Street Life Portrait: How one T-shirt helped to put city in glare of global spotlight

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past week, you can't fail to have missed Sheffield being bandied around in the world's headlines.

Thursday, 2nd March 2017, 3:38 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd March 2017, 3:40 pm

From Nether Edge to New Zealand, Loxley to Los Angeles, the globe has been finding out a particular set to that’s unfolded in the city.

However, if you have somehow missed it, here’s a quick recap.

A Methodist minister from the city spotted a T-shirt in The Moor branch of Primark with the words “Eeny Meenie Miny Moe” on it.

It’s the catchphrase of a character in hit US zombie apocalypse show The Walking Dead. The minister said the rhyme has racist origins and complained to Primark who promptly pulled it from stores.

Then a petition was started to bring it back and the actor who plays the character in the show responsible for the phrase hit out at the chain’s ban, saying “people are stupid”.

Now, very much like the tree debate the other week (fetches tin hat again), we’re not here to get bogged down in the ins and outs, the to-ing and fro-ing, the rights and wrongs or whether it is racist or not.

Some people think it is, others not.

What interests me more is the whole culture we seem to live in these days when it comes to having opinions.

When I dared to question the whole ethic behind the “save the trees” campaign, I was met with a barrage of angry emails, letter and tweets for steering away from the popular narrative. Same whenever I mention United or Wednesday (see Telegraphs passim).

And that’s fine. This is an opinion column. And a light-hearted one at that.

They’re just words. What I say isn’t going to alter the world. I’m not Donald Trump.

I’m just a bloke writing a few paragraphs on a weekly basis for you to muse over while you have your tea and toast.

We’re allowed to have opinions. And that’s all they are. Opinions. Not facts.

Sometimes, people will have a difference of opinion. It doesn’t mean one’s right, one’s wrong.

Let’s let it stay like that.