Whilst on that legendary track the crooner was, as the song’s title reveals, talking about change coming, in this instance it’s been a long time coming but yesterday the FA finally descended into lunacy.
There have been a number of instances that suggested it was coming especially in their dealings with United but the FA’s decision to charge Wayne Rooney following his expletive laden out burst after his 3rd goal against West Ham on Saturday has indeed proved that our game is being governed by idiots.
There will be a bit of a sociology lesson here (Thanks to Mrs. O’Loughlin my A-Level won’t go to waste!) as I try and make sense of this whole debacle so please bear with me.
Swearing has always been taboo so all kinds of constraints have been put in place in order to protect our morality from the effing and blinding of the ‘bad people’. Ideas like watershed, bleeping and time delays have been employed so when Wayne Rooney managed to circumvent these methods and shouted ‘What? Fucking What?’ at the camera on Saturday afternoon I could hear Helen Lovejoy of ‘The Simpsons’ screaming in her shrill tone,
“Will someone please think of the children?”
The thing is, when thinking of the children, Rooney’s outburst isn’t as bad as it has been made out.
We were taught to differentiate between the criminal and the deviant and whilst some would loe for Wayne to be hung, drawn and quartered for swearing for me and most what he did falls more into the category of deviant rather than criminal, as he ‘violated’ the norms of society.
Speaking of society, as the years have gone on we have become more secular. Things that were taboo have become publicly acceptable whether we as a society agree or not. For the best example of what I mean I point you in the direction of films and their certificates.
In the UK the ’12A’ rating was introduced in 2002 to accomodate society’s shift. It meant that children aged 12 (whilst accompanied with an adult) were allowed to view films with slightly more adult orientated themes. This included use of ‘adult’ language. Swearing, whilst still frowned upon, has become more accepted and this is probably why, there is such shock at the fact he has been pulled up on.
Beyond that consider another point.
All through the media we are constantly told how bad the youth of today has become, with the the rise of the ‘hoody’ and ‘chav’ kids hanging around on street corners making a nuisance of themselves late at night. On a more serious note youth crime is rising with murders amongst other things on the rise.
Whilst this is a damning indictment of the society we live in and some of us are or will be raising children in, it is sadly a reality so why are people taking a moral high ground and acting like Wayne Rooney’s actions on Saturday are the sole corrupting force of the youth of today and that he alone has now corrupted a generation?
There is no denying that he will inevitably have sway over young people, it happens but him swearing on camera is nothing these kids, who the media have declared rotten, haven’t seen before. Wayne was officially charged with “use of offensive, insulting and/or abusive language” and whilst that can’t be denied, you must then go and look through every single game of football played and ensure that no players are guilty of the same, something that obviously won’t happen.
Swearing happens in the game, it would be too easy to sit here and reel off a list of players who this weekend alone were guilty of the same crime Rooney is charged with and even worse than directing it at a camera directed their ire at a referee but will remain free to carry on with their season.
Worse than swearing, The FA could look at Didier Drogba who had a flare up with a fan after his game with Stoke or Michael Essien’s two footed lunge on Jermain Pennant that went unpunished in the same game or more importantly the racial abuse the families of Victor Obinna and Fredrique Piquionne suffered at Upton Park. Of course these are just suggestions but they are logical options and the FA seem to be operating without so they will probably won’t.
Importantly Rooney apologised for his outburst so hopefully if he appeals that will be taken into consideration but realistically he shouldn’t even have a charge to face in the first place, so whilst it may appear wishful thinking hopefully common sense will prevail.
There! I did all that without mention the term ‘ABU’ or referring to how it appears there is a plan to derail our attempts at a 19th league title.