In the Ryan-Giggs-Imogen-Thomas-super-injunction comedy (the 3D version comes out this summer, but you can see a trailer below), public outrage (generated by the press) at the enforced censorship has muddled the actual issue.
Ryan Giggs is a footballing legend – 12 league titles and his longevity outweigh whatever Wales could not accomplish at the international level – and yes, he is, alleged extra-marital affair or not, a role model for aspiring footballers everywhere.
But the key here is that he’s a footballing role model, a template presented to young kids on how to take care of your fitness and health off the pitch. Professionally, and that is the only sphere in which Giggsy is of any relevance to football fans, he is an exemplary role model.
In his personal life, what he does is his own business. If the girl (Imogen Thomas) then decides to sell her story to the press, or if the press decides to cash in on the ‘story’ because they know they can hoodwink the general public into not being able to differentiate between professional and personal role models, then we have to question the actions of the press and Imogen Thomas with the same vigour and feigned anger as we question the super-injunction.
Yes, Ryan Giggs is a public figure and as such, nothing remains in the personal domain. On the other hand, there is something morally corrupt about sleeping with a married man and then making money off your story, just as there is something wrong with the false morality perpetrated by the British press, of whom a significant minority of individuals are as morally corrupt as the people they are covering.
Infidelity research estimates the % of married men having extra-marital affairs between 20% to 50%, which means that between 1 in 5 to 1 in 2 married folks raising hell about Ryan Giggs’ superinjunction have cheated on their wives.
The media’s moral compass is so far up their own arse that they can’t figure out what’s genuinely wrong and what is just average human nature. And when these misguided people shape the public’s opinions, then there’s no surprise that there is such a large disconnect between footballers and fans.
We make footballers into heroes or villains, gods or demons, and then we wonder why they are not more like us. The common footballer, just like the common man, is flawed. Deal with it.
When it comes to the family finding out, I’m reminded of this one sentiment that came from Coleen Rooney’s camp in the aftermath of the Rooney affair being publicised last year. It wasn’t the affair that really hurt Coleen but the public embarrassment that she had to experience as a result of it being front page news across the country.
It seems that in the process of ‘putting Rooney in his place’, we ended up hurting the one person who had already been wronged, thus doubling her agony.
Should public figures who rely on their ‘wholesome’ image be publicly embarrassed if they put up a false front? Yes. Should their families be similarly embarrassed, which inevitably happens with the moral outrage that accompanies these stories? I don’t think that’s an acceptable cost.
I sincerely hope that Ryan Giggs can come out after the Champions League final (28th) / title winning parade (30th) and openly talk to the press about what has happened. He has tried to keep it under wraps after the story was sold to the press, and he has failed. We have to remember that while professionally he is a legend and a role model, in the personal domain he is just another married man. A statistic. A human being.
And with that, here’s the NMA TV video made on the whole Giggs-Thomas-Twitter-superinjunction madness.