Gary Neville has said he was “misunderstood” after he was criticized for liking and retweeting a tweet which described Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood as an “innocent man”.
Criminal charges against Greenwood, 21, were dropped early Wednesday.
The Crown Prosecution Service said there was “no realistic prospect of a conviction” after key witnesses withdrew their cooperation from the investigation.
Then Neville, the former Manchester United defender turned pundit and commentator, then liked and retweeted two tweets from Nazir Afzal, the former attorney general.
The first tweet called Greenwood an “innocent man”. The other said “innocent until proven guilty”.
Neville didn’t retweet the tweets soon after, but they were on the ‘likes’ section of his Twitter profile.
Neville then tweeted: “I liked a tweet relating to the Mason Greenwood news this afternoon from Nazir Afzal. (former director of public prosecutions).
“We don’t mean things like this. It’s crazy how obviously I condone any violence against women.”
Then it looks like tweets from Afzal.
United, meanwhile, have said Greenwood will not play or train with the club while they conduct their own internal investigation.
Greenwood is due to stand trial in November 2023.
A Greater Manchester Police statement on Wednesday read: “Criminal proceedings against a 21-year-old man in connection with an investigation which opened in January 2022 have today (Thursday 2 February 2023) been discontinued by the CPS.”
A CPS spokesman told The Sport: “We have a duty to keep cases under continuous review.
“In this case the combination of the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material coming to light means that there is no longer any realistic prospect of a conviction. In these circumstances, we are under a duty to stop the case.
“We have explained our decision to all parties.
“We will always encourage victims to come forward and report to the police and we will prosecute wherever our legal test meets.”
Greenwood’s club said in a statement: “Manchester United acknowledges the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service that all charges against Mason Greenwood have been dropped.
“The club will now carry out its own process before deciding on the next steps.
“We will not comment further until that process is complete.”
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