Lots of talk of Anton Ferdinand refusing to shake hands with John Terry and Ashley Cole in the Premier League game between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea on 15th September 2013 at Loftus Road, but surely the point is being missed here?
Clearly what has gone before has left some open wounds for the Ferdinand family and that is understandable but has the Premier League made a rod for their own back with this one?
I was never good enough to play football at any decent level but I don’t recall being told to shake hands BEFORE the game. After? Yes, and with a level of respect in that clasp of hands post battle, hints of the desire to make amends next time in the face of defeat or a smug grin with three points on the board.
It’s called the ‘Respect Handshake’ but should maybe be called the ‘let’s give some exposure to our sponsors before the action even begins handshake’ – whichever failed bank subsidiary are bankrolling the league always make sure there’s some posters in the way don’t they and hey, all this talk (and yes this Blog entry is fuelling that I guess) helps the exposure to the brand, as well as the groundsmen putting up and removing the signs behind this key act very quickly. If Respect is that important then do it another time and in another way and maybe without the ‘Made in China’ shirts, ‘product of Indonesia’ boots and stench of corporate greed in the middle of the sporting arena, just an idea of how to gain more Respect by not celebrating global brands ‘utilising the skills of staff around the world’ shall we say.
This pomp and ceremony is merely for commercial benefits I think and an attempt to make those in charge feel they’re doing something for the future of the game, I don’t see the purpose (and the ‘setting an example for the kids’ line does not wash with me, if it were that important then Mr Rooney would have seen plenty more red cards for his use of language towards the referee and don’t get me started on ‘simulation’ – the moral high-ground does not belong to our beautiful game on this one) the players shake hands post-match, take part in numerous Respect community programmes and do their bit for setting the tone for a player’s future through their academy education, but that’s no use for the commercial directors is it?
Whether Anton shaking the hands of Terry and Cole would have shown respect or not is a debate for another time, it may have done more for the game if he had but it may have shown that his morals and principles on life are an example to others in the fact he didn’t but my point is that this scenario didn’t need to be embarrassingly shown on the pitch and expose our game to be in the state it is, maybe it’s a blessing. Let’s all laugh at football and how it handles these situations, badly.
I do miss the Gold medals…..golden handshakes are no replacement.