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Should A Player's Personal Life Indiscretions Matter?
KTown (1. Kaiserslautern) 6 years ago
As long as there have been professional athletics, there have been professional athletes that have been embroiled in controversy. Alcoholism, drug use, betting on one's own games, adultery, rigging of equipment, fixing matches, cheap shots and overall boorish behavior, to name a few. The sport doesn't matter-they all have their characters.

Most recently, in the world of football, Wayne Rooney has had his turn in the tabloids (again). This begs the question of whether or not an athlete's off-field life should be called into question. Should a coach, general manager or even the owner have a say in the matter? Would league involvement be necessary? Should lucrative sponsorship deals be canceled automatically? Does any of it really matter as long as player or team performance doesn't suffer?

This is not intended to be a forum to bash Wayne Rooney or use only his circumstances to talk about; he just happens to be the latest athlete to make headlines for personal issues and is a footballer as well. The included link is to a Bleacher Report blog about scandals ruining sports. Not all the examples cited happened away from the particular sport; some were directly related to a game or event but nonetheless serve as a point for discussion.

Tony (footytube staff) 6 years ago
Only if its a crime, and effects anyone in the public domain, apart from that I don't see sleeping around as a crime, its an everyday occurance, and should a banker lose his job because he's been found out having it away with some girl he met in a nightclub?
Was it the secretary at his bank that makes ALL the difference, and it would be sackable.
Should a car mechanic lose his job because he was with someone elses wife at the weekend?
Why then should a footballer be any different, of course should it be a man utd club employee, or someone conected to any of them, that would make things a lot different, and you would have to sack the player involved.
But honestly, who doesent know someone whos sleeping around? Its not something new, even the royal family are guilty of it bigstyle.... Lol
Juno (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Should a coach, general manager or even the owner have a say in the matter?

I'll say no. A coach maybe. But definitely not the GM and owner. For GMs and Owners, the lifestyle of a player does not directly affects their work. When they open their mouth to comment, I'm sure most of them are not sure even if they are suppose to be responsible for the players. Take an example: AC Milan- Berlusconi. My club owner's own scandals and news must be tons more than his set of players add up.... Does the players have the right to question his life, his doings, his decisions? The people of Italy maybe.... That's when he's the Prime Minister. But otherwise, when he's not the PM, nobody should be able to question him.
A coach. Coach's job might be directly affected if the player in question is his star player, and subsequently failed to pick up from his personal life wreckage and that in terms affected the results. That's why if a coach wants to have a go at his player, I see it fit to do so.

Would league involvement be necessary?

That's ludicrous. If you are working for a big company, and you got yourself into a scandal, do you think the union which the company is in should interfere? Should the union bar the company from trading if the scandal is not solve? When is it a personal thingy matters to the lot? Only when you are answerable to the people that you are taking care of(or working for). Like if you are the PM, or CEO or whatever top level position, you must maintain your credibility.

Should lucrative sponsorship deals be cancelled automatically?

Really, that depends on what the product is. And how severe it(scandal) affects the player's reputation. In Tiger Woods case, it seriously impact on his goody image he built. But it really should depends on how the commercial products and company feels about the scandal and how much impact it would cost.

Does any of it really matter as long as player or team performance doesn't suffer?

It matters to the fans for one. The fans who worship these players for their image and talents would be heartbroke to see what a real human being looks like. Sometimes, when you are a fanatic, you can forgo all the wrongs did by your idols, sometimes you can't.
If the player and team performance doesn't suffer, then perhaps its easier to forget about the thing(fans have short memories).
But really, its HIS problems. Not ours. We can make all our opinions on him(or them), but ultimately, because you and I (fans) are not sports celebrities, when we did wrong, say infidelity, there's no paparazzi on our tails, we only have our spouse and families to answer to. Who never does anything 'incorrect' in their lives? Why should the scandal affects a player's personal life? And for that matter if his performance never dips, who are we to criticise him? And on what grounds?

I browsed through Bleacher Report blog, and have this to say. If the paparazzi are outlawed to probe into someone else's business, then sports will have no problem. If the scandal is directly responsible for the game like: Calciopoli or some game-fixing, yeah report them, however, if it concerns someone's own business, its should be outlawed. The reporters should be liable for sue. I meant who wants their private life to be reported? Still we are living in this age where paparazzi will do whatever to sell news, the sports celebrities just have to get on with life. Time will heal everything.

And oh yeah, I'm basing my comments on infidelity and some non-sporting issue. If it concerns match fixing, drugs or something like that, then all the above mentioned wouldn't mean a thing. An athlete got to be professional. Not crook.
Marcinny (New York Red Bulls) 6 years ago
The last paragraph
Pragathish (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Well, maybe I'm the odd one out--I think its upto the player.... He decides what to do off-field. Its his life, his money, he can use/misuse on whatever he wishes to.
BUT on the field, you gotta' be the manager's boy.

One fine example: Last season, Ronaldinho(along with Pato) was heavily criticized for partying late night. But Dinho silenced the critics and he was arguably our player of the season.

So, it doesn't matter to me as long as they keep it clean on the field
Ant (Liverpool) 6 years ago
I think a players off-field life absolutely matters to what happens on the pitch. Take John terry for England. He was stripped of his captaincy, because to be honest how could any player with integrity look to him for leadership? Likewise Rooney. Some South American players (for example) are highly religious. If the figurehead of your team is acting like an absolutely despicable person off the pitch, are you supposed to completely ignore that on the field? There's only a finite amount that its going to work. Apparently Fergie dropped Rooney for the latest game that United drew because he was afraid that Rooney would be torn apart by the Everton fans. Well, aren't every set of opposing fans going to create havok for Rooney for the next while? That will probably affect the whole team. I haven't even talked about the mess Evra made of everything recently and that he's a shadow of his former self.

So to answer the original question;
Should a players personal life indiscretions matter? Probably, no.
Do they matter? Absolutely
6 years ago
As in any job or profession, so long as things that happen in your personal life don't affect your ability to do the job to the best of your ability, then the two things should be completely seperate.

The fact that Ferguson decided to pull Rooney from the squad to protect him from baying supporters of his ex club, shows that on this occassion his personal life has affected his ability to do the job he's paid for. Maybe Manure would have got the full 3 points if he'd been playing....

There are infidelities, drunks, gamblers in all teams - just because they don't hit the tabloids doesn't mean its not going on, yet these players do their jobs week in week out.
ScooterHayes (Chelsea) 6 years ago
I'm sure if every manager had his way, players wouldn't be buying Bugatti Veyron's for them to put into a wall or oncoming traffic (have a ford focus instead), or clubbing into the late hours the night before a game, or cheating on their spouse, or doing anything that their money and egos would allow. But it comes down the the professionalism of the player in dealing with himself off the field, which I do think can affect how he plays on the field. I do believe Rooney is in a slump as a result of his issues, as was John Terry every time he got in trouble.

I think it's unrealistic for managers to hope that their players lives off the pitch won't affect how they play. They should know by now that isn't the case. The best players generally have very quiet lives away from the stadiums and training grounds of their club, even if they get caught out with their kids having an ice cream every once and a while. But when do you see the Messi's, Villa's, etc. Of the world partying, crashing their cars, and drinking into the morning?

I think if managers want to be serious about it, they will spring for players that don't want to live so stupidly. Someone pointed out in the "professionalism" thread that Brazilian stars do get in trouble constantly. And it's true, because they are equated to gods in Brazil, and they can get whatever they want. Like he-she prostitutes and candy-coated pizzas and things of the like...
Lyndon (Panathinaikos Athens) 6 years ago
I think if they are being paid as a job and are on contract for everything else they do. Then yes, yes it does matter. But shouldn't matter to us fans. Though it does
ScooterHayes (Chelsea) 6 years ago
I think contractually some players have more control of how they deal with themselves away from work, for instance, players that have open control of their image or an independent agent. Real Madrid players probably get drilled by Madrid to be careful, because Madrid controls their image, and the players have no buffer between them and work (like an agent is). Image control is left open to players in the EPL, and with the crazed english media, the players are easily caught out.

I looked into it, and can you think of the last time you heard a report of a Madrid player in trouble, caught cheating, etc etc? I (meaning "this is my theory") think Madrid players have one hand in in cuffs and the other in a Madrid publicist's palm when it comes to their media.... But I cannot find one report about Madrid players doing something wrong, not that they don't, just they the (probably entirely Madrid-controlled) media has a noose on it.

In most European countries, players don't get the luxury of the press letting them be. England's press is carnivorous when it comes down to exposing players trash. Brazil may be, but then again the players are so wild anything they do may actually be common knowledge before anything else lol...
Tigermelon (Arsenal) 6 years ago
Well.... What to say? Most is already said. No, we should not care whatever Ronaldo spends his money on or who Rooney spends the night with. But sorry guys: it does matter what a player do after work.
On one hand most of it will in some way have an impact on his (or hers for that matter) performances (whatever anyone says about it, it is not easy to play while you're hangover ), and on the other hand if something is best kept a secret then the press will most definatly find out about it. And well.... Even though there are millions of cheating husbands and people drunk driving, most of them don't make the front page. So most of the time we can pretend like they don't excist, or at least as if they are one small gruop of the community that has nothing to do with us. But football, as the opposite to destroyed marriages and car accidents, is personal. How many hours haven't I wasted on reading, discussing, wathcing and listening to people I don't know or will have the smallest impact on? (I don't even know anyone who work with someone who has a friend who is the cousin of the neighbour to the one who cleans up after Arsenals matches!) And well.... After a time you start taking things personally.... I blush when they stumble in their english and can't help getting a bit angry when they're acting like arrogant brats. The dream about modesty, fairplay and all that just will not let go of me.... And we must all admit that even though some complaining and a couple of rough tackels are a part of the game, no one likes those who spends half their time in the referees ear and the other half braking kneecaps while pretenging going after the ball. And if it's the "deads" of fairplay that counts on the field, then why should it be any different of it? Of course it must be said that the press is harsh, and that Rooney, for an example, is not the first, or the last, to cheat on his wife, but that does noe change the fact that if the stories gets to many then the once so proud sportsman will be reduced to just another scandal-face...
Ant (Liverpool) 6 years ago
It happens in any job. If I worked with a guy I knew was cheating on his wife or beating his kids, I would have less respect for him. On a football pitch this might turn into a player getting less passes than expected, or losing the captaincy (Terry) or not getting to take penalties or freekicks
Ltm017 6 years ago
I will say this to answer your question.

If you have a job do drugs, alcohol, have relationship that involve co-workers, attitudes that reflect the company that people know you are employed with and any other outside activities you do.... Affect your job directly or indirectly?

Yes! Remember when companies looked into people facebook to get an idea of what workers or future employers were like.

Tiger Woods.... When he got caught cheating many companies decided they didn't want him as the face for them anymore
ScooterHayes (Chelsea) 6 years ago
I'm amazed at the stupidity of people when they KNOW how much is at risk! Woods was one of the wealthiest athletes in the world. He basically had an empire of sponsors. Athletes should, like any other person in society, manage themselves in a way that won't doom them to failure. These guys really just bait their own hooks.

It's like employers firing you for stuff you put on your facebook. Don't if you can't afford to
Juno (AC Milan) 6 years ago
These are all wealthy men. Where do you expect them to spend the money.... -__-.... Hmm.... There's only so many cars, houses you can buy.... And you honestly think that these man can "manage themselves in a way that won't doom them to failure. "?
ScooterHayes (Chelsea) 6 years ago
The fact that some do (the highest paid ones certainly do) shows it's at least possible. The pro footballer culture is just marred with this kind of stupidity that tarnishes careers...
Drdownundermum (Charlton Athletic) 6 years ago
I am stunned that so many of you seem to think adultery is an everyday occurrence!
Sorry I just don't look upon it as a mere indiscretion.
Trouble is that the complete bastards seem to earn more respect from their fellow man then the loyal gentlemen. However if you accept the players are not robots then it is the coaches job to have his radar switched on and alert to any disonnance that will affect the teams smooth operation
Lyndon (Panathinaikos Athens) 6 years ago
I'm not sure where you are from but don't kid yourself. "Adultery" as you call it or simply cheating on spouses girlfriends etc. Happens daily, weekly and hourly. Lol come join us in the real world ! Not that I am condoning it, but I'm not denying that it happens
Drdownundermum (Charlton Athletic) 6 years ago
OK Rephrase. I am stunned that so many of you "in the football arena" accept adultery as just an indiscretion and not something to truly regret. It is only the hormonally challenged in a quite small age-range who do that stuff. Prove me wrong
Juno (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Okie. You are wrong. lol
ScooterHayes (Chelsea) 6 years ago
I don't think it's acceptable, but it IS an everyday occurrence.... I don't think we've actually heard about half of the actual stuff going on behind the scenes. The only reasons it's "acceptable" is players still control their personal lives. Managers probably go at 20 fph (face-palms an hour) when it comes to the actions of their millionaire playboy employees.

Players should regret it, but they are always going to have managers, other players, and fans prodding them to get past it and score goals for club and country. Something's got to give in that equation. Even couples that hate each other bitterly don't just get over stuff like this quickly. And (if you live in the states like me, where divorces occur at the rate of 3. 6 dpth {divoreces per thousand households, you start to notice this}) even ones that just casually split because they aren't "in-love" with their partner anymore take forever to get over it!

I think managers do insist that players not do anything stupid (which should be like a universal rule btw), but have no way to enforce it. I WISH they would crack down on it so players would get it through their thick skulls that they can't actually do anything they want with 0 repercussions and that life on and off the field actually DO meet at some point
Drdownundermum (Charlton Athletic) 6 years ago
I agree that "it" is happening daily and hourly. Of course you can smell it everywhere.
On reflection I think it is the same small proportion of people all repeatedly doing it with each other not the masses.

Does Drogba put it about? I don't think so.

SO does that mean match fixing, betting on one's self and generalised boorishness are OK indiscretions aswell?
Juno (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Match fixing are not. Betting are not. Drugs are not. Anything that's illegal are not. An athlete has a contract binding against them betting football but not Casino I believe. If infidelity is bad, how about betting? Smoking? Late nights in pubs? Drinking alcohol? Bad mouthing referees and players? Fights and tussles on the pitch? Why isn't those activities reported widely? I mean lots of footballers and athlete does those things.

These are human beings we are talking about. Unless the country has a law that criminalise the citizens for infidelity, why should footballers' life be exposed to such extend?

Drogba? Who knows? Did anyone knows Rooney's case before it was reported? Or Terry's or Beckham? Before these guys are picked up by the paparazzi, we were calling them role models. Now? But did they disappoint you? But who and how are we related to them that warrants a disappointment from us? If they did drugs or match fixing, then yeah, we are disappointed because ultimately 'we' are paying their salaries to 'entertain' us with the performances on the pitch. Because when the performance drops that much, we are the one 'paying' to suffer. But who are we (paying fans) to demand that athletes need to be role model in terms of values, conduct and how they live their lifes? We don't base own values and conduct from them, we had our own, they are entitled to theirs.

ScooterHayes (Chelsea) 6 years ago

This would be a good example of a players attitude transferring onto the field and hurting the team.

What's worse is it's not exactly like these guys have had that much time to get at each others throats.... It's silly!
Fromtheisland (Toronto) 6 years ago
Just lost alot of respect for ibra. He has just arrived at teh San siro and he is already pulling this crap. He should be conducting himself like a professional with a business like state of mind, not a giant douche. I could never stand team mates like this who wann f**k around. You no if I wasnt a team player or seedroof I would have knocked that son of bitch in the mouth
Pragathish (AC Milan) 6 years ago
Its just a joke...Well,but a nasty joke...Strasser's friend says so... Link:

And here's another piece of Ibra's modesty and professionalism:

Translated convo: Link:

I think I can't contain it...Ibra is a massive arrogant jerk.I wonder how he would have been in his teens... :O
Pragathish (AC Milan) 6 years ago
And coming to the topic : Do these off the field drama matter? Not at all, as long as he proves it on the field.
Milan fans are literally helpless now.... Should I hate him for this, or love him for what he does in the pitch?
ScooterHayes (Chelsea) 6 years ago
Well, if Strasser's side is true, I guess it's a legit response. Okay, Ibra, you have an peculiar sense of humor, but I'll humor you for now...
Drdownundermum (Charlton Athletic) 6 years ago
It must be strange to have your life made into a peepshow for the paparazzi and media etc, but that is why players, are players with financial security cocoon and our interest in them is kinda being bought.

Juno (AC Milan) 6 years ago
But few signed up to gain this side of paparazzi I guess. David Beckham courted them, so its full retribution that his infidelity is found. Who else wanted so much unwanted news? Maybe Ronaldo. Most footballers set out to play football first, or even money comes first. Not these.

Humans can't help but stray. Its wrong to start a war, to kill. How many people has died in war? We can't stop it but that doesn't mean we condone war.
We can't stop niggling bar brawls, infidelities, and lots of other things. But if it's not job related or crime related, we should leave footballers to live a life of their own, instead of suggesting footballers to exercise discretion and be a saint which most man aren't. Leave them alone
KTown (1. Kaiserslautern) 6 years ago

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