Footballers are kings among men

The debate regarding footballers doing what they want in society, crept into our lively office conversation this morning. It was interesting to see my fellow colleagues reaction to the Marlon King story.

If you've been living in a cave for the last week or so, you can read what Marlon King did here, here and here.

The split between the office was fairly interesting. No one stuck up for King, as in saying that he didn't do it and it was mistaken identity, as the player himself stated, but there were a few that felt sorry for the individual.

I won't sit on the fence in this case. Marlon King deserves everything he gets, although I must add that I do feel sorry for the family he's left behind.

My colleagues that felt pity for the player, came up with the standard comments of; "you don't know what it's like being a Premier League footballer", "the pressure that's on their shoulders is so intense", "Premier League players rarely have an education to speak of and yet are thrust into environments that can cause things like this to materialise".

I don't buy any of it. King's comment of "Do you know who I am? I’m a millionaire" (the night he battered a woman) will be left reverberating in my head for ages. To be fair, it is only a minority of players that follow the long dark path into thinking they are kings among men and Marlon Francis King is one of them. I am fully behind Wigan's Chairman, Dave Whelan. The straight-talking Bradford born businessman said;

"He is absolutely sacked - we will not tolerate football players who get sent to jail for 18 months. As far as we are concerned, he is finished with football at Wigan Athletic. Young people look up to professional footballers and we must have standards. At Wigan we're mad keen on setting standards and our players, generally, are absolutely brilliant. It can happen to any club - this has happened while the lad was on loan to Hull. I don't blame Hull in any way, shape or form, but we have to stand up and be counted."

Thing is, would Dave Whelan have said and done the same thing if Marlon King was a 30-goal a season player? It's a tricky one.

A few media sources have said that King will be out within 4-6 months on good behaviour. It also came up in the conversation that the player stands to lose over £2 million in wages. Oh poor thing. Let's not forget the 5 months he spent locked up in 2002 when he was caught driving a stolen £30,000 Bimmer. He's also been arrested a further 7 times for violence against women, dishonesty and driving offences.

Some footballers have got to understand that they are not above the law. Joey Barton, for example, has never understood this. Don't they realise the privileged position they're in? I know this is cliché, but my own son (a Manchester United fan unfortunately), started to act like Rooney when the ref pulled him up on one occasion last year. I was disgusted with him and let him know it.

Kids, no matter what you say, watch these Premier League players and imitate them. I know it's been said a million times before, but are we making excuses for them? For example, the nightclub that this incident happened in, didn't call the police. Why? Could it be that a few other Premier League players visit it frequently? It wouldn't seem appropriate for the business to be seen reporting on one of its best customers now, would it?

Players are responsible for their own actions. Whether another club goes in for Marlon King when he's out of prison will be interesting.

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