Magazine article The Spectator

Bad Sport

Magazine article The Spectator

Bad Sport

Article excerpt

Should John Terry be stripped of his captain's armband for conducting an extramarital affair with a teammate's girlfriend, getting her pregnant, and then paying for her to have an abortion?

Of course not. England expects that sort of behaviour from its football stars: it's a part of our national sport. Newspapers play the game too. The papers that now piously call for honour among sportsmen in light of Terry's disgrace are the same organs that have revelled most in his delinquency; that ran headlines saying 'Terry scores again' after his winning goal against Burnley last weekend.

It's not as if the players mooted to replace Terry as England skipper are models of decency. Steven Gerrard, the bookmakers' favourite, was recently charged with assault (though later acquitted) following his involvement in a late-night bar brawl. …

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