F365 Says: Tottenham must strip Lloris of club captaincy
6 days ago, 16:56
Between 2015 and 2016, there was a 20% rise in deaths from drink-driving in the United Kingdom, and initial figures suggest that the number rose even further in 2017. In 2016, the last year for which official statistics are available, 9,050 people were killed or injured by a driver who was over the legal alcohol limit. One point on which all studies agree: the problem is getting worse.
That information suggests two things: the punitive penalties for drink-driving are not enough to dissuade people from committing the crime, and the crime itself is still not judged harshly enough by society as whole. “I’ll just have one more”, “It’s a five-minute drive”, “I know the journey like the back of my hand”; these are all excuses that have become normalised. The insinuation that you are highly unlikely to cause an accident is approaching victim-blaming.
The other classic drink-driving excuse is “I was only just over”, so let’s at least put that to bed in the case of Hugo Lloris. On Wednesday, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told that Lloris was more than double the legal limit when stopped after jumping a red light and veering near parked cards. Vomit was found in his car and the Tottenham goalkeeper was struggling to stand during his breathalyser test.
Lloris had been enjoying a night with Arsenal players Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud, and had been bought drinks by supporters. Having ordered a taxi and had it cancelled, Lloris chose to climb into his Porsche and put lives at danger. Why should it be sugar-coated? Lloris is lucky that his selfishness did not kill or injure anyone.
Lloris’ punishment in court was to be fined the equivalent of just over two days’ wages, and his club have chosen to add another two weeks’ salary. The headline news is that Tottenham will not strip Lloris of the club captaincy. Explicitly or otherwise, they are calling it business as usual.
Selling sports stars or celebrities as role models is an uncomfortable position. Blaming the behaviour of children on the behaviour of the famous indicates a fault in the parenting system as much as the celebrity. As NBA hall-of-famer Charles Barkley famously said in 1993: “I’m not a role model. Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.”
Furthermore, studies have repeatedly concluded that children as young as five are emotionally mature enough to separate the positive and negative characteristics of their heroes. In contrast to the actions of their peers, there is no learned behaviour at play here. The media framing of sporting stars as influential role models misrepresents the subtleties of the argument.
But Lloris’ case goes beyond his position as a role model. Although athletes deserve to avoid public hounding – and there’s nothing worse than the gutter news photo-stories of ‘player eating dinner’ – it would be foolish to expect off-field actions to have no bearing on a professional career. There is a trade-off, where some flaws can be admonished and quickly forgotten but others ...
Category: sports football