Arsenal’s Lacazette, Granit Xhaka, David Luiz, and Nicholas Pepe have been spoken to by the club after they were caught breaking lockdown rules. Pictures and videos emerged of the footballers in 3 separate accounts breaking the preventative guidelines put in place to slow the progression and spread of COVID-19.
Pepe was filmed in a park playing football with his pals, Granit Xhaka and David Luiz reportedly met each other in a park, and Lacazette was photographed talking to a man valeting his car. The club have assured the media and public that these players have been spoken to were reminded of their responsibilities as footballers.
These four can be added to the list of players that have been scolded by the public or their club for flouting the rules. Jack Graelish, Kyle Walker, Mason Mount, Declan Rice, as well as, Serge Aurier, Sissoko, and the Mourinho-Ndombele training session have all been caught in similar situations.
Many may feel this is not the greatest company for Arsenal’s players to be named alongside and players should absolutely be reminded of the responsibilities they have not only as footballers, but as role-models expected to lead by example.
It’s another situation showcasing the magnifying glass athletes are put under during these times. Fair or not, these footballers are highly recognizable to the public. I am not trying to say the players should be allowed to get away with this any more than the general public, but we can acknowledge the likelihood that they will always be able to get away with less.
How many people have you seen post videos of themselves or others breaking the same rules footballers are breaking? Posts about how to pretend you aren’t breaking the rules when you are or how to exploit wiggle room in the rules. I am no stick in the mud as I myself enjoy these posts quite a bit. They are humorous at a time when humor is a relief. But let’s remember, these players are humans as well and likely looking to escape their cage like you and I – even if their cage has significantly more square footage.
The players should apologize, everyone that gets caught should apologize, we are in this together and it is going to take a lengthy, united effort to move past this, but I won’t fault them too much for looking to get outside, meet up with a teammate and friend, or play the game that has shaped their life.
Arsenal and their players are under enough scrutiny given the incomplete saga they are in surrounding player wages, wage cuts, leaked documents, and everyone wanting to put their two cents into what they believe the situation shows if you read between the lines. I just hope in the future, if they need to go outside, they can do it within the guidelines and recognize their role as examples for those around them.