Back in 2015, Jamie Carragher is reported saying that spitting is “vile” and “disgusting” after an incident between Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse.
How those words have come back to haunt him in recent days.
As one of football’s greatest rivalries, there’s no match quite like Liverpool vs. Manchester United. The fixture has historically stirred emotions for respective fans. That was a polite way of saying they pretty much hate each other.
But this hatred was typified perfectly on the 10th of March, when (following a 2-1 loss to Man U) former Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher, was filmed spitting at a 14-year old girl whilst driving.
We’re here to play devil’s advocate and pass a few facts and opinions on the matter…
Who is most at fault - Carragher or Hughes?
In case you haven’t followed the coverage, Andy Hughes is the man goading Carragher and filming him whilst driving. He captured quite compelling footage, as the screenshot below shows…
Of course this is a disgusting and irresponsible act on Carragher’s part. No matter what angle you look at it from, or what side you take in all of this, he was wrong for doing it. And he knows this himself, as he issued a thorough and hasty apology.
However, due to the high profile of Jamie Carragher, the spotlight has well and truly been lifted from the fact that the man filming him was driving (at what looks like a fairly high speed) whilst operating his mobile phone.
Due to the nature of fame and celebrity, it’s inevitable that people would come down heavy on Jamie Carragher for this - and rightly so. No doubt there will be some interesting chants being written by Man United fans as we speak. But Andy Hughes actually broke the law first by filming/instigating the spitting incident whilst driving.
What makes this worse is the fact he did this in front of his 14 year-old daughter, who can be heard pleading with him to ‘stop’.
Controversial it may be, and we are neither Liverpool or United fans here, but we think Andy Hughes is as much (if not more) at fault than Carragher.
Carragher issued a lengthy apology on Sky News.
Spitting - a common stain on the beautiful game
Spitting in public (yes, even when it isn’t at a 14 year-old’s face) has been an increasing topic of discussion in recent years. Many councils are even slapping down hefty fines for it.
But spitting in sport, particularly football, has been an ugly but inherent part of the game for a long time. Even some of the classiest players have indulged in this classless action.
This is not something you want your children to look up to.
So here’s some questions…
Did these pantheons of the sport get railroaded for their actions? Yes. Hefty fines and bans? If caught at the time, then yes. Is their legacy tarnished by it and did they lose their jobs because of it? No.
Nobody should lose their job from committing an act of madness of this variety. If he jumped out of the car and murdered the man, then yes, he should definitely be sacked. But we’re talking about an incident that (fortunately) caused no long-term harm. It was a rash, ill-judged decision made in the heat of a moment. A moment which we only see the last 20 seconds of. According to Carragher, the goading and taunts went on for many minutes beforehand. Though this is still not a viable excuse for his actions.
It’s easy to take the stance that “he should get sacked, he’s got enough money already”. But the right thing to do is to assess if he is good at his job and whether this confined incident undoes all of his charity work.
Regardless of wealth, this is someone’s livelihood.
Verdict: it warrants punishment by suspension and a fine, but not dismissal. Andy Hughes should also face the necessary fines and punishment for using his phone whilst driving.
Over to you. What do you think should happen?