The beauty of a blog is that you can put up half thoughts. I do my best to write fully thought out pieces on this blog, but every now and again, I have what I call “half thoughts” – an idea that isn’t fully crystallised, and for which I have not thought through all the implications. But this blog is a place where these can be captured, and ruminated on, and maybe later turned into something bigger.
Anyway, with that in mind, I was watching the news recently on the sacking of John Terry as England’s football captain. Football is in sharp relief this year, as it is a World Cup year (being hosted with passion and pride by my home country, South Africa!) and England have a pretty good chance of winning it (they are some bookies’ favourites). The captain of England, John Terry, however, was recently outed by a newspaper for having an affair with the ex-girlfriend of one his team mates. Terry is married, but the real outrage seemed to be the transgression of some unwritten code about sleeping with team mates girlfriends. The fact that they were not a couple at the time doesn’t seem to have changed the outrage.
This is supposed to be an issue of morals. But it is not. The replacement for John Terry is Rio Ferdinand, currently serving a ban for violent conduct on the field of play after he elbowed another player in the head. The vice captain is Steven Gerrard, recently arrested by police for assault (he was cleared after it was shown that he hit someone whom he thought had hit him, when in fact he was just recoiling from being hit in the head by one of Gerrard’s friends).
This is an issue of our completely nonsensical views on sex. I think the church must take some of the blame for how we think about sex as a society. It’s insane. And we completely overreact to it, especially when it is discussed in public. We need to grow up.
I’m not saying that what John Terry did is OK. I am just saying that it is no grounds for removing him as captain of a football team.