Brown should just keep walking
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