Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Morality in sports - cheating and not the kind on the pitch

Last Saturday at around 12:43 p.m., everybody who was remotely interested in football was watching the events unfold at Stamford Bridge. It had been building to a climax when Wayne Bridge announced he would not be shaking John Terry's hand. Yet the moment passed and nothing really major happened.

For those not interested in football, let me wrap up the story for you. John Terry, Chelsea and England captain, was found to have sexual relationship with Vanessa Perroncel, the ex-partner of Wayne Bridge, another England footballer who used to play for Chelsea and now plays for Manchester City. John Terry went to court to prevent details of this relationship from being published but failed. Since this story has been announced, Wayne Bridge has decided for the sake of team unity that he will not be playing for England as long as John Terry was also considered, in effect ruling Bridge out of the World Cup that will be played this summer in South Africa. He also said he would not be shaking John Terry's hand prior to kick off when their teams met on Saturday in the Premier League.

It has long been known footballers' conduct is not the best in the world. Every football fan has read and heard stories of football players getting into fights at nightclubs, gambling away lots of money and of course sleeping with various young women. So what makes the John Terry story any different?

Firstly John Terry and Wayne Bridge were best friends, whilst playing for Chelsea and when they met up for the England squad. Even in the football world sleeping with your best friend's girlfriend is seriously frowned upon. Yet one could argue it wasn't an affair as Vanessa Perroncel and Wayne Bridge had split up just recently and were not even married, so there were no morality issues. Let us ask this question: Would you sleep with your best mate's ex-girlfriend, just after they broken up? Of course you wouldn't. At least you would wait a while and ask you best mate beforehand. At least you wouldn't have the sexual relationship in your best mate's house, is what happened between Vanessa Perroncel and John Terry. Neither was it an one-off affair, as Vanessan Perroncel and John Terry met several times over the next few months.

Once the affair ended, John Terry was worried the whole shenanigans would become public, thus ruining his reputation with his corporate sponsors and jeopardizing his marriage with Toni Poole. He sought a super injunction in the law courts to prevent the news story from being published but ultimately lost.

Since the whole incident has become public knowledge, all the participants have been affected.

For John Terry, he has lost the England captaincy. Even though he doesn't have any prominent individual sponsorship, he will be used less publicly by the corporates at Chelsea and England, in effect reducing his income. Several other women have stepped out and said they had sex with him whilst he has been married. This from a guy who was voted Dad of the Year in England last year. At least his missus Toni Poole has given him one last chance. Yet I know he will re-offend, since he has form before and during his marriage. I also point to Exhibit A - Ashley Cole - for any further proof footballers cannot keep their cock in their pants. More worryingly to Chelsea and England football fans is that his form has suffered since the whole affair kicked off and no doubt he will still suffer a torrent of abuse from England fans during the next England game against Egypt on Wednesday and beyond.

For Wayne Bridge he decided not to shake Terry's hand on Saturday and most notably will forfeit his place at this summer's World Cup for the sake of team unity, since many of the players have been divided over the whole affair. Bridge not going to the World Cup should have longer repercussions as he would most likely to have featured in the team, especially since Ashley Cole the first choice left back is now injured and is in serious danger of missing the World Cup. Now England have to rely on two young left backs who have very little international experience between them - Stephen Warnock and Leighton Baines.

For Vanessa Perroncel she has been keeping quiet over the whole incident, probably due to the alleged fact her silence has been bought by John Terry. However she did harp in on Wayne Bridge's decision not to go to the World Cup, saying he was making a mistake. I don't think she has any moral standpoint to start off on, especially if the stories are true she slept around with half the Chelsea team and only slept with Wayne Bridge because he was a prominent footballer with money. Right now she should keep quiet for the rest of her life, since she isn't coming out of this smelling like roses.

So should we care about this story? Should we care what footballers' do in their private lives, as long they can perform on the pitch? In one sense - No, it is their private lives and they can do what they want. In another sense - Yes, we pay their wages and they are used as role models for younger kids and footballers and should set an example. There is no right answer to this.

In related news Ashley Cole, another Chelsea footballer, was found to have had another string of affairs behind the back of his wife Cheryl Tweedy, who is a singer for the girl band Girls Aloud and who is also a judge on the UK talent show X-Factor. Thankfully Cheryl has now split up with Ashley. Ever since I knew of the first affair years ago, I knew this would happen and he would re-offend. Ever since he sodded off to Chelsea since he wasn't being paid the seventy thousand pounds per week he wanted instead of the fifty-five thousand pounds per week Arsenal Football Club were offering him from his previous thirty thousand pounds per week, I just knew he was a prick.

Let's just say I don't have sympathy for John Terry and Ashley Cole. They were lying cheat cocks to their wives and they don't deserve their love. I have more sympathy for Tiger Woods, for some strange reason. Golf needs Tiger Woods to come back and dominate the sport. At least Tiger Woods have more remorse, apologizing in public (even though that was really more for the sponsors he has) and gone to sex addiction clinic in a bid to clean up his act. Action speaks louder than words in this case.

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