Would Mr Daniels have found it acceptable if the England manager had said, for example, that karma was working from a previous existence of the little girl who was raped by her stepfather; that those Hondurans did something in their previous lives to deserve the hurricane that recently hit them; that a past collective sin of the Jews explains the Holocaust...?
If not, he must acknowledge that how defensive (or otherwise) we might feel towards the public figure concerned depends on our level of sympathy with a particular kind of suffering.
I am severely disabled, but I feel most sympathy for the Football Association in this. The FA entrusted Mr Hoddle with the highest-profile job in the national game, and he betrayed its trust by using his profile to promulgate views that were at once insensitive, silly and completely irrelevant to his job. Newspapers were doing their job when they reported developments, and the FA did its job when it sacked Mr Hoddle.
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