AND THEIR MANAGERS ARE THEIR PARENTS.
Last weekend saw extensive coverage on the news about how children whose parents "find it difficult" to say no can be disruptive in the classroom...not really NEWs to most teachers I suspect.
In my (warped) mind this segued rather neatly into the RESPECT debate currently surrounding football in England. Last Wednesday we had the extraordinarily petulant behaviour of Ashley Cole on being punished for a dangerous tackle. How like some uppity teenager he was as he turned his back on the ref, unbelievable, yes. Unsurprising, sadly no. It was absolutely typical of many people in todays society who seem simply pathologically incapable of accepting responsibility for their actions. They obviously never listened in physics classes...for every action a reaction.
Fast forward to Sunday's North West derby, United vs Liverpool. Javier Mascherano gets booked for dissent. As the camera focussed on him after the booking you could see him shouting expletive after f-word at the ref. This went on until just before half time when (according to his manager) he again approached the ref (from 20m away) to "ask him a question". As a consequence he got a 2nd yellow followed by a red and had to go off...but he couldn't understand why because he only wanted to ask a question...GROW UP YOU OVERPAID FOOL.
Now did his manager, whose reaction in the dugout indicated that he knew that this would happen, come out and back the ref for taking this decision...NO. The player did nothing wrong. He had only been booked for dissent previously, he had only carried on a non stop torrent of abuse at the ref. I would like to think that if Rafa Benitez took a hard line with his player, in public, then that player would be very loath to commit a similar error in the future.
This brings me to the point of this post, and I'm not talking about the role model position that these footballers should occupy. How many of us teachers have taken some form of disciplinary action against a pupil to find that a parent takes exception to it. As teachers we are expected to take on the role "in loco parentis" yet as soon as the s**t hits the fan, it becomes our fault. It's never wee Johnny's. He was upstairs doing his homework all night etc, etc. . Surely if parents accept the discipline imposed on their kids at school then maybe discipline in society will start to improve.
To go back to football I used to enjoy running teams at school. I have refused to do for the last 3 years because I will not ref a match. Maybe I am being soft but I do not see why I should have to put up with insults from teen age players and from the sidelines, insults that would not be tolerated in class. My breaking point was being told to f-off by one of my own players and then being sworn at by his Dad because I subbed him for it. Makes you wonder doesn't it.
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