So you are a young footballer. You are in sight of the ‘big money’, you read the headlines about the cars, the girls, the booze, the lifestyle; its all on your plate, about to be handed to you!
And then you learn that your mates have beaten up, intimidated and robbed at knifepoint a young man the same age as you are. So what do you do? Do you act as a public spirited citizen would, and tell the police what you have learned? No; you contact the victim, and proceed to harrass and intimidate him into dropping all charges against your ‘mates’. You threaten him with physical violence if he does not comply with your demands. One of your statements is recorded as “’You don’t know me any more. You don’t know what I’m capable of.’
But you yourself are arrested & charged with Intimidating a witness.
But the gods are smiling upon you. Your are handed a twelve-month ‘Refferal Order’, which is a legal way of saying “Well don’t do it again, you naughty boy”! Oh, you are also fined £1,500 in costs and compensation.
Is it because you are a ‘Supremely gifted Talent?’ Is it because you play for Manchester United, and of course have access to the finest legal talent money can buy? Is it because the Club stated “’The club does not in any way condone Ravel’s actions, but he is a very talented player with a bright future ahead of him. The right thing to do now is to support him and help him in the process of his rehabilitation.
You have a result! You can go back to kicking your balls, and scoring with the girls, and getting hammered every other night in years to come. No prison time; no shower time with some very hard cases, even in a ‘Young Offenders Institution’, no real punishment at all!
Unlike the victim and his family, who are now under such pressure because the youngster and his family actually stood up to a bully who also was a Footballer!
We are often reminded that these people are ‘Role Models’ for a generation. I wonder if my own boyhood hero Jackie Milburn would ever have contemplated ‘witness intimidation’ as an adornment to his lifestyle? Somehow; I think not!
Will a man post a picture of Ravel Morrison on a blogsite some twenty-three years after his death? Somehow, I doubt it!