Role models, role models, role models

11 08 2013

Today the dissatisfied host of Sunday Morning Live (The host of this programme is contractually obliged to be dissatisfied with everything) posed questions about football and it’s role in relation to role-modelism;

“With the Premier League season about to start, Nick Ferrari laments the lack of positive role models for young boys. This leads in to our second debate: Do footballers need to be role models?”

“Who is this football expert Nick Ferrari?” I hear you ask. Well he’s a bigmouth that’s employed to be tediously controversial on the radio. His Wikipedia biography tells us all we need to know;

 “A friend of former The Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, Ferrari joined him at L!VE TV where he devised such programmes as Topless Darts, the News Bunny and the weather presented by a dwarf on a trampoline.”

Yeah great, he’s patently the most suitable person in the world to be asking whether footballers are suitable role models. I don’t know about you but I’m desperate to read more of his thoughts. Here are his views about the new England kit in glorious rant-o-color;

“Confused? Check out the new England football team shirt. Apart from printing names like Muller and Beckenbauer on the back of the tops, manufacturers Nike couldn’t have done much more to copy the look of one of our fierce rivals, Germany.

The supposedly blue piping around the neck of the shirt is in truth so dark it looks like the Teutonic-favoured black trim. While that will hopefully sink any chances of this creation selling well, surely the more important point is why does a team that is, at best, less than bloody average feel the need to change its strip as often as Beckham changes his socks? It can’t be to make room for the football trophies those hapless, over-hyped Herberts have lifted!”

I’ll bet Nicol-arse is the life and soul at parties until someone inadvertently mentions recycling or “Them Foreigners”. Let us give thanks to the media that provides access to the people with angry right-wing opinions!!!!

Anyway back to the story, or is it non-story?, why do we ascribe the status of “role model” to footballers? I wouldn’t have thought that the genetic gifts of athleticism and football skills equip a person for a role as a moral compass.

Do footballers gain the status of moral compass because they’re relatively rich in comparison to the rest of the working population?  People with well-paid jobs – doctors, lawyers, headteachers, academics – are judged on moral grounds. However these sorts of roles naturally provide moral leadership.

It’s patently obvious that footballers shouldn’t be paid large amounts and it’s patently obvious that nobody needs more than a living wage but obscene wage packets are a natural symptom of capitalism. There’s no need to get bogged down in this argument here because it’s a different argument.

I dare say that money has something to do with role model status of footballers but it’s probably too simplistic to limit our considerations to money. Other well-paid celebrities –  actors, pop-stars, big-name comedians, Simon Cowell – aren’t tarred with the baton of moral leadership and some well-paid jobs – CEO, Currency trader, hedge-fund manager – are curiously free of moral considerations.

An interesting question raises its head here; why aren’t the lives of hedge-fund managers subject to forensic public scrutiny? Why aren’t we told intimate details about their consumption of designer goods or their socialising habits? Why aren’t these people judged in the same way?

The disparity in comparative coverage between hedge fund managers and footballers seems a little off-key. If we compared “footballer” to “hedge-fund manager” which job has more of a negative effect upon society? Which job exerts a negative effect upon society just because it’s carried out? “Footballer” is the wrong answer to both questions.

What quality does the role of “footballer” have that other jobs don’t? Could it be that footballers are generally working class? Is it that media commentators think  that footballers, and the working class in general, are to be sneered at and reminded that they’re tolerated under sufferance?

The apparent dearth of role models in football is a problem that arises because the media dictates a certain agenda. We should beware of this as their agenda is often morally ambivalent.  If you think this is just the claptrap of a liberal Marxist scumbag nonce let’s consider last Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph.

The front page’s headline told us that; “30 CHARITY CHIEFS PAID MORE THAN 100,000 (pounds)” with illustrative quotes from the Tory Priti Patel; “Hard pressed taxpayers deserves to know how their money is being spent blah, blah, blah…”

The business editor’s comment had the headline “Brussels’ political gesture to curb bonuses is simply bad banking

In other words there should be more control over charities than banks. Let’s consider this idea while we consider whether banks or charities have done the most damage to British society in the last 5 years.



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