In Protection of Tv, Soccer’s All-Goal Villain

We now have been right here earlier than. Again within the spring, in the course of the first wave of the pandemic, British lawmakers seized eagerly on the concept that the Premier League’s millionaire stars ought to all take a pay reduce, as lots of their golf equipment had been requesting. Matt Hancock, the well being secretary, used a information briefing to induce all of them to “make a contribution,” regardless that it was not clear how them permitting the billionaire house owners of their groups to economize would assist the beleaguered Nationwide Well being Service.

This time, the central axis of the controversy is a little bit completely different. The federal government is worried, apparently, that gamers’ celebrating targets is “sending the improper message” at a time when the nation as a complete is forbidden by legislation from even seeing family and friends, a lot much less hugging them. Lawmakers have written to the leagues to remind them of the necessity to comply with restrictions. The leagues have, duly, written to their golf equipment. The information media has brimmed with fulmination.

To be clear: there are protocols in place that gamers and their golf equipment should adhere to if soccer is to proceed within the pandemic, guidelines that exist for their very own safety and the safety of society as a complete. Gamers who’re proved to have damaged these protocols away from the sphere, if something, haven’t been punished sufficient.

However a ban on celebrating targets isn’t a part of these protocols. The gamers have all been examined, typically greater than as soon as every week. If they’re on the sphere, we’ve got to imagine they’re away from the virus. If we can’t assume that, they shouldn’t be taking part in in any respect. They’re no nearer throughout celebrations than they’re at nook kicks. If the previous isn’t secure, then neither is the latter. There have been no instances of transmission between groups throughout video games, and even amongst a single crew: The place there have been outbreaks, they appear to have taken place at coaching services.

Celebrating targets, in different phrases, is a nonissue. That it has been allowed to develop into an issue, to take air away from all of these issues that genuinely matter, is as a result of lawmakers are as soon as once more in want of a handy villain, and since sections of the information media can’t resist an opportunity to indulge a budget thrill of click-inducing indignity. And each, in such circumstances, know precisely the place to look.

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