Football Apathetic by Max Witriol
There are a number of reasons why I do not watch football any more. Primarily, I suppose, because I’m getting on in years, and despite playing the game “after a (very obsolete) fashion” till I was 50 and watching it on tele a good few years beyond that, there comes a time in a person’s life when he feels he has to jettison the frivolities of youth, albeit very belatedly.
Of course the pandemic did not help. The idea of playing behind closed doors with superimposed crowd sound effects, along with the usual banal commentating, felt like a weak joke. And the pandemic refocused priorities – people applauded frontline NHS health staff and other key workers, not the pampered, overpaid Premier League icons normally held in such high esteem. They and actors and pop stars, as well as those famous for being famous, were dethroned – a welcome byproduct of the pandemic.
Those who turned out to clap on Thursday evenings, children who drew their thank you NHS pictures, even the mainstream media, focused their adoration on decent hard-working people for a change. Alas, it would appear that all this was just a flash in the bedpan, so to speak, as burnt-out nurses have been left to soldier on while, even as I type, the great moral compass that is the BBC is calling England players heroes for winning a match.
And we had the disgraceful and bizarre politicisation of football like never before, as football chiefs jumped on the BLM bandwagon. They still refuse to get off, despite the knowledge that they are sanctioning, nay demanding, footballers align themselves with an overtly Marxist organisation. When I first heard that footballers were ‘taking the knee’ before a match in the week of the BLM eruption, I was disgusted. Months later, in conversation with a friend, I was incredulous to learn that this political gesture had been happening before every single game. And it has carried on ever since.
Consider that we have only one day a year in which society in general, and football in particular, honours the memory of all those who died protecting our freedoms in World Wars l and ll. I cannot bring myself to watch the game that I used to love when it is in thrall to a movement whose aggressive left-wing agenda is anathema to the vast majority of decent people and football fans. But worst of all is the painfully predictable tactic of the self-righteous ‘liberals’: affording pariah status to anyone who doesn’t go along with this utter scandal. Hence those who boo the knee jerk nonsense are deemed racist. Talk about inversion of the moral order.
There is another reason why I have been turned off football and that is the equally leftist driven agenda of pushing women’s football and trying to elevate it to a status it simply cannot uphold. And more to the point, why should it? If you think I am being a misogynistic anti-feminist dinosaur you are only partly right. Because here I think women have scored their greatest own goal since burning their bras – yes, as I am sure you realise by now, I am that old.
Of course, they have been massively encouraged by those who try and equate men and women in every which way – back to the BBC and the ‘liberals’ again. But here we have a case where women have ironically regressed by aping their male counterparts.
My original point was that I had become apathetic to football by dint of being older and focusing on things in life which are more important. All the years I was growing up as a football crazy boy/youth/grown man/middle-aged man, the women around me would consider it a nonsense and a complete waste of time – as the cliche of cliches went “it’s just 22 men kicking a piece of leather around”. The women I knew were appalled at the obscene amounts of money these prima donnas were paid, most of whom were well-known for their infidelity to their hairdresser wives. Now I am not saying I retroactively agree with all and everything that women prioritise in life – nail polish, handbags, Phil Collins, etc – but football widows who saw their husbands spend hours away from the family and who felt entitled to more attention and help with the kids probably had a valid point – yes their views on football weren’t so ridiculous after all! But now, in the name of “equality”, “diversity” and cultural Marxism, they have to show that they are every bit as immature as men!
And it is not just women watching and playing football, but they are increasingly commentating on football. And I do not mean commentating on women’s football but on men’s football! Like there are not enough male ex-professional footballers who are far more qualified in terms of decades of top-level playing and/or managing experience to talk about the game.
And so now, after years of disappointment watching England fail miserably in tournament after tournament, when it saddened and disappointed me; now that I don’t really care I am probably gonna miss out on England finally being successful.
But hey – I don’t care anymore.
Editor’s Note: this post was written before England’s quarter-final game…
Online racial abuse
All day every day, social media – Facebook, Instagram, tik-tok etc are cesspits of abuse and disgusting behaviour from hugely unintelligent elements of society. It came as no surprise therefore that there was racial abuse directed at the three black players who failed in the Euro-20 final penalty shoot-out.
The reaction to that reaction, however, has been over the top and completely disproportionate. As stated, abuse and hatred and vile language and death threats go on all the time. So why has the media and all the usual woke suspects blown this out of all proportion? The best way to deal with this abuse is to ignore it. But the only discussion I’ve heard since the final is not about the great performances of the players/manager etc but about a handful of morons who’ve got nothing better to do than what they normally do.
Let’s be clear – we’re not talking about institutional racism in football or society. Just a few nut-jobs who spend their time being gratuitously offensive.
Sir Alex Ferguson tells about the time when he first came to Man United and was not at all successful. He was getting slated mercilessly in the press and it was actually getting to him quite badly (who knew such a hard-nosed acerbic Scotsmen was so sensitive, eh?). When he confided this to the late great Sir Matt Busby RIP, Sir Matt turned to him and said “there’s a simple solution Alex – just don’t read the papers”.
Why give so much oxygen to the haters?
We can’t let these social media giants just get away with it you might say – which is absolutely true. But why the wall-to-wall outrage over this instance of trolling and nothing about the daily avalanche of hate from, e.g. Muslim extremists, terror organisations and general trolling?
You could argue that, ok at least this has brought the issue to much wider and urgent attention. But the question remains – what took the media so long, and why are they so selective with their criticism?