I ask this question in light of Joey Barton’s recent return to football at Newcastle United. Even a cat would be envious of the many lives he’s had.
Somehow, despite his myriad atrocities, Barton manages to construct an image of remorse that consistenly redeems him somewhat in the press, producing snippets such as this:
‘I can’t change what has happened. I just have to put it behind me and say it will never happen again. If I was to do something similar, I’d be the biggest fool ever.’
Yet he keeps reoffending.
Contrast this with Lee Bowyer, another thug of British sport. He’s committed crimes just as Barton has – and I’m not for a moment suggesting they weren’t horrific – yet they continue to haunt his career. There’s been no forgiveness, and nor should there be, frankly. Yet Barton continues to be afforded licence thanks to his silver-tongued apologies.
I ask again: where is the consistency?
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