I wrote a piece for this very website recently about the dangers of footballer having too much time on their hands and access to Twitter.
Of course Twitter isn’t the only danger for footballers. The prevalence of high quality cameras in the pocket of just about everybody you encounter these days means that you should contain your acts of stupidity to rooms in which you are the only occupant or better yet don’t do anything stupid at all.
The latest to fall foul of camera phones is Tottenham and England defender Kyle Walker. The defender was snapped inhaling the contents of a balloon during the summer. The nitrous oxide within the balloon is known to have effects that range from ranging from hallucinations to unconsciousness, brain damage and even death if the levels are high enough to displace all of the oxygen from your lungs.
“Kyle Walker has expressed his regret for an error of judgment when inhaling nitrous oxide earlier this year,” said an FA statement. “Kyle has accepted this mistake. He will not face any action under the England player code of conduct.”
Last season former Aston Villa and current West Brom defender Liam Ridgewell was photographed wiping his backside with 20 pound notes. A move of such thundering stupidity displaying the sort of disconnect from the real world that the supporters of football live in.
Chris Herd, Fabien Delph and James Collins were caught out last year by an amatuer paparazzi getting involved in a brawl outside a nightclub days before a key relegation game.
It is a potent mix, young men with lots of money and lots of time on their hands. The reality of the world in which they live is that any step out of line no matter how innocuous will be snapped by a camera phone and seized upon as another example of wealthy footballers out of control.