Why can’t footballers be people too?
This should be the question on the minds of everyone who read Gareth Bale’s quotes, in which he defended the amount of time he spends on a golf course.
The BBC reported that he said: “A lot of people have problems with me playing golf. I don’t know what their reason is because I’ve spoken to doctors and everybody’s fine with it.
“The media has this perception that it’s not good for me, you should be resting, it can cause you injuries.”
There seems to be a strange obsession with footballers that you struggle to see across any other sport in the UK. They are expected to be squeaky clean at all times; held up to impossible standards that nobody else would match.
This is a breed of young men who have a lot of time off. They typically train for a couple of hours a day, and spend the rest doing whatever they want. Some of them want to play golf, why is that a problem?
Except, it is. To a large section of fans, they should exist entirely in a bubble where if they aren’t kicking a ball, they’re thinking about how to kick a ball. And no matter what, they must always be thinking about how to improve at kicking a ball.
That’s what they’re paid for, innit?
Need Down Time
Except, not really. Every single human being on the planet as hobbies outside of their paid occupation. We’d go crazy if that was our sole focus 24/7. We need other things to take up space in our brains.
And let’s not forget, you don’t end up playing for Real Madrid without putting the hard yards in, without making sacrifices and without staying behind to do extra training.
It’s not like Bale doesn’t work hard on the training ground. He’s been called ‘a freak’ by Wales’ head of performance and is an incredible impressive physical specimen.
If he likes to play golf, let him play golf. Being relaxed and able to get away from the sport for a little while might be the best thing for the Welshman.
He’s only human, after all.