Lorraine Rogers: Football Is a Reflection of Society's Problems

Article excerpt

Byline: Lorraine Rogers

THE behaviour of today's professional footballers the worst in the history of the game? They wilfully bend and break the rules of the game, hurl abuse and harangue referees in mobs.

Ex-professional footballers from the 1960s and '70s line up to decry the conduct of the current generation and say it would never have happened in their day.

Well perhaps that much is true. But it's all too easy for the stars of yesteryear to make comparisons and stand on the moral high ground because they conveniently forget that society today is very different to the one they grew up in.

They played the game at a time when young men held an unquestioning respect for authority.

Things have changed.

If they had been brought up as children of the '80s and '90s their behaviour would have been differ-ent. The behaviour of footballers mirrors the attitude and values of their generation.

There is a general lack of respect for authority among young people and footballers' misdemeanours are just a sign of the times. They reflect problems in society, not problems that are unique to football.

I'm not making excuses for today's players. I just think commentators should put their behaviour in context because the problems we're seeing aren't confined to football, they are a reflection of society as a whole.

You can't possibly expect the footballers of 2004 to behave like young men 40 years ago. In the same way you wouldn't have expected the stars of the '60s to behave like their predecessors in the 1920s. Some blame the vast amounts of money earned by top players for the drop in standards. …