: ESPN 30 for 30: Hillsborough

Written By: snozberries on 07/23/15 at 10:11 am


American cable sports network ESPN has been producing a series of excellent sports documentaries called 30 for 30 over the last several years, and Netflix has been streaming them. Most of them have to do with American sports, but there was one on my Netflix queue that was called Hillsborough.

I had never heard anything about the Hillsborough tragedy. I faintly recall hearing about mass casualties at a soccer stadium that had caught on fire and I assumed that's what it was about. So, out of curiosity I began watching the Hillsborough documentary a few days ago. I had no idea what I was in for, and what I ended up seeing was perhaps the most outrageous and emotionally charged film of the entire series.

In hindsight, the design of the stadium at the time was a disaster waiting to happen, one which had only been prevented by an experienced police commander who understood the inherent dangers of the stadium and knew how to properly direct the large crowds of people in a safe and orderly manner. Unfortunately, this commander was transferred two weeks before the semifinal match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest and his replacement, David Duckenfield, didn't have a clue as to what he was doing.

The film went into detail (using the original CCTV footage) of how Duckenfield ordered the outer gate opened up while failing to close off the central tunnel leading down to the pens, which was what caused the tragedy. What made me angry was not only how Duckenfield, instead of owning up to his mistake and trying to stop the crush, instead immediately blamed the fans and did nothing to prevent the situation from worsening.

Perhaps the thing that outraged me the most was how, after the tragedy, the coroner ordered blood alcohol tests on all the bodies and subsequently published the victims' names in a local newspaper with their BAC's beside them. This seemed absolutely insane to me. It was clear that the South Yorkshire Police Department was trying to smear the victims' reputations to save their own, and to make matters worse, The Sun falsely accused Liverpool fans of looting the bodies of unconscious and dead victims and urinating on police who were trying to save them.  I actually founding myself yelling "WTF" at my TV several times as the movie went on.

It amazes me that this happened over 25 years ago and yet no one has been held accountable, especially for editing the statements of the police officers that were on the scene.  The documentary was originally aired last year on ESPN on the 25th anniversary of the tragedy, and I read that it was not allowed to be shown in the UK because of the ongoing investigation but that recently that ban has been lifted. The film is on YouTube and I am posting the link to it here in case you haven't seen it yet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0DLrEa1Pnc

I'd like to hear back from some of our friends from the UK and maybe get your takes on all this.

All I can really say is that I hope that the 96 can finally get their justice.  :(



yeah I remember watching that on ESPN a year or two ago. It's a great documentary.  Like you, I had no idea this had happened, it's serves as a great reminder that it's important to have plans and good communication in place when enforcing large events. Every Police Chief should watch this and learn from that guy's mistakes...

and he needs to suck it up and admit they screwed up and let the dead rest in peace (and take the blame off the dead like they should've done years ago)

Subject: Re: ESPN 30 for 30: Hillsborough

Written By: AL-B Mk. III on 07/23/15 at 2:55 pm



yeah I remember watching that on ESPN a year or two ago. It's a great documentary.  Like you, I had no idea this had happened, it's serves as a great reminder that it's important to have plans and good communication in place when enforcing large events. Every Police Chief should watch this and learn from that guy's mistakes...

and he needs to suck it up and admit they screwed up and let the dead rest in peace (and take the blame off the dead like they should've done years ago)


My initial reaction to the Hillsborough documentary was that of shock and outrage, but after I had thought about it for a couple of days I gained a newfound respect and appreciation for all the planning and hard work that police put in to safely control large crowds of people.

Subject: Re: ESPN 30 for 30: Hillsborough

Written By: snozberries on 07/23/15 at 3:43 pm


My initial reaction to the Hillsborough documentary was that of shock and outrage, but after I had thought about it for a couple of days I gained a newfound respect and appreciation for all the planning and hard work that police put in to safely control large crowds of people.


I agree to the amount of planning but listening to the details about the new chief who was unfamiliar with the venue and the event....versus the old chief who was let go because his officers pulled that idiotic prank... had the old chief been there.... based on his knowledge and experience... the event might not have gone the way it did.... the inexperience and poor decision making is what lead to the coverup that exisits today.

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