Yes he was provoked. Yes, the Twittersphere can be cruel, menacing and unkind. And yes, the instinctive reaction of some might well be to respond equally brutally; to fight fire with fire.
Instinctive, yes. Appropriate, no.
Especially if you’re a company director; and a director, at that, of one of the most famous football clubs in the world.
Young Edoardo Cellino, 24, who has been a member of Leeds United’s board since his father bought the club in April 2014, has been charged by the Football Association over offensive social media comments in which he called a Leeds fan a “spastic” (amongst other things).
Quite why he felt this word was an appropriate word to use is beyond us. It is offensive beyond belief and nothing, nothing excuses it.
His defence: “I did not fully understand the severity of the words used as English is not my first language. I can only apologise” is paltry indeed.
That the Cellino family hail from Sardinia offers no excuse – or justification – for using disparaging terms that belong to a bygone age.
They have been at the helm of Elland Road long enough to realise that the owners of such clubs have a moral duty to set a good example. If Cellino junior can’t abide by this, he isn’t fit to hold the position.
As for a punishment, let the FA do their worst by all means.
But also put him in front of any parent with a disabled child and they’ll tell him what’s what. He’ll be all the humbled for it.