A week is a long time in football – just ask Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
In his world, Hancock has spent the last one learning a harsh lesson about the morals and ethics of professional footballers. He’s learned some people can be too quick to judge a profession they clearly know little about.
The rush to judge players showed the limitations some people in very high places have in this country when it comes to those who are too often made sitting ducks in a time of genuine crisis.
The likes of Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire might now be millionaires who have privileged lives, but they are also working class lads brought up in modest homes by good, honest people who know right from wrong.
Henderson was born in Sunderland, while Maguire hails from Sheffield. They have lots in common.
Jordan Henderson led the calls for Premier League players to join in arms
Hancock’s initial perception of them has now been turned upside down due to the fact this duo have led a campaign involving all 20 Premier League captains to launch the collective initiative “Players Together’ – to help raise funds for the NHS in the desperate battle against the coronavirus.
But in this same space of time nothing much changed for those footballers involved. All they did was get together to prove what some of us already knew.
Donating to worthwhile causes is second nature to them. Not only do they pay more than £3b between them in income tax each year, they also have their own charitable trusts constantly raising more money for those who need it, as well have six hours per week spent with community projects written into their contracts.
But in these exceptional times, an exceptional response was needed – and it has been delivered. The campaign has raised almost £5m already and is expected to exceed £20m in the coming weeks.
Matt Hancock has been blasted for his comments on footballers
(Image: PIPPA FOWLES/DOWNING STREET…