Caner Erkin and the hypocrisy of football ethics

Published 28.10.2017 00:00

Beşiktaş's left-back, Caner Erkin, is known for his uncontrollable anger and desire for using swear words; this is evident in every game he plays in.

Erkin had never been punished for any of his inappropriate behavior until this weekend, when Beşiktaş faced Başakşehirspor. This time the scene was so intense that it resulted in outrage on Twitter, Erkin's lengthy five-second swearing outburst was the last nail in his coffin.

Yet, now people are questioning the sincerity of the Professional Football Discipline Board (PFDK), which handed down a six-game suspension to the mad footballer. I find all parties in this scenario hypocritical and insincere except for Caner Erkin.

First of all, Erkin has always been like that and both the public and PFDK has long remained idle about his disgusting habit. People have the right to ask what changed this week that they decided to finally punish Erkin so severely. This does not mean the punishment was the wrong decision. The problem is that the PFDK's motivation was not to establish justice but to rather to restrain the Twitter-outrage, which is clear hypocrisy.

In Kantian terms, even though the PFDK's decision was right, because they had an immoral motive, it can't be considered a good act.

On the other hand, we as the public are also hypocritical about our desires. The philosophers who claim that morals are only emotional expressions seem to be right. Although we have grown accustom to hearing swearing by Erkin, and many other players, and fans, at stadiums, on television and anywhere football is present, we only reacted when the cursing was more intense than usual. Erkin's latest sin was so unbearable that we finally decided to act, yet, he has been doing the same thing all this time and we always looked the other way.

In the light of this hypocrisy, how can the arguments over the violence and hatred in football continue to have any value? Just like any other moral issue in our lives, we have become mere reactionaries, not being able to construct a new life with an internal force; we are bound to be stimulated by extreme external factors. Even though I have always criticized the football administration in Turkey for being deaf to the real desires of the Turkish people, the public should also be self-critical. The brand of football that the public has allowed is being played, and regardless of how much we despise it, this is the football we chose for ourselves.

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