Sports Letter: Bad role model
Wednesday 31 March 1999
The game has become little more than a machine for making money. As part of this process, it promotes an aggressive and solipsistic model of "maleness", characterised by petulant and foul-mouthed immaturity on the pitch and arrogant, sometimes violent, behaviour off it.
As ever-more obscene amounts of money pour into the pockets of the relatively small number of people at the top end of the game, so everything becomes excusable. The men who play the game, the golden geese, are always "the lads", and every appalling piece of behaviour, particularly towards women, is portrayed as high spirits or, at the worst, a peccadillo, forgivable after a few mumbled, shamefaced platitudes on television. After all, the crowds love it, so who cares?
We should not be surprised, however, if our young males, who are genially encouraged to have an unhealthy obsession with "the game" from the age of four or five upwards, do not just ape the violent and triumphalist behaviour of their heroes, but adopt some of their more unattractive attitudes as well. Now that it has become de rigueur for the middle classes to proclaim their footballing credentials at every opportunity and dress little Sam and Toby in their favourite club's garish strip, I'm afraid the prep schools of the land may be in for a good deal of unacceptable off-the-ball behaviour.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Eden Hazard exclusive interview - All is rosy in the garden of Eden
Arsenal vs Monaco: Theo Walcott 'involved in spat' with fans after Champions League defeat
It's time to stop the 'small club' jibes after Chelsea signed £200m Yokohama deal
Robbie Savage avoids driving ban - because he would get 'accosted' too much if he had to use public transport
Liverpool vs Manchester City: Brendan Rodgers and his fading Liverpool may have reached breaking point
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 Prince Harry leaving the armed forced to pursue conservation projects in Africa
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...
salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...