Brown should just keep walk­ing

The Rugby Paper - - Internationals -

MIKE Brown this week gave his ver­sion of the exchange with an Eng­land fan as he went down the tun­nel fol­low­ing the loss in Bloem­fontein. Brown said the fan was abu­sive and yelled that he had not been try­ing.

Brown said that he didn’t mind be­ing told that he was not good enough, or had played badly, but that he took se­ri­ous ex­cep­tion to the ac­cu­sa­tion that he did not give ev­ery­thing when he wears the Red Rose.

When I asked him whether, even though the ac­cu­sa­tion was clearly wrong, he un­der­stood why Eng­land fans might be frus­trated he re­fused to con­sider it. “Next ques­tion,” he said.

I un­der­stand his sense of in­dig­na­tion at sup­port­ers ques­tion­ing his in­tegrity as an Eng­land player, but what the Harlequins full-back should con­sider is that re­mon­strat­ing with fans is a no-win sce­nario. Sup­port­ers pay the money at the gate, and through TV sub­scrip­tions, that go a long way to pay­ing player wages.

When they know play­ers are earn­ing £25,000 a game play­ing for Eng­land they also feel they have a right to give their opin­ion – even if it is mis­guided and some­times bor­ders on the ob­nox­ious if their team plays poorly. The lat­ter is made more likely if they have had a skin­ful at the sta­dium.

I’m not sug­gest­ing that it’s easy to do when you are a pro sports­man sub­jected to fan abuse, but when you are in a tun­nel and all you have to do is keep walk­ing to get out of earshot, keep walk­ing.

Flare up: Mike Brown

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