Jack Grealish has apologised, and been fined by the club – but his actions are upsetting for many.
Words: Mark Jirobe | @VillaMarkPGH
48 hours ago, Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish was praised and hailed for making a video urging others to stay indoors and be safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
It was a show of class by Grealish, extending footballer-to-supporter solidarity for a world that is now rather bored with staying inside in the midst of unknowing future.
It wasn’t necessary for Jack to reach out at all, but the message was a necessary one.
Flash forward less than 24 hours, and pictures and stories start popping up across the internet and social media of Jack Grealish, a car incident, and two pieces of footwear that do not match.
No, this isn’t the start of some kind of weird joke borne of self-isolation fan-fiction. Grealish and Aston Villa have today confirmed what fans were fearing; that something had happened and Jack was in the thick of it.
In a new video, Grealish apologises for his actions by saying:
“Hi everybody, I just wanted to do a quick video message to say how deeply embarrassed I am by what has happened this weekend.
“I know it’s a tough time for everyone at the moment, being locked inside for so long.
“Obviously, I just got a call from a friend asking to go ’round his and I stupidly agreed to do so. I don’t want anyone to make the same mistake I did.
“I urge everyone to stay at home and follow the rules and guidelines of what we’ve been asked to do.
“I know for a fact that I will be doing that in the near future now, and like I said, I urge everybody to do the same.
“I hope everyone can accept my apology and move on from this – hopefully in the near future, we can all be out enjoying ourselves again once this has all boiled over. Cheers guys, thank you.”
Obviously, Jack does not understand the gravity of what social distancing means to his family, friends, supporters, strangers and his football club.
This has happened again, and we may be starting to see a very worrisome character flaw in the circuitry of one Jack Grealish. Rumours are still swirling around what Jack was doing, who he was with and what he may have been up to.
One thing remains constant, however, that Grealish seems to not be able to keep himself out of trouble for one reason or another.
He speaks about “being at home for so long”, when in reality the ‘stay at home order’ was only issued seven days ago.
It seems that his age, the spotlight or the global pandemic don’t matter. If Jack Grealish has made his mind up about something, he’s going to do it. It’s what he does best on a pitch – but in this case it includes crashing a Range Rover, ignoring social distancing guidelines and generally being petulant. The man is a role model of sorts for over 300,000 people who have watched his video about social distancing on Twitter alone.
Jack’s past woes are well documented – but is he past his issues? Would something similar to this have happened had the season continued? Jack has been allowed to drag Aston Villa down with his off-the-pitch antics.
Aston Villa issued a club statement shortly after Grealish posted his apology video, stating:
“Aston Villa are deeply disappointed that one of our players ignored the Government’s guidance on staying at home during the Coronavirus crisis.
“Club Captain Jack Grealish has accepted that his decision to leave his house was wrong and entirely unnecessary. It breached the government guidelines which are clear and should be adhered to by everybody.
“The player will be disciplined and fined, with the proceeds donated to The University Hospitals Charity in Birmingham.”
The contradiction of Jack Grealish’s actions is compounded tenfold when you take into account that one of his own sport masseurs at Aston Villa, Alex Butler, affectionately known as ‘Big Al’, was diagnosed with COVID-19 and was widely reported to be in a critical condition.
Butler has since thankfully recovered and returned home. You would think that with the virus hitting so close to “home”, he would have had a second thought whenever a “friend” messaged him to come over.
Supporters find themselves disappointed in Grealish, but this should be seen as a further peek into the personality traits of Aston Villa’s captain.