Hugo Chavez and Joey the Jackal

I was checking out a series of tweets, compiled by Nathaniel Botwinick at the Corner, called “Leftists Worldwide Defend and Mourn Hugo Chavez.” Among those paying to tribute to the Venezuelan thug were usual suspects like Ken Livingstone and George Galloway.

Then, I saw this tweet from one “Joseph Barton” (@Joey7Barton): “Sad to hear of President Chavez’s passing… #RIP.”

Who is Joey Barton? He’s a soccer thug. By this, I don’t mean a soccer fan whose thuggery causes mayhem in the stands or on the streets. I mean a soccer player whose thuggery causes mayhem on the field, in the dressing room, and anyplace else where the spirit moves him.

Here’s an excerpt from Barton’s Wikipedia entry:

His career and life have been marked by numerous controversial incidents and disciplinary problems and he has been convicted twice on charges of violence. On 20 May 2008 he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for common assault and affray during an incident in Liverpool City Centre. Barton served 77 days of this prison term, being released on 28 July 2008.

On 1 July 2008 he was also given a four months suspended sentence after admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm on former teammate Ousmane Dabo during a training ground dispute on 1 May 2007. This incident effectively ended his Manchester City career.

Barton has been charged with violent conduct three times by The FA: for the assault on Dabo, for punching Morten Gamst Pedersen in the stomach and for attacking three players on the final day of the 2011–12 season.

Barton also made headlines during the 2005 pre-season for attacking his teammate and friend Richard Dunne when “the Dunney Monster” (ex-Everton) tried to break up a fight between Barton and a 15 year-old Everton fan in Bangkok hotel bar. (Barton is from Merseyside and, I’m sad to report, supported Everton as a boy — fortunately our fine manager David Moyes has always resisted the temptation to bring this highly talented miscreant to Goodison Park). Dunne was out of action for three months due to a foot injury sustained after he kicked a wall in disgust over Barton’s behavior.

We know that Chavez got on famously with Castro, Ahmadinejad, and Carlos the Jackal. Although they never met or corresponded, Chavez would also have found a kindred spirit in Joey the Jackal.

Which is not to deny that Barton would have head-butted the late Venezuelan president, had the spirit moved him.

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