By Jennifer Juneau
Amid the various takes in the media regarding Ryan Giggs’ double life with wife Stacey and reality TV star Imogen Thomas, there is one thing in common according to the press: what Ryan Giggs did to his wife and children is shameful and will cost the player a hefty sum in the rolled bills of reputation.
What Giggs did was wrong, but it isn’t our wrong.
The Ryan Giggs legacy will only be tarnished if fans choose to let it by focusing on Giggs’ private affairs. To decide that one immoral act can wipe out twenty-one years of stellar performances on the pitch with Manchester United seems more indicative of one’s real life tribulations than any news hype over privacy laws can dish out.
Wouldn’t it be the case that no matter how many years and dedication one sweats into their profession, nobody reacts as long as all remains status quo? The moment someone becomes human, forget the rest. Their integrity is put to the test and nobody lets them forget it.
We do not know Giggs’ wife personally, at least most of us don’t, but to be quite frank, what people are caught up in is the news of what is making news. Privacy laws are breaking. Social networking sites are eerily weighty.
To drag the Giggs-Thomas scandal out onto the field is sending the fans an invitation to retaliate for something that has nothing personal to do with them. Do diehard Manchester United fans really care what Giggs does off the pitch?
Apparently yes, according to the midfielder, who feared being taunted by fans at Old Trafford. Fans who had gotten plenty of practice in the example of booing one Wayne Rooney.
Keeping up the jeers, in spite of themselves, may damage their chance to see Manchester United win the Champions League. These affair allegations will tire and pass, but the chance for a title over Barcelona will come once.
Giggs cheated on his wife, not on his fans. At least not in the same respect as Zinedine Zidane during the 2006 World Cup, despite having said in 2010 that he “would rather die” than apologize to Materazzi for the headbutt in the final. Don’t forget Diego Maradona’s hand ball either.
The reputations of the two were at risk as they both committed incidents in the football game itself resulting in poor sportsmanship and cheating. Can you honestly say this is what you remember them for?
Will Giggs’ role model image suffer? In a perfect world yes.
But if a young boy has a dream and aspires to be the best footballer he could be by looking up to Giggs as an athlete and not as a husband and a father (this is what the proposed boy’s own father would be for) and devote his life and energy to see his team through championship after championship, then I’d have to say no.
I’m sure Giggs will be racked with his fair share of self-excoriation through the weeks and in the end his devoted and patient wife Stacey will probably forgive him. Shouldn’t we then forgive him too?