But What About His Friends?November 12, 2010
Random post I wrote because I keep coming across a certain news story everywhere I go, online, offline, pubs, lunchrooms… Im not sure what Im trying to say in this post but it relates to thoughts I have about shame, the most debilitating emotion known to humanity. I may write on it later but for now, this post comes from trying to understand shame and how the reactions from others can possibly cement it within our psyches, maybe forever.
By now, somewhere on the internet many of you have probably stumbled across the piece of news about the footballer and his lewd act with a dog.
The story goes, the footballer and his team and some friends were at a party after one of their games. In a drunken state he decides to play a “prank” on an absent team mate by “simulating” a sex act with the absent mates dog. Another team mate takes a photo of the act and “somehow” the photo ends up on Twitter… and all hell breaks loose.
Im not going to publish the photo, if you want to see it you’ll find it easily enough.
Now my thing is, throughout all the ewwwwws, the shocked outbursts, the accusations of animal cruelty and the cries of disgust, this guy came forward, confirmed it was him in the pic and resigned from his position in the high profile team he plays for. Sponsors of the team wanted him gone and voila, out he goes.
I’ve read many comments with all the differing views and calls for condemnation, and the perception seems to vary from a boys will be boys attitude through to calling the guy a monster.
And no matter how you look at it, the most common reaction is shock and disbelief.
Being curious, I read a bit of background about who this man was and for the most part, he seems a decent person playing for a high profile sports team and as far as I could tell, there didnt seem to be anything unusual about him, being a celebrity and all.
But a few things disturb me about the way the media have jumped on this story.
The man who posted the pic on twitter said he did so to highlight animal cruelty. The pic had been floating around official circles, higher ups hadnt responded to his complaints and so he took matters into his own hands by posting it on Twitter. Within hours it had gone viral and the scandal had exploded.
So why focus on the footballer and not the team mates and friends who stood around and watched???
The media make it easy to target this guy but what about the friends who were taking pictures? I mean, lets not excuse the act but lets not condone the bystanders by brushing off their involvement!
And the sponsors, you know his man. You know his background and you know his history – he has been with the team since he was a teenager. He grew up with you and to turn your back on him so totally is so unjust. Are you that worried about the hypocritical public’s opinion you cannot treat this guy as a human being?
Then we have Twitter, one of the most powerful networking tools of the modern world. And I dont even know what to say about this because once you unbolt the barn door, theres really no point in closing it after the horse has bolted. Or something like that.
Im not making excuses for the footballer because there are none. He did something stupid and he should make amends. But when I see this guys shame, his pain and his willingness to try and do the right thing, I cant help but wonder, is this scandal going to haunt him forever?
We’ve all made mistakes, some worse than others, and this incident falls into the OMG how am I ever going to face anyone again category. And when will enough be enough, how much blood do people want?
I want this guy to pull through and bounce back from this. And learn from it. For no other reason than he is a decent human being who made a really stupid mistake.
All the best.