The last decade saw much awareness being spread across the world regarding climate change and its consequences by activists, media outlets and organizations and the footballing world has also put in a shift for the same.
On the one hand, clubs such as Real Madrid, Liverpool and Wolves have shifted to producing eco-friendly kits using recycled plastic materials in an effort to reduce the accumulation of plastic waste.
On the other hand, the big names of the game who boast numerous fan followers on social media platforms such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe have taken to Twitter to voice concerns about environmental disasters such as the Amazon fires.
But while such efforts are being made it looks like the footballing world also possesses its own quota of climate change deniers.
Perhaps the idea of negating a geological disaster backed up by scientific evidence sounds foolish, it has been the case predominantly in the West.
As portrayed in Leonardo DiCaprio’s Don’t Look Up, a show of ignorance towards climate change can even be displayed by those at the very top in their own fields.
It appears to be a similar story with football as well after Kylian Mbappe was spotted laughing at a question asked about eco-friendly travel for the PSG squad during a press conference.
While attending the pre-match presser ahead of PSG’s opening UCL game against Juventus, both Mbappe and head coach Christopher Galtier were asked about the team’s use of the private jet.
The question came after the Parisians used a plane to fly out for their weekend clash against Nantes which was only a two-hour journey by train from the French capital.
Upon hearing the question, Mbappe almost in disbelief immediately burst into laughter while Galtier refused to take the question seriously and clapped back sarcastically with, “to be very honest with you, this morning we spoke with the company that organises our trips, and we’re trying to see if we can travel by sand yacht.”
This ignorant behaviour from the French pair is no isolated incident of clear-cut denials of climate change as a real issue.
During Sunday’s Premier League encounter between Manchester United and Arsenal, English commentator Lee Dixon was caught casting doubt over climate change being real.
As the subject of not seeing enough goalkeepers wearing caps to block out the sun came up while commentating alongside Peter Drury, Dixon was heard chipping in on the discussion with “we have global warming these days… allegedly.”
In the wake of both these instances of tone-deaf reactions, the nay-sayers of climate change have received severe backlash for their actions.
The PSG press conference was followed by French sports minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra calling out Galtier for his statements.
The minister stated that “Mr Galtier, we’re used to more relevant and responsible answers from you – shall we speak about this,” as per the GFFN.
Similarly, the footballing community took to Twitter to highlight the ridiculous nature of Dixon’s statement while on air.
Following such public outcry over the anti-climate change remarks, perhaps it will be a lesson for those public figures in football who have a platform to reach out to the masses, to think once again before making such irresponsible statements in the future.