Football has a morality issue, that much is abundant. From racist allegations being swept under the carpet worldwide, to kicking animals, rape allegations, and then up in Scotland to add to all that, we have the religious divide.
Long gone are the days when all footballers are instantly role models. Back in the 70s, 80s, 90s and even early 2000’s before social media, we didn’t see the other side of these players lives. It just wasn’t something we needed to see, but since the creation of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, we have had our eyes opened to the malversation and hierarchical perversion that seems to plague our game, deep-rooted into most nations individual FA’s.
The first of many recent incidents is probably the least serious offence, albeit absurd and abhorrent in it’s own right. The West Ham centre back has recently been filmed abusing his kitten. Kicking about his flat, with laughing children and family members engaged in the monstrous behaviour.
Since then, Zouma has been dropped by his sponsors and fined 2 weeks wages along with possibly never being allowed to own a pet in the UK again. Fitting punishment to a man deserving of it.
What isn’t fitting though is a prison sentence, or release from his contract. Yes, in the normal world we can do that, but in the football world, we have literal rapists and abusers playing the game, some charged, some got off with undercutting payments to their unfortunate victims, but the majority are still involved in our game at some level or another.
David Goodwillie has been deemed guilty by three separate judges in civil court, ordered to pay compensation to the victim and publicly shamed. Has he ever shown remorse? No. Has he even ever shown he knows he’s done something wrong? Nope. He’s barely even uttered a word about the day in question since the night of the incident. Did it stop him playing football at a good level? Also, no. He has been the captain of Clyde FC, yes, CAPTAIN. You know, the player supposed to be THE role model for kids? The player that’s idolised by the fans, an ambassador for the club, and he’s a rapist.
None of the above, or the added pressure of having a stand named after a famous fan, also a vocal feminist, stopped Raith Rovers from offering the sex pest a professional contract worth over £150,000.
The club faced backlash from all angles, including the Women’s team captain stepping down, then the women team disassociating completely with Raith Rovers FC, hundreds of supporters turning their backs on the club they love, and directors stepping down. Still, none of this was necessary. If they had any shred of morality, the player would never have been signed, unfortunately, he has been, and a fantastic community club has now been tarnished, possibly forever.
Raith have since backtracked on the contract offered and will pay it off without the sex offender playing for the team. Plastering over the cracks.
Mason Greenwood is a situation I can’t say much about due to a pending legal case, but I will say, hopefully football has learned it’s lesson from Goodwillie and never let’s Greenwood play at league level again.
*There will be a separate article detailing the racism issue in football, especially in Europe. Stay tuned for that to release over the next week or two.
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Main Image Credits- Embed from Getty Images