Such a simple word, yet it is such a problem in our society. Everybody seems to demand increasing amounts of respect, yet in return they give so little respect to others.
Where to start with this post? Well, if you are observant dear reader, you will notice I have already started. So like Magnus Magnusson, “I’ve started so I will finish….”
The Football Association have launched a respect campaign. Yet they fail to crack down on the lack of respect shown by players and managers or by the media.
The media you ask, how can they control the media? Well, if you listen to Talksport Radio, you will hear the presenters regularly slating referees and or unfairly criticising decisions whether by managers or referees. So, what should or could the FA do about this? Well Talksport only exists because they have sporting events to report on and to discuss. If the FA were to ban reporters or indeed the station from covering games live if they fail to show appropriate respect for those involved in the game; then Talksport would have difficulty in filling their programmes. All they would be able to do is report 2nd hand on games that are being broadcast on TV or on other radio stations. This would hit the media. Simlar approaches would apply to the BBC radio stations as well.
As for players and managers, the lack of respect to each other and towards match officials is appalling. Ask yourself why it is so much worse in football than any other sport? I would suggest that it is because the FA have allowed players and managers to get away with it for so long. It is not a social issue, but one of discipline.
Take Rugby Union as an example. There is no arguing with the referee on the pitch. Why is that? It is because, if you argue with the referee or fail to immediately retreat 10 yards when a free kick or penalty is given, then the kick is moved 10 yards forward. I used to play rugby and have played in games where the opposition conceded 50 yards or more on one free kick/ penalty because the failed to retreat immediately and continued to so fail. Football tried this rule several years ago, but even though referees had this power, they used it so rarely the rule was scrapped. If the referees do not use the powers they have, then this is a problem.
There is a lot of cheating in football. It is very rare in rugby union. When in 2009, Harlequins’ Tom Watson was found to have faked injury in a cup tie, the club were thrown out of the competition and fined £258,000, their coach banned from rugby for 3 years and 2 others also banned from the game. In football players who cheat to get penalties by diving are lauded for it. Respect? I think not.
I would suspect that a lot of attitudes would change in football if penalties were more severe. Would Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger mouth off about match officials if it cost their team points? Say 1 point deduction for the first offence, 3 points for second offence, 5 for third etc.
We have seen numerous instances of young, often afro-carribean youths shooting others because “they dis respected me”. There seems to be a belief that they have the right to respect whilst they themselves show no respect for anyone or anything. If they want something, they just take it, shove their way to the front of a queue etc. If they want something valuable, they will take it by force if necessary rather than working and saving money to pay for it. See the article by Kevin Braddock on the subject as an example.
I could go on and on about this subject, but will content myself to leave the subject of young thugs at this.
ON THE ROAD
Cyclists, motorists and pedestrians all complain about the lack of respect shown to them. However, they show little respect for other road users. No group is immune from this criticism. In the last 2 days cycling to / from work or driving in london tonight, I have seen numerous examples of lack of respect including
– cyclists failing to stop at red lights at pedestrian crossings even when pedestrians are crossing
– cyclists riding on the pavement (even when there are cycle lanes on the road) causing pedestrians to scatter
– cyclists riding the wrong way on one way streets
– cyclists swerving across the road with out looking or indicating
– pedestrians oblivious to traffic as they are on phone/ listening to ipod etc and stepping out without looking
– pedestrians deliberately stepping out into the road to cross causing traffic to take evasive action
– pedestrians walking in cycle lanes
– motorists pulling out in front of cyclists
– motorists parking on the pavement making it impossible for pedestrians to use the same
– motorists double parking, blocking the road
– motorists pulling away from stationary without looking or indicating
– motorists swinging door of car open without checking it was safe to do so
– motorists performing illegal u turns in the face of oncoming traffic
Shouldn’t we all on the road concentrate on showing a little respect for each other rather than demanding respect. If we concentrate on our actions, we will achieve more than demanding respect from others.