Sportsmanlike Behaviour

Yesterday I read a news article about a football supporter who got a bit involved in a scrap the players were having over the weekend.

Apparently the Everton chaps and some other chaps from Lyon, France had a disagreement and decided a bit of a fight was the way to settle it.

Whilst still on the pitch.

In front of their fans.

Everton and Lyon settle a dispute
Anyways, the fight somehow ended up getting close to the fans who took it upon themselves to join in with one supporter even managing to land a punch.

I'm going to stop right there and make some very obvious points.

  • These guys are paid an absolute fortune to be role models, they shouldn't be fighting
  • They are grown men who should know better and shouldn't be fighting
  • There are families and therefore people of all ages at these games so the players shouldn't be fighting
  • As the "National Sport" there are cameras everywhere capturing everything, including your fighting

My thoughts about the behaviour of professional sportsmen aside I wanted to discuss, probably in depth, the fan that landed the punch.

If you've read this blog for any length of time you will know that I'm not much of a football fan. In fact I even likened hardcore football fans to Nazis once, but y'know, that was just a picture.
Nope, not like Nazi's at all.
Anyway, I digress.

The fan who landed the punch has apparently turned himself into the police and gave the following soundbites:

“I was out of the police station inside half an hour with my solicitor. But I’m ashamed of what I’ve done. I already know. I’m not a f****** d***head.”

You should be ashamed and yes, you are.

“They’re supposed to be setting an example, as professional athletes,”

This is, at least, correct.

“I knew I’d put myself in that dangerous position. It was not intentional but I’d been too concentrated on screaming abuse at the players for being s*** and before I knew it I was led down there – then it was like, ‘F****** hell, what’s going on?’ and it looks the way it looks.”

Woah Woah Woah ... back up ... you, you were so focused on "screaming abuse at the players" that you didn't notice what was going on? Riiight.

By now, if you've not heard of this story, I should imagine you're thinking "Hey Neil, give the guy a break - he f***ed up so what?"


Yes, Mr "just got caught up shouting abuse" was carrying his three-year-old son in his arms the whole time.

When he was swept down and threw the punch that landed he had his three-year-old son in his arms.
At what point did it become acceptable to take a three-year-old to a football match and stand there with them in your arms and shout abuse?

And further to this, when did it become acceptable to hold onto your three-year-old whilst throwing punches?

Never. That's when.

But hold the phone!

He actually blames the football club for his indiscretion as they are the ones that made it so easy for him to get to the players.

Sadly I feel that this is the way football supporters have been for a very very long time, I remember going to a football match when I was younger, before I was 10, and the language used and general atmosphere there was not suitable for children.

Football hooliganism is something that the governing body and the government have tried to stamp out and yet I believe it is still rampant but suppressed. The violence and hate are pushed away from the football stadiums and therefore away from the public gaze and it is just incidents like this one that show some fans for what they really are.
Situation is not helped by the glamourisation of Hooliganism
Are all fans like this? No, of course not.

I should imagine that the majority are calm and wouldn't dream of shouting abuse and throwing punches just because their team is not doing so well. Especially not when their three-year-olds are in their arms. Although there are plenty of fans who do not have kids and will happily act like knuckle draggers just because they think their team is better than everyone else.

I have no answers to what can be done about it either but let me give you a small insight to how this type of persons brain works (or in this case, doesn't). When asked if he feared losing access to his children his answer was, and I quote:

"I live with my mum, I don't know what social services want to see me for".

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