Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Privacy - Every one is entitled to it

Depending on the publication you are reading, the issue at hand with super-injunctions is one of either Press Freedom or Invasion of Privacy with almost all of the traditional tabloids opining the former and most of the (former) broadsheets; the latter. In truth, it is about both.

There has been tremendous zeal on Twitter to name Ryan Giggs as the footballer who took out an injunction to prevent the media from naming him as the player who had an affair with Imogen Thomas, the former Miss Wales and Big Brother contestant. There's also been an equivalent amount of people tweeting their apathy toward the whole affair but of course, even that adds numbers to those taking some kind of interest in the case even if is expressed disinterest.

However, what is forgotten about throughout all of this is the very real, very human damage that has occurred and is continuing to occur to Giggs family. Giggs had an affair. That's all. He did not cheat on me, you or any of the papers so keen to splash his discrepancy over their pages. He owes an apology only to his family, the ones he has hurt. It should also be remembered that it was just an affair. He has committed no crime unlike, somewhat ironically, the media that are now happy to publish his name.

I am aware that Ryan Giggs is held up as a role model but I've long believed that holding footballers up as role models is not just foolish but wholly unfair. Yes, they should demonstrate exemplary behaviour on the pitch and when on official public duties but when in private, their business is their own. I will also not hold any chuck with those who say that footballers chose this career and they should know the downsides of fame. Rubbish. Every premiership footballer began his career before he was 10. Should his parents have sat him down at that point and warned him of the pitfalls that awaits a career in football?

People make mistakes and they make them often. That we expect those who are in the public eye to not, is utterly ridiculous.

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