In my last post, I criticised parents for buying their children, or allowing their children to buy, Paris St Germain shirts. I realise now I may have been hasty, even arrogant, in projecting that view.
Some of those children may not have a full set of parents living with them, or may not have parents at all, and last week, while I sat in the part-Saudi Arabia funded Sainsbury’s petrol station, I reflected that it was unfair of me to blame, for instance, a run-off-her-feet single mum or Dad, who might not be into football and it’s politics, for asking no questions about their son’s football shirt of choice. If it was a birthday or Christmas present, well it’s one job less to worry about.
In my street, there is a Mum with two children, one of who wears a Manchester City shirt. There used to be a man living there, who I know to be a Tottenham fan, because he was blasting out Chas N Dave Spurs songs before their FA Cup semi final with Chelsea in 2017 and whooping with joy over Kane and Eriksen’s goals that ultimately only contributed to a 4-2 defeat. The Dad never shows up now, or rather I never see him show up, but whatever the situation the kid has presumably taken up with the best team rather than his dad’s. Does his mum, who I have seen going out to work, or at least wearing clothes promoting a business, need the bother of drilling down into the details of why he supports a club 300 miles away? Manchester City, eh? The best are they? I always thought they were rubbish; you sure it’s not the United shirt you want?
Maybe the mum is a City fan, can’t rule that one out, but in future when I see these oil-friendly shirts, I will try not to leap into the blame game, just as I’ll try not to blame them for letting their kids watch the World Cup in Gilead. We’ve all got so much going on, the kids are entertained, not missing out, not asking questions, and that’s cool because many of us are too distracted to have any answers.