Predictably, the papers are full of the alleged marital indiscretion of England and Chelsea captain John Terry and questioning whether he should be allowed to continue as captain of the England squad at this year’s World Cup Finals.
For me, the answer is very simple…No!
I say this not because of what he has done but because of the arrogance demonstrated in the way he has done it.
Whether this is a one-off transgression or whether more stories will surface in the near future, I do not know but so far at least he has not even expressed regret.
Terry did not ‘come clean’ when he became aware he was about to be exposed by the press but, instead, resorted to legal action to gain a complete injunction against the allegation being published in the UK media.
Fortunately, this injunction was lifted last Friday by Mr Justice Tugendhat who made it clear he thought Terry was more interested in protecting his lucrative advertising sponsorship than protecting the privacy of his family. Mr Justice Tugendhat also said:
“Freedom to live as one chooses is one of the most valuable freedoms.
“But so is the freedom to criticise – within the limits of the law – the conduct of other members of society as being socially harmful, or wrong.”
Terry chose the girlfriend of a teammate – and a friend of his wife – as the focus of his attention and according to the press, paid for her to have an abortion when she became pregnant with his child.
In reality, he was not just cheating on his wife but cheating the general public and his sponsors by selling his image as that of a responsible role model.
Sadly, in the world of football things like infidelity are not often thought of as being a red card offence; I remember several instances over the last decade – including that of an England coach.
Meanwhile, the general public seem to be more impressed by the amount of money a player earns in a week, or the ‘flash’ cars they are seen to be driving. Football players have become celebrities and many of them think they can do what they like, when they like and get away with it. They are arrogant.
Whoever captains the England squad should be an ambassador for the whole country and a genuine role model for the young. He should not be someone who behaves as John Terry has done. Respect is something that should be earned and not something that can just be bought.
So, on balance, I think Terry’s behaviour has been less than that we should expect of someone worthy to lead the England team into the Finals.
In the meantime, his betrayed wife has – like all betrayed wives of celebrities seem to do – flown to sunnier climes to concentrate on her tan and her future.
The alleged ex-mistress is said to be negotiating the sale of her story to the media for a sum that most of us will never see in our lifetimes.
Welcome back to the real world!