We’ve moved on since the days when miscreants like Carragher were placed in the stocks and pelted with rotten fruit. But not by any great stretch.
Later on, Carragher was suspended by Sky – and temporarily forced out of his analyst’s role on Monday Night Football.
As a result, poor Gary Neville was left to present coverage of Stoke v Manchester City alongside David Jones from a gantry overlooking the pitch, forsaking the studio bunker where he and Carra usually analyse the bejesus out of the weekend’s action.
Neville had tweeted his support for his colleague, even though Carragher had been reacting to the sort of taunting, from the victim’s father, which Neville himself might have indulged in after a Manchester United v Liverpool fixture.
Gary’s brother Phil could not have done the same, having suspended his Twitter account after the revelation of the sexist tweeting he got away with when recently appointed as England’s women’s manager.
Red Nev and Jones didn’t mention their Scouse pal’s misdeed on a sombre show last night, yet a point had been made.
This was no time for technical gizmos or tactical deconstruction. Not while a young girl was forced to wash Carragher’s saliva out of her hair.
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Sky even cut MNF by an hour – a measure you’d only normally expect when a monarch had died.
The first scheduled half-hour was replaced by a re-run of Peter Crouch’s 100 Premier League goals.
Crouch, the Premier League footballer least likely to direct sputum at a child, performed his robot dance and viewers were transported back to happier times.
In place of the final scheduled half-hour we had a re-run of Manchester City’s famous title-clinching win over QPR, featuring Joey Barton being red-carded for a spree of violence.
Barton, naturally, had been on the radio earlier yesterday, suggesting Carragher would be lucky to keep his job. Although he’d avoided the sack after being imprisoned for a concerted street assault while at Newcastle United.
Spitting, we keep hearing, is less manly and forgivable than wanton violence.
Vinnie Jones, who’s obviously discovered irony since becoming an actor, agreed with Barton.
Yet Carragher will be spared the axe, it seems, his public contrition seemingly designed to allow him back after a spell in sackcloth and ashes.
But all the while football’s moral compass spins around uncontrollably.
The brotherhood of punditry stands, heads bowed, in disgrace – with perhaps only Jose Mourinho any happier for all of this mess.
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