The Jamie Carragher spitting incident and the apparent double standards in second chances.
“It was a moment of madness”. This quote was a reflection of the regrettable incident which unfolded last Saturday after the Manchester United vs Liverpool match in the eyes of the former Liverpool player turned Sky Sports pundit; Jamie Carragher.
Footage of the confrontation between a 14 year old girl and her Father (Manchester United supporters) and the ex-footballer went viral in the immediate aftermath of the match, becoming a talking point as much as the 90 minutes of football which preceded it.
The incident is an unfortunate stain on the character of Carragher who has otherwise enjoyed a glittering career not only as an exemplary footballer but also as a fantastic pundit. In his chosen position as a defender he played his role wonderfully well on many occasions, shielding the goal and making himself a very tough personality to play against.
Subsequently after retiring from the sport, his pathway as a football pundit has been similarly sparkling with the 'Monday night football' program in particular, becoming an outstanding success due to his brilliant insight and in-depth analysis alongside Gary Neville.
The event which transpired has undoubtedly hit him hard. He has been brutally honest about his actions which have affected not only his family but also the affected party who unfortunately have been dragged into this media storm.
He has clearly held himself fully accountable to this fiasco when he could have gone on the route of claiming that the constant goading of the Father of the 14 year old girl was the trigger and for that he must be commended.
The days and weeks ahead will be a strenuous challenge for Carra since he has been in the public eye for a long period of time and perceptions of society are bound to have had an impact as a result of the occurrence.
Whilst his action was clearly over-board and rightly earned him a suspension till the end of the Football Season from Sky Sports, he has taken immediate attempts to right the wrong.
He has repeatedly apologized to all concerned parties specifically to the family involved in this altercation and the expressions of the ex-England International speaks of a man who is desperate to get back in to public reckoning and re-ignite his life personally and professionally going forward.
Essentially, he is seeking a second chance. Giving second chances to human beings remains a subjective point of opinion in the eyes of many. Some believe on not giving second chances thereby underlying the blunder committed to define the stated individual.
Whereas others believe positively on the concept of acknowledging guilt and that the error committed should not overshadow the positive factor in the concerned person’s character.
As humans, none of us can call ourselves utterly flawless, we are prone to making mistakes. The challenge is to acknowledge the failure and act responsibly, ensure that it does not reoccur and seek forgiveness from all who have been hurt by our actions.
What you would hope is that people accept your apology through which they understand that one lapse in concentration or a slip up should not haunt you for the rest of your life and you deserve a second chance to move forward.
However, it does not remain the case all the time. A proportion of people in our midst just cannot get themselves to accept an apology for an event, be it public or private. A few will feel that Carragher deserves to be punished and should have been sacked from Sky Sports instead of a suspension either in their capacity as the non-football following general public or as a fan of a rival football club.
It is somewhat ironic that these same people who show no compassion towards a sincere and heartfelt apology expect mercy and second chances from fellow human beings for their blunders .That is simply the definition of a biased double standard.
Carragher is mature enough to understand that no matter what he tries to do in the righteous path towards repairing his reputation, he may not win everyone’s confidence back again.
All that he can do right now is to pursue the upward path of redemption and hope that in time people will understand that for a few seconds in his life he suffered a blur between being a responsible pundit in the employment of Sky and being a die-hard fan of his beloved Liverpool Football Club.
“A moment of madness” should not define his or anyone’s life and hence he deserves a second chance.