There is something hauntingly nasty about this picture from the Daily Mail, which ought to be pondered on by us all.
Apparently it shows an incident at a football match between Bury and Chesterfield after Bury goalkeeper Cameron Belford let in a goal. He was then abused and attacked by a group of teenagers, as shown in a sequence of pictures.
There are several things which stand out about these images. The first, and most disturbing, is the evident pleasure on the faces of his abusers. These are not expressions of hate but of sheer enjoyment of what they are doing.
The second is the way Belford has turned away and refuses to fight back. ‘Why is this?’ we might wonder. He is obviously a grown man and doubtless capable of taking care of himself. Yet he does nothing — indeed in one of the pictures, where a tiny girl is waving four fingers (two on each hand) under his nose, his expression is one of weary patience.
An earlier generation would have counted the behaviour of these children (for that is what they are) worthy of a clip round the ear. But what would such a response evoke now?
Indeed, I cannot help feeling that both the behaviour and the expressions of these young people stems from the fact that they know they are ‘untouchable’. The goalkeeper cannot touch them and I suspect the law will not (apart from a minor punishment perhaps, easily shrugged off).
My own reaction, as you can probably tell, is a cross between despair and anger — despair that such things happen and anger that such vileness is allowed to be expressed.
Still, perhaps we should not be surprised. There is something about the sequence that reminds me of this:
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