Jamie Carragher has been suspended from his position on Sky after a repulsive spitting incident towards a father and his 14-year old daughter. He has received unlikely support from several people over the last few days, leaving fans divided with their opinions.
The moment was captured on camera by the father as Carragher was spotted driving away after the match between Liverpool and Manchester United on Saturday. Police will now question the victim about the incident and Carragher’s £1 million contract may be stripped away from him.
Police will also be speaking to the father about the use of a mobile phone behind the wheel of the car. Although he will not be prosecuted for the action, he will be given a formal talk by the authorities about the dangers of the act.
President of the AA Edmund King suggested that the father should be taking on a driver awareness course due to the use of a mobile phone behind the wheel. Talking to The Mirror, he said: “This unsavoury incident is a stark reminder to all drivers that they should concentrate on the road ahead rather than film or road rage at other drivers.” he said.
“It is a serious offence to use a hand-held phone at the wheel which one driver certainly seems to be doing. The tactical display from both drivers, on attack and in defence, is diabolical. Both drivers perhaps need road safety refresher courses.”
As a result of the incident, Sky released a statement on their response to Carragher’s behaviour. They said that the company: “takes this matter extremely seriously and strongly condemns Jamie’s actions. We have made that clear to him in person today and suspended him from his duties. It falls well below the standards we expect of our people”.
Carragher has since apologised to the two people via phone call for his indecent behaviour and also went on to add that he wishes to apologise to the family in person, given the opportunity.
Making a statement about his behaviour, Carragher said: “You can’t condone that behaviour no matter what, in any way shape or form, no matter wherever you are, or who you represent.
“It was a moment of madness that is difficult for me to explain. Watching it back, it almost feels like an out of body thing, that madness for four or five seconds. No matter what the circumstances for anyone, you can’t behave like that.
You’re thinking: ‘why did you react?’ That’s part of being a public figure at times. Different things get said but you don’t react like that. This is the only time I’ve reacted like that. It will be the only time I ever react again like that.
“I called the family. Obviously they were upset and disappointed last night. I spoke to the girl and that is my biggest regret. There’re lots of regrets but certainly the biggest one is for her to be caught in the middle of my altercation with the father. It devastates me a little bit more than anything else, really, that a young girl that wasn’t involved in anything, really, has now become embroiled in this.
“The fact that it is a young girl maybe feels slightly worse to me. I’ve got a daughter exactly the same age and, if someone had done that, it’s difficult for me to find the words (for) the way I would react or what I would say if I ever bumped into them, because the way that father sees his daughter is the way I see mine.
“All I can do is apologise as much as I possibly can, because obviously, I can’t go back. I’ve done that with the family and hopefully they accept that and I’d like to apologise again to them if possible.
“I agree it has (brought the game of football into disrepute). You said before about role models, footballers, people in the job I do, any public figure, is a role model, whether you like it or not. People do look up to our actions and in the world we live in with social media, a lot of young people will have looked at this clip as well.
“It’s a poor message, (but) not just about being in the game or football. It’s a poor message for everyone out there; man, woman or children. It’s the lowest of the low. Wherever I was brought up as a kid, spitting was that. I’ve never done it before, and I’ll never do it again I assure you. The only thing I can do is apologise and try and get back to the person that I know I am.
“I apologise because I know that will put a lot of my supporters’ families and friends in a difficult position. But the most important people I’d like to apologise to is the family involved because they’ve been dragged into this media storm by myself, my actions, which I’m sure will not be nice for them, especially the 14-year-old girl. The people that know me or look up to me, that’s for me to sort out. Hopefully I can get the chance again to meet up with the family and apologise face to face.”
Meanwhile, Countdown host Rachel Riley has faced backlash after sticking up for Carragher via a tweet. She wrote: “Whatever someone’s done I hate angry mob bullying. Wish others would show decency & fairness themselves before grabbing the pitchfork, it’s damaging in so many ways and needs to stop.”
Her response has left many fans fuming, due to the fact that his act was completely inappropriate and highly uncalled for.
He didn't stop down the road when he realised what he did and say sorry then. He apologised when it reached the media. He's sorry noe because he's now in the limelight and his job depends on it.
— James (@james_fotos) March 12, 2018
What would you do if it was your kid @RachelRileyRR ? If you or me did it we would get nicked. Sack him and move on
— john smith (@arsenalkid1970) March 12, 2018
Jamie was also asked whether it would be the correct thing to stick with Sky due to his behaviour, and replied:
“It remains to be seen. All I would say is it’s Sky’s decision, not mine. What I would say is that there is no doubt that what I have done is disgusting. I apologise for it and (I’m) getting vilified, and rightly so. If anyone had done that in the game I was commentating on I’d have vilified them for the next few days.
“But what I would hope, not just for Sky, but for the public who’ve known me for possibly 25 years in the public eye since I started playing for Liverpool, is that five seconds of madness will not take over everything I’ve done. Some people may or may not like me even before this incident, but hopefully going forward I can show the real me because I don’t feel like it’s a real representation of me.
“I haven’t offered my resignation. I’m just speaking to people at Sky and we’re working out what the best way of going forward is for me and Sky. They’ve made it be known there that they’re very disappointed and understandably so. I’ve brought shame on the name of Sky Sports.
“It doesn’t matter whether I say yes or no (to whether I think I should keep my job). That is down to the powers above. Hopefully I can show people over these next days and weeks the real me. Hopefully one moment of madness won’t cloud the judgment people have in me, whether that is good or bad. But of course this is a bad stain on me and my character.”
Defending his friend, Gary Neville wrote on Twitter: “I’ve just watched Carra23 say sorry. No excuses he’s made a big mistake. He’s massively passionate about football and he’s overstepped the mark and shouldn’t have reacted. I’ve been on TV for 3 years with him and imo this isolated incident shouldn’t stop us working together”.