A guest on ITV’s Good Morning Britain has argued that fabulously wealthy footballers need to stay out of politics and leave democratically elected governments to get on with it.
Appearing on the show to discuss footballers acting as role models, journalist and broadcaster Mike Parry made a cast-iron case for players to stick to their day jobs.
Using Marcus Rashford as an example, Parry explained how the Manchester United and England forward “stimulated the interest in school meals and got it going.
“But he got politicians to change their minds. Now, I want people who run the country to be elected by voters like me, I don’t want young footballers running the country.”
Parry heaped praise on this generation of footballers for their charity work. “I am hugely full of admiration for them,” he said.
“The modern young footballer has more of a woke attitude for life than any young footballers have ever had.”
While many viewers would dispute being woke is a virtue, Parry’s follow-on comments will have struck a chord with the public in illustrating why football stars should not pose as political leaders.
“They earn £200,000 a week! It doesn’t cost you [footballers] anything but it could cost the country if politicians who are elected cave in and decide to change the way the country’s run because a young footballer who’s very popular and has a stage, normally a football pitch and an interview afterwards, to say things.
“I don’t think that’s how the country should be run.”
GMB host Susanna Reid opposed Parry. “The prime minister and the chancellor – I mean, the chancellor is extremely wealthy, the prime minister was part of the Bullingdon Club when he was at Oxbridge. Footballers are much more in touch with the issues of real people,” she responded.
The immediate reaction to GMB’s Twitter post was overwhelmingly positive. “I agree with Mike Perry also fans are not booing the knee they are booing the gesture as being political look at last night in Manchester on their knee with clenched fist in the air no room for politics sun sport,” said one person.
Another drew attention to young millionaire footballers’ antics: “Mike is right they’re put in a bubble as soon as they’re snapped up by big teams, then the money goes to their heads n buy fast flash cars, how many footballers have written off expensive cars, while speeding even under the influence.”
Among the comments was criticism towards England manager Gareth Southgate, who stood by his players taking the knee, the controversial gesture associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, before matches at Euro 2020. “Southgate has become a social worker not a football coach,” commented a third person.