Watford captain Troy Deeney has defended Aston Villa star Jack Grealish after he was seen breaking coronavirus lockdown rules to attend a party.
The midfielder has since been reprimanded by the club and make a public apology via a video message posted to Twitter.
However, Deeney has come to Grealish’s defence, telling The United Stand YouTube channel that mixed messages from the government mean it is no surprise that young people like Grealish have been flouting the lockdown protocol.
“Jack is my dude. Jack is my guy man, nice kid, unfortunately, plays for that team that we don’t talk about. But Jack is my guy,” he said.
“Genuinely if you’re a young person – and when I say this it’s not right – if you’re a young person, you are literally going, based off everything you’ve been told, ‘This virus doesn’t really affect me, I’m fit and healthy I’m gonna go out’.
“It’s not the right way to think, I don’t think like that, but I can understand people that do. Until it affects home, why are you going to change?
Troy Deeney has come to the defence of Jack Grealish
“It’s a growth thing. I don’t envy being, what is he, 24? 25? I can’t think how old Jack is now off the top of my head. Making money, got no kids, what’s he going to do? Sit in the yard on his own?
“Me at 25, you think this is stopping me from going out? Are you mad? And I had kids, but that’s just my mentality of how I was. So I just think he’s been irresponsible, he knows he’s been irresponsible, but I also think he’s a kid man.
“In football, it’s: ‘How dare you?’ You make money, people watch you, people look up to you – but we didn’t ask for this, we didn’t ask for people to look up to us. We understand and appreciate the responsibility, but we’re going to make mistakes you know.
Coronavirus and sport
Deeney also hit out at what he believes is hypocrisy in the way Grealish…