Arsenal fans feel the burn as they show disdain for Robin van Persie following move to Manchester United
As a species, humans have a complicated relationship with fire. It's fair to say that our eating, living and working habits would be pretty different if our great-great-great-great ancestors hadn't worked out how to conjure flames.
Conversely, it's also the way in which we show our utter distaste for something. Don't like it? Burn it! Young French Catholic woman causing you a bit of bother? Burn her! Books by Bertolt Brecht, James Joyce and Leon Trotsky not conducive to your regime of state terror? Burn them! And now comes something equally profound. The ritual replica football-shirt burning. Player left your team of choice? Burn his shirt!
When Arsenal announced on Wednesday night that they'd agreed to sell Dutch striker Robin van Persie to rivals Manchester United, YouTube was soon greeted with videos of unhappy Gooners setting fire to their "Van Persie 10" shirts. Sample title: "robin van persie judas scum – shirt burning" (sic). It followed on a similar trend last year when Samir Nasri's shirt was the burned replica of choice.
Football isn't the only sport where shirt burning is hot. Angry Cleveland Cavaliers NBA fans flamed LeBron James by setting his vests alight when he moved to Miami. And NFL star Tim Tebow also saw his Denver Broncos jersey burned when his team lost in the play-offs.
When you spend £50 on a sports shirt, maybe don't get your favourite player's name on it. (Especially if you're an Arsenal fan.)
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview