Surely, some­body’s tak­ing the rise here

The Football League Paper - - CHRIS DUNLAVY -

SAMIR CAR­RUTHERS p***** in a glass. James Collins poured it out.Wow. What a pair of de­gen­er­ates. What a dis­grace. What a stain on hu­man­ity. What an over­re­ac­tion, more like. We’ve got plenty to worry about at the mo­ment. Con­flict in the Middle East. The loom­ing spectre of a re­newed Cold War.

A mad-eyed loon on the cusp of be­com­ing a pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee. An econ­omy in re­verse.

But what was blazed across the front page of The Sun? That’s right, a cou­ple of young blokes who p****d in a class. Get a grip, man.

The Daily Mail, pre­dictably pi­ous, de­scribed a ‘de­bauched ’,‘ sick­en­ing act’ as if Car­ruthers and Collins had butchered a puppy or vi­o­lated Sprinter Sacre in the win­ner’s en­clo­sure.

We were told how Zara Phillips was ‘shocked’, as if we’re sup­posed to care about the sen­si­bil­i­ties of a woman so pam­pered she’ll never have to work a day in her life.

An­i­mals

Reader com­ments – al­ways fun­nier than a night at the Com­edy Store – were even more deranged.

“They should be brought be­fore the Court for in­de­cent ex­po­sure and banned from play­ing foot­ball for at least 6 months with no pay,” said one. “They are a dis­grace to the coun­try.”

Or this fella, from Ox­ford­shire. “They (foot­ballers) think they are gods and can get away with any­thing th­ese days.

“This sort of drunken dis­play would never had been even thought of in days gone by, let alone played out.

“They are a dis­grace to the hu­man race! An­i­mals are bet­ter be­haved than this bunch of id­iots.”

I’ll say it one more time, just in case you thought you’d stum­bled upon some kind of war crimes ex­pose. We’re talk­ing about pee­ing in a glass, then pour­ing it onto an empty lawn. At the races, a place where ham­mered blokes in suits have done far worse.

Yes, Car­ruthers made a mis­take in the sense that he was a foot­baller and – all to­gether, now – a role model to kids. That’s why he apol­o­gised. But did you act with to­tal pro­pri­ety when you were 23 and on the razz?

Were your drunken es­capades a sig­nal of some deep-rooted de­prav­ity?

Of course not.You were young, daft, and hav­ing a laugh. There’s no shame in that. The overblown re­ac­tion to the es­capades of Collins and Car­ruthers is a clas­sic ex­am­ple of the cul­ture of out­rage in­ad­ver­tently spawned by so­cial me­dia.

Ev­ery minute of ev­ery day, le­gions of key­board war­riors are just wait­ing to take of­fence, de­mand apolo­gies and un­leash bile. Rarely can a celebrity open their mouth with­out be­ing ac­cused of racism, sex­ism, loutish­ness or some other per­ceived in­jus­tice.

Just look at the furore that sur­rounded Top Gear’s stunt at White­hall.

All they did was pull a few wheel­spins near the Ceno­taph, a mon­u­ment erected to men who died de­fend­ing free­dom of ex­pres­sion.

Yet the hoary old favourites – “dis­re­spect­ful”, “dis­grace­ful”, “thought­less” – were all wheeled out, duly fol­lowed by weedling apolo­gies from the BBC.

Why? They did noth­ing wrong be­side up­set a few at­ten­tion-seek­ing sad cases.

Ten years ago, no­body would have cared if a Cham­pi­onship no­body dodged the toi­let cue by fill­ing a pint glass.

Ming­ing

Now, driven by a prej­u­diced per­cep­tion of young foot­ballers and fed by a cul­ture of faux out­rage, it is na­tional news.

That says far less about the char­ac­ter of Car­ruthers and Collins than it does about the con­fused pri­or­i­ties of a so­ci­ety hell bent on moral cen­sor­ship. Car­ruthers and Collins didn’t let their fam­i­lies down. They didn’t let the com­mu­nity down.

They cer­tainly didn’t de­serve a sav­aging on the front pages.

All they did was some­thing a bit silly and a bit ming­ing.

Now can ev­ery­body climb off their

high horses, give the saint­li­ness a rest and stop bleat­ing like Mary White­house.

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