Should Jamie Carragher have to accept abuse as part of his job?
PUBLISHED: 10:45 17 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:45 17 March 2018
I’ve never yearned to be famous. I would hate to be unable to live my life without being gawped at or approached by people.
No amount of money and adulation would make up for the intrusion into the lives of my family and friends.
I did worry that the over-the-top reaction to my column of two weeks ago might spill over into some abuse while I was out and about in Norwich.
But it seems I have a face that is instantly forgettable, which I’m only now beginning to realise the benefit of.
Not such a good thing when it came to success with the ladies, but rather excellent for avoiding being tarred and feathered and ducked in soup.
There is a bizarre attitude in this country that those who are famous sign away their right to privacy and dignified treatment.
Jamie Carragher is the latest to fall foul of this.
The Sky Sports football pundit reacted to being taunted while driving by aiming a volley of spit at the people in the car where the mockery came from.
As is typical these days, he was filmed and the footage found its way to a national newspaper. Sneaky.
Carragher rightly apologised for his foul behaviour, but has been suspended from his job until at least the end of the football season.
He shouldn’t have reacted how he did. But should he have to accept taunting or abuse as part of the job?
Since the Carragher incident, other sports celebrities have told their own stories of being abused and targeted.
Robbie Savage said thugs had thrown fireworks at his house, while he was “petrified” to travel by train because of people’s reaction.
England rugby coach Eddie Jones suffered physical and verbal abuse only a few days ago when travelling by rail after his team’s defeat by Scotland.
They are all depressingly common examples of what famous people face when daring to mix with the hoi-polloi.
I think it’s understandable that occasionally people snap.
I have a rule when it comes to how I approach any celebrities if I see them in public – I don’t.
I don’t talk to them, stare at them or point. I don’t hassle or abuse them, photograph or film them.
I’m not even really a fan of people asking for autographs, unless it’s at a public appearance, rather than an appearance in public.
Celebrities will never be able to expect total anonymity. If that’s what they want, they should choose a different career.
But being in the public eye does not mean being public property.