Football is, when the dust settles, only a sport.
Dubbed as “the beautiful game”, football is the most widely followed sport in the world: and as is the case with every massive following, it also hosts its fair share of disgraceful people who do not hold a candle to all the values promoted by the sport.
This notion was proved evident when a Chelsea fan took rivalry too far by mocking murdered Everton fan Rhys Jones after their 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Gylfi Sigurdsson’s first-half penalty following miscommunication between Edouard Mendy and the Chelsea back line proved to be the winner on the night.
Chelsea fans were left heavily frustrated despite a decent showing from the team, and one particular fan on Twitter exceeded the feasible limit of rivalry in decency by mocking the late Rhys Jones, an Everton fan who was murdered in August 2007.
Jones died from a gunshot wound in Liverpool at the tender age of 11, in an incident incited by gang violence.
The tweet was heavily frowned upon and the account has been reported since, as the distasteful nature of it stands against every value integrated by the beautiful game of football.
While the account was deleted shortly by the user, Jones’ father Stephen responded in his tweet: thanking the user for bringing Rhys back into the spotlight after his untimely death 13 years ago, which in turn will make people aware of the vices of gang violence.
It was if anything, an immense response to the very distasteful tweet made by the Chelsea fan.
Respect beyond rivalry is one of the ideals promoted by football, and the aforementioned gesture should not be glorified as passion and loyalty to one’s club: rather than the utmost form of dishonour.