On Saturday 10th March 2018 Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-1 in what has historically been considered to be the number one match in the Premier League. Liverpool dominated English football in the 1970s and 1980s and Manchester United did so in the next two decades. Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, now a Sky Sports Pundit, was filmed spitting at fans who drove by while tormenting him about Liverpool’s loss.
What he did:
The obvious thing is that he should have ignored them.
Defending the Undefendable.
Jamie Carragher was wrong. To spit at anybody under any circumstances is a social taboo and out of order. It is black and white and his offense even more obscene because he is a role model and public figure. In the mind of many what makes it even worse was there was a 14 year old girl in the other car who was not even involved in what some have termed banter.
So why am I ready to defend him?
The following day he appeared in a prolonged interview (reproduced below) in which he apologised totally unconditionally. He described his actions as 5 seconds of madness and continually apologised. When asked about the 14 year old girl he again said sorry with the glint of a tear in his eye. He is not an actor and I do not recall him being interviewed particularly often post match. The interviewer – quite rightly gave him a hard time and pushed him as hard as she could by invoking the example he had set to his own family, and the fans as well as those who he directly spat at. When asked if he should keep his job he simply said that he couldnt comment on it one way or the other because anything he said could be perceived as an excuse or attempt to reason his unacceptable behaviour. This was something he refused to do. His five seconds of madness were replaced by immediate regret and remorse and a preparedness to face the music.
What he said afterwards
I am not particularly a Liverpool fan nor was I a fan of Jamie Carragher as a player, but the way he has held his hands up speaks volumes about his integrity. Integrity is not about being perfect, but it is about taking responsibility and being willing to face the consequences.
Personally I really hope he keeps his job because ironically his example stands as a shining light to politicians and business leaders who have no shame.
Finally, we are all flawed so let he without sin cast the first stone.