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Ferdinand is no thug
Compare and contrast my version of events at Stamford Bridge on Saturday with the News of the World’s.
“Gracious Rio Ferdinand sent a bouquet of flowers to a Stamford Bridge steward after she found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time on Saturday afternoon.
A frustrated Ferdinand accidentally brushed her with his boot when he kicked the tunnel wall following Manchester United’s 2-1 defeat by Chelsea.
The United defender immediately apologised to the woman, who laughed off the near miss.”
Now for the sensationalised version that appeared on Sunday’s NOTW back page, under the strapline ‘Ferdinand kicks girl steward’.
“Manchester United star Ferdinand shamefully kicked a FEMALE Chelsea steward after going berserk in the tunnel following the 2-1 defeat.”
The quotes from Ferdinand - that appeared well down the story on an inside page - back up my more ‘boring’ version of events.
“I went back to make sure she was okay and apologised profusely,” said Ferdinand. “Credit to her, she laughed it off and was very understanding.
“She said she wasn’t hurt and I have arranged for a bouquet of flowers to be sent to her.”
Talk about making a crisis out of a drama. But what really annoyed me was the back page headline: Thugs! referring to Ferdinand, their other target of scorn Patrice Evra, and the Chelsea staff who Evra had got involved in a fracas with in the after-match warm-down.
Silly me, and here was I thinking a ‘thug’ was an aggressive and violent young criminal. Woe betide any of you out there who may kick out in frustration after losing a football match. Such thuggish behaviour should not be tolerated in this society! Sleep with a footballer for money and sell your story to the same newspaper for tens of thousands of pounds, however, and then you will be labelled a victim.
With sensationalised reporting like this, is there any wonder that journalists have such a bad name?
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- England football's foreign invasion
- Should Cole's private life be public property?
- Hatton defeat good news for Witter
- Dolan sacking a baffling decision
- Vote Calzaghe for Sports Personality of the Year
- Premiership stars have earned their huge salaries
- Best of British is never good enough
- Epic Aussie defeat makes you proud to be English