The football world shook yesterday after one of its most talented players demonstrated levels of behaviour that dragged it into new lows. The Luis Suarez biting incident followed a week of football hooligan violence on and off pitch. Any wonder given that level of role modelling.
There are several issues that can be drawn out of this. The first is the boundaries that he and every footballer are given and are perceived to be given. This is not the first time that Suarez has had an incident like this on the pitch. Despite his previous form Alan Hanson on BBC Match of the Day 2 said “if you are a valuable commodity to that football club then they will give you leeway.” In those few words he summed up the issue that football has in that its behavioural boundaries get blurred by money.
This is classic angry behaviour. You can almost see the red mist come down instantly with Suarez and his actions after that are not logical but are simply designed to hurt, and hurt it must have. Of course biting is the sort of behaviour that a child may resort to and this is also classic angry behaviour. Not that biting is an automatic resort for those with anger issues. There is a particularly intense anger that is known as regressed anger where we act out anger from the past, often childhood. It leads me to wonder what issues may be in Suarez’s background that may cause him to act like that. Somewhere there will be a cause. Understanding the cause, of course, does not make the behaviour acceptable. It is not!
For those that get told to grow up when they are behaving in an angry way, I have a message for you. The person delivering those words to you is probably correct.
Is sorry good enough?
Of course he has apologised profusely. From a publicity management point of view he has to. Does he mean it though? This is often the question asked by thousand of abused partners in the world. “He has apologised but will he change?” In this case, the track record so far suggests not.
Sky News report on their website that he has been offered anger management training. If he has, that is a great step. A greater one is that he takes it seriously, learns a lot about himself, and develops control. This will be tough for him because every opposition player on the field will be winding him up. He is now fair game.
It’s also reported that his latest follower on Twitter is Mike Tyson who is well known not only for a fantastic boxing career but for his infamous incident biting Evander Holyfield’s ear. Maybe Tyson sees his “follow” on Twitter as a sign of comradeship? I personally would see it as a warning…….Luis be afraid, be very afraid. Look at where loss of control, and thinking you can just deal with it without help, gets you.
Julian Hall & Paula Backen are emotional resilience, stress and anger management specialists based in Derby & Birmingham.
To find out more call 07850614042 and ask for Julian 07950344658 and ask for Paula.
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