Is Stan Collymore a sports broadcaster or a war correspondent?
That was the question on Joey Barton’s mind last night after the talkSPORT commentator posted footage of the violence in Lille between Russian, Welsh and English supporters.
It led to Barton targeting Collymore in a series of tweets, ridiculing his attempts to cover the trouble.
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The former Liverpool striker hit back by mocking Barton’s interest in philosophy.
The Rangers midfielder himself has been involved in the conflicts. He recently revealed the “scary” moment he encountered a group of highly organised Russian hooligans.
Collymore got involved in the thick of the action - he was even teargassed in Lille as Russian and England fans continued to clash - posting footage on Periscope.
But, in light of the serious situation, Barton could only see the funny side.
Barton and Collymore have clashed before
This isn’t the first time Barton and Collymore have clashed. In January, Barton appeared to suggest Collymore should ignore those who were abusing him on social media.
“You can always choose to not accept the thing said and just put it down to its normal causes,” the former Newcastle and QPR midfielder wrote on Twitter.
“Lack of intelligence. Hatred of ones self.
“In my opinion choose to accept offence. So by that definition, nobody can offend me unless I choose to accept it.”
Collymore hit back sarcastically: “Yes Joseph, very profound. Let’s get rid of laws and use our inbuilt offence sensor to guide us. Very wise.”
Barton's "scary" experience
So there’s a history between the two. But Barton’s most recent comments are quite surprising given he has witnessed first-hand the damage that is being caused in the streets of France.
If anything, it’s admirable that Collymore is putting himself in danger simply to provide coverage of yesterday’s events.
Riot police used teargas in order to disperse groups of England fans and several arrests were made. Both Russia and England have been hit with threats of disqualification if supporters continue to cause mayhem.
Barton was on punditry duty during England’s 1-1 draw with Russia on Saturday and retold his experience as he encountered a group of Russian fans.
“I ran into the Russians in action myself earlier in the day and it was a scary sight," Barton told the Mirror. "They were clearly highly organised.
"They operated like a military group.
"I was with two of my pals, one of whom had his young lad with him. We used a couple of underground Metros to try to get away from the problem areas but as I came up the stairs of one station I just ran into this gang.
"They were running round back streets because they were trying to cut the English fans off.
"We ran straight into them. But thankfully, they weren't interested in us.”
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