It used to be so simple, didn’t it? Football was a game for the masses, a game that was instinctively played by children. Football was a continual presence in our lives.
There was, obviously, an innocence to all of this football. Football accompanied us through life as we progressed through school. Upon leaving school, many continued to play football regularly, many more chose merely to watch others play.
Recently, however, something else has apparently changed in various elements of society. Although there have always been people who sought to change the views and perceptions of many, in the more distant past, that change was decidedly organic, sometimes glacially slow. That has changed of late, with some members of society no longer willing to wait for generational change to effect a change in people’s attitudes to one topic or another. This, too, is something to which we have become inured to.
These days, we have become accustomed to being told that our outdated opinions, even if they are our own personal opinions, are no longer acceptable for a part of society, and are therefore no longer acceptable for society as a whole.
This, too, is part and parcel of society; modern society is too impatient to wait for change, and so we are repeatedly instructed to keep up with those leading the charge as regards change.
Recently, two Hungarian footballers, both coincidentally goalkeepers became embroiled in what is, in essence, the same controversy.
Péter Gulácsi, who was the most successful goalie in the Bundesliga in 2020 in addition to being a member of the Hungarian national squad, posted on social media that “Family is family,” asserting that in his opinion, parents of any combination are a grand idea, as opposed to the more traditional view that a female mother and a male father are the best arrangement for raising children.
In his declaration, Péter underlined that he stood in favour of the idea of the ‘rainbow’ family, which holds that in lieu of a suitable couple, a child’s parents can easily be constructed from whatever you have to hand: some Lego, an old pair of socks, some left-over trifle at the back of the fridge. Anyone, and with enough progressive thought, anything can be a good parent. Maybe the next step will be to do away with the binary notion of two parents being required. What about 7? Or 13, for that matter. Anyway, Gulácsi was rounded upon by various people in Hungary for succumbing to the Western concept that the only acceptable thing is that which is newly-baked: tear down historical traditions and build something of plastic seems to be the battle cry.
Not so in the case of Zsolt Petry, another Hungarian goalkeeper, now a goalkeeping coach.
Petry was fired from his German goalkeeping coaching post, meaning that he lost his livelihood as a result of an interview with a Hungarian newspaper which saw him state non-liberal views on the subjects of homosexuality in parenting, and illegal migration.
How many times have we been told that opinions are to be respected? How many times have we been lectured by the Left, the liberals, and the Leftwaffe regarding the need to listen to all opinions whether we agree with them or not?
And yet, apparently to state your opinion on something and be either admired or castigated depends entirely on what your opinion is. One man spoke in words of praise about homosexuality and retained his job. One man didn’t, and was out of a job practically before he could draw breath to finish another sentence.
It’s one thing that people may choose to applaud or condemn the decisions in both the cases concerned. Global opinions regarding both the idea of homosexual couples raising children and illegal migration differ widely from person to person, to say nothing of culture to culture. Both topics are contentious.
But there’s another, more confusing element at play in this argument which is, ostensibly, to do with freedom of speech. That element is connected to the creeping encroachment upon the right of anyone to state publicly what they feel regarding a particular subject. We have long both expected and accepted that certain institutions offer a statement of the beliefs which guide their actions. We have come to expect that organisations like the United Nations, for example, boldly proclaim their dedication to the furthering of human rights. To some extent, we have come to accept the same from the EU, although that continues to niggle slightly, given that the origins of the EU were related to business. The fact that the EU now seek to dictate to Member States exactly how they should treat certain groups within individual societies is responsible for the straining at the seams which we now witness on an ongoing basis within the EU.
But, worse even than the EU’s attempts to mould society whether required, requested, or resisted, what we can now observe is a veritable explosion of that most modern of phenomenon: virtue signalling.
Once the preserve of liberal organisations that liked to proudly display their credo on their sleeves, things are now getting out of hand. Now, the world and his wife have decided that they, too, have to get in on the game. Football clubs have traditionally been money-making machines focussed on providing entertainment for money. But now they have decided they have a role to play in moulding society. In the past, we would expect football clubs to not have an opinion on the idea of homosexual parenting and the merits thereof. Why would we ever expect a football club to assume a stance on the subject of illegal migration? Has the world gone completely bonkers?
It’s sad to see that liberal attitudes to the continual moulding of society into something that better pleases a section of society have gained so strong a foothold. Let us all never fail to forget that it is inherently wrong to seek moral guidance from a football club, of all things. Football clubs have a role to play in society, that of entertainment. Football clubs, as we have witnessed repeatedly, have the morals of a drunk pirate when it comes to finances. Why then, for the love of God, would anyone think that a football club should be heeded on moral and political issues?
Virtue signalling is oh-so-fashionable at the moment. With any luck, however, at some point society will shake itself free of the useless pontification from those who haven’t a leg to stand on.
Until then, of course, everyone’s going to have to think twice before stating an opinion which the liberals are known to oppose. Can we not return to a time when footballers were judged and awarded contracts on the basis of how well they played, rather than on whether they could be relied upon to say the “right” thing?