Why we shouldn't be quick to judge Gerrard

Let me start by making something perfectly clear. If Steven Gerrard is guilty then he should be prosecuted. The operative word in that sentence is ‘if’.

It would be easy to lump Steven Gerrard in with some of the idiot footballers that have committed serious offences and dismiss him as yet another thug who believes that the money and social status his profession affords him makes him above the law. Too easy.

It seems to me that footballers make an easy target. They are very high profile and recognisable, it is known that they have money. It is also known that any story involving footballers misbehaviour will be easy to sell to the press.

Steven Gerrard is certainly not the first footballer to be accused of assault.

Let me run some names past you.

John Terry
Anton Ferdinand
Quincy Owusu-Abeyie
Craig Bellamy

All four of these players have been arrested for alleged assault or affray and all four have been cleared.

Jonny Evans, Robin van Persie, Titus Bramble, Carlton Cole, Paul Dickov, Frank Sinclair and Keith Gillespie have all been falsely accused of alleged rape. Dickov, Sinclair, Gillespie and van Persie were even held in jail before their release.

All of these cases have been in the last 5 years or so.

All of the above names were cleared of any alleged crimes by a court of law or were released without charge by the police. All of these players had their names and reputations dragged through the mud by people who are afforded anonymity by law.

All that I, and anyone who did not witness the Gerrard incident in that Southport bar, know is this:

1) An incident took place in a bar resulting in a man claiming he was assaulted.
2) Steven Gerrard was present at the time.
3) Steven Gerrard and two others will appear in court, three others are on police bail.
4) In Britain you are innocent until proven guilty.

That’s it.

We can speculate all we want but that is all we know. We have no idea what, if anything, Gerrard did that night. Gerrard is reportedly eagerly waiting for his day in court, as he is confident he can clear his name. The same goes for Hull’s Marlon King.

I want to reiterate that I want to see justice done, whether that is a guilty or innocent verdict.

However, I’m also confident that Gerrard and King will not be the only high profile footballers to be accused of assault this year and in an age where people are increasingly seeking to make a fast buck and to get their name in the papers, footballers are an easy mark.