Poynted remarks

IssueAugust - September 2021
Comment by Claire Poyner

I’m not much into football, though I do live with a football ‘fan’ and it’s sometimes on TV when I am in the room.

I’m usually reading or playing a game on my phone. Sometimes I get the headphones on and watch something on the iPad.

Same goes for the cycling: Tour de France, etc.

I’ve never been sporty and it’s not something I generally take much interest in.

This latest England team, though.

I’ve taken a bit more interest in the matches (in between reading or playing a game on my phone).

Mostly because it appears to me to be a good team, with some interesting young players who are actually worthy of the (sometimes excessive) admiration usually directed at ‘celebrities’.

Some of them seem to be interested in more than just the stereotypical celebrity culture and a good thing too. I’d call them good role models.

I particularly like the way the team have refused to be intimidated by booing when they’re ‘taking the knee’. Surely this is a symbol of anti-racism which everyone should get behind?

If you disagree with this action, what does it say about you?

It’s not as if it’s inconveniencing anyone. If you don’t like it (gesture politics? what does that even mean?), just shut up about it, you don’t have to do it yourself.

Interesting, isn’t it, how some people demand that so-and-so ought to concentrate more on their craft, whether it’s acting, singing, or kicking a ball about, and less on politics – but only if the politics don’t coincide.

It amuses me how some people feel that celebrities expressing an opinion on anything remotely ‘political’ cannot get involved in more than one thing at a time, as if multi-tasking was impossible once you get to a certain level of fame.

Why doesn’t Marcus Rashford spend more time ‘perfecting his game’ rather than ‘playing politics’ asked a Tory MP.

Well, is there any reason why he can’t do both (just not at the same time)? Are they not allowed ‘down time’?

I don’t know much about football, but it seemed to me that the two teams [in the Euro 2020 final] were evenly matched (one-all for much of the match) and the winners were decided upon by a penalty shoot-out.

For those who don’t know and don’t care, it’s where the ref tosses a coin and the winners win.

Not really.

Chosen footballers have to kick the ball into the net and the goalkeeper saves, or not. It’s a one-to-one thing and I’d say there’s a bit of luck involved as well as skill.

Hurling racist abuse at a player for missing a goal in this manner, it’s unacceptable.

I hope all readers are agreed that players getting racial abuse for ‘losing’ the match is completely unacceptable.

I am sure all are horrified at some of the ‘fans’ booing the opposite teams’ national anthems and hurling abuse at opposite fans, even small children. Not to mention the very bad behaviour outside the stadium and at various locations in London.

I hope no PN reader takes the attitude (well, I have read this in some forums) that these are all super-rich, spoilt sportspeople playing a commercial game which is entirely corporate and not at all, well, sporting, and therefore they must take the rough with the smooth.

Or that England didn’t deserve to win because of the behaviour of some ‘fans’.

I did wonder this myself at one point, but realised that the current players deserved to win because they’re good at it. (I assume they are. Like I say, I know little about it.)

Footballers don’t deserve abuse just because they’re well-paid! Personally, I don’t care how much they’re paid as long as they pay their taxes. I don’t pay their wages, after all, unlike my taxes going to pay the wages of CEOs of companies I have to buy stuff from, or those in government or the civil service.

I know there are readers who are completely uninterested and proud of it. Fair enough.

I don’t care who wins Wimbledon. But I would care if/when tennis players get abuse too.

Here’s to the World Cup next year! Good luck, lads!

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