Gary Neville has conceded that it was a misstep to show approval for a tweet about Mason Greenwood’s case after getting a lot of criticism on social media. The 21-year-old England international, who is a member of Manchester United, had charges of attempted r*pe and assault dropped against him on Thursday.
This was after his arrest in January 2022, and he has not competed in a professional match since then. Nazir Afzal, a former prosecutor of the Crown Prosecution Service, responded to the most recent news regarding Greenwood on social media.
He labeled Greenwood an “innocent man” and reminded his followers that people accused of crimes are “innocent until proven guilty”. He also urged people not to blame any potential victims. Neville was met with criticism from fans all over the world after he showed his support for one of Afzal’s tweets.
I liked a tweet relating to the Mason Greenwood news this afternoon from Nazir Afzal. ( the former director of public prosecutions ). This like is being misinterpreted. It was a clumsy like as I obviously condemn any violence against women.
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) February 2, 2023
He clarified his stance in a tweet, saying that it was being misinterpreted and that he condemns any violence against women. He mentioned Afzal’s role in the Crown Prosecution Service in an attempt to explain his like. Afzal posted several tweets regarding Greenwood’s situation.
The Crown Prosecution Service declared on Thursday that all charges against Greenwood had been dismissed.
“In this case, a combination of the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light meant there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction. In these circumstances, we are under a duty to stop the case. We have explained our decision to all parties. We would always encourage any potential victims to come forward and report to police and we will prosecute wherever our legal test is met.”
He questioned what had changed, suggesting that some of the witnesses had withdrawn their support for the prosecution and new evidence had come to light. Afzal declared that Greenwood is an innocent man, and that is all that matters.
It is still not known if and when Mason Greenwood will return to professional football. His Manchester United contract, estimated to be worth about $4 million annually, does not end until June 2025. The Premier League club has acknowledged the ruling on his situation.
Neville faced backlash from people around the globe when he voiced his agreement with one of Afzal’s posts
The backlash against Neville was swift and severe. The incident sparked a heated debate about freedom of expression and the limits of acceptable speech in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world.
A clumsy like and an accidental retweet?
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) February 2, 2023
Much like your support of Ryan Giggs (the less said about him the better), the moral stance on Qatar until the dollars came, and now this. Still, protect your status Gary. Don’t admit what you truly think. God forbid that eh.
— Johnny Ward (@onestep4ward) February 3, 2023
People need to be really careful now on how they talk about this case. Mason has been cleared and should be allowed to continue his career much like Ched Evans
— 🏴ᗯᖇᗴ᙭ᕼᗩᗰ Ǥᗩᗰᗴᖇ🎮⚽🏉 (@wrexham_gamer) February 2, 2023
One like is clumsy but 1 retweet and two likes is not Gary. You can do better.
— WelBeast (@WelBeast) February 2, 2023
Showing you true side Gary. Hypocrite par excellence. This wasn’t clumsy your just backtracking after the backlash. Your not fooling anyone mate.
— Ashish Kejriwal (@ashishkejriwal) February 2, 2023
The controversy surrounding Neville and Afzal’s comments has highlighted the need for careful consideration when expressing opinions in the public sphere. While it is important to respect everyone’s right to free speech, it is also important to be aware of the potential consequences of such speech.
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