The WORLD of professional football is inhabited by kids - mostly grown up kids!
English football in particular, but not exclusively, is full of players, managers, club officials and indeed fans who all behave as if they were teenagers back in the school playground.
For decades that world has been exclusively male and the “members” treated it like a boys only club.
That’s the world that Andy Gray and Richard Keys were major figures in, up until their sacking/resignation last week.
Does any of this mean I am trying to somehow exonerate these guys, or say they were right? Of course not, but I think that we have also (in parts of the western world) gone PC (political correctness) mad.
In a world shamefully still unable to feed many of its people, when armies are sent to war to satisfy personal egos, where women in some countries have no rights whatsoever including the right to life should this really merit debate on the national/international stage.
Gray and Keys were wrong but they were idiots not criminals. They could have been allowed to apologise privately and publicly and Sky could have revisited their equality principles with all its employees but the PC brigade wanted blood and they got it.
Many of those who jumped on the bandwagon, like Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand, are hypocrites who know exactly what goes on in the world of football.
I don’t have the space here to go on to this complex argument in detail, but I will make the following points: Like most football fans I still regard female referees, assistants etc. as a bit of a novelty but I’m quite happy to judge them exactly as I would a male in the same position.
I believe that justice, where possible, should have a restorative element and that the “punishment” should reflect the so-called “crime”.
Nothing like that happened in this instance and yet it received more coverage than some truly shocking events which happened in our world at the same time.
What does all that say about us as people and does it also say that sport believes it’s much more important than it really is?
Read more from The Doc every Tuesday in the Derry Journal