How Should Moral Standards and Crime Be Treated in Football?

 In recent years there have been a trickle of high profile cases where professional footballers have broken the law and in the cases of Lee Hughes and former Plymouth Argyle goalkeeper Luke McCormick their actions have resulted in the deaths of others.

Luke McCormick is still in jail but Hughes and King have now been released and despite a great deal of protest been able to restart their careers. 

The protests and upset that Hughes and King caused when they returned to football was understandable both committed albeit different crimes both of which cause anger and sorrow that an apology cannot dampen.

Some clubs were unwilling to take the players on with Hughes dropping down a division to League One with Oldham and Marlon King finding a home with Coventry.

Whilst Hughes has gone onto become a hero at new club Notts County due to his performances, some of the fans I have spoken to still feel uneasy cheering the player knowing his past.

There was great debate as to whether after their convictions there was a place in football for these players, some particularly those close to those affected called for life bans from the game. Citing the role model aspect and the message that it sends that after committing such a crime they can go back to their previous lifestyle.

This sits uneasy with me, two individuals were imprisoned for their crimes in line with the law, for action to be taken by the FA on moral grounds would not only deprive two individuals a livelihood but set a dangerous precedent that the FA should get involved with the moral activities of players.

If a player serves his time and the crime was not football related then should a club wish to employ a person in spite of this, it may not always sit well but should we not accept it?

Unfortunately though footballers are still seen as role models, of the England team the captain, vice captain and former captain have all found themselves shamed on the front of national newspapers and that’s without mentioning the terrible PUNK’D show that Rio Ferdinand took part in to shame himself. 

The real issue here however is not whether the behaviour of players should be monitored but the role of the media in our society.

Footballers are not good role models, they are young, wealthy and not always the sharpest minds, nothing is out of their reach financially. 

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