Social media ‘justice’ swift but not-so-sure, as Man United ditches controversial Mason Greenwood

Manchester United finally decided on the future of Mason Greenwood at the club on Monday.

Greenwood was suspended from the club in January 2022 when allegations of attempted rape and assault emerged. Before the news broke, it spread like wildfire on social media.

Greenwood was charged with attempted rape, engaging in controlling behaviour, and assault in October 2022. The case was dropped in February 2023 due to the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material coming to light.

Images of the alleged assault and the incriminating audio evidence against Greenwood were shared by his girlfriend, Harriet Robson. Since then, the couple have reconciled to welcome a baby of their own, a month ago.

The case is rather complex as the alleged victim has reconciled with the alleged perpetrator. If she did feel as strongly as she felt at the time of the alleged incident to release material incriminating Greenwood, she should never have reconciled and withdrawn the complaint.

Human relationships are also not as cut-and-dry as people make it out to be. It is not the first instance that a couple had gotten back together, despite one of the partners having wronged the other.

It could also be that there is more to the material that was released online, and it might not paint the true story. To add to the complications, the club and Greenwood have said in their respective statements that he had been cleared of the crimes but takes responsibility for his mistakes.

This statement seems contradictory, as the implication is that the mistakes they are referring to are related to the alleged crimes. Or, could it be something else that’s not related to the crime? There is also new evidence in the case – a longer recording – that gives a greater context to the disgusting audio
excerpt most have heard.

Manchester United was rumoured to seriously consider reinstating him into the first team, as they had found him not guilty after conducting their investigation, but due to the backlash they got on the back of the rumours, they decided it was best that Greenwood plied his trade elsewhere.

The right decision was made as he couldn’t carry on at the club, given United’s worldwide appeal and attention. Such was the backlash from the rumoured decision, that when the statement announcing the final decision was made, the club’s CEO, Richard Arnold, released a follow-up statement explaining the decision and the findings, a move I found unusual.

Despite his explanation, the club continued to attract brickbats for their handling of the case. The evidence against Greenwood was incriminating and the court of social media had already passed their judgment, based entirely on the images seen and audio heard, without any investigations.

The social media world is inept at passing fair judgments, as it doesn’t have the tools to conduct proper investigations, but is capable of destroying the reputation of a person, and overturning decisions that were rumoured to have been made.

The court of social media seems to hold more power than the court of law, today.

I wish Greenwood and his partner would come out to speak honestly about what happened, unless he is guilty of what he was accused of and cannot speak openly in public about it.

It is a pity that a player of immense talent and potential, playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world, has had his career derailed for making some wrong decisions in life.

The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the writer and do not necessarily represent that of Twentytwo13.