The Biggest No-No
The interaction between fans and players has long been fraught with contentioness. Whether it’s heckling, bad-mouthing or good-natured ribbing have been crucial parts of sports for many decades. However, there is one thing that is a huge no-go: physical altercations. These hostile moments can come from either side, but the incident receives much more media coverage and publicity when the player initiates it. Though it’s supposed to be drilled into the players’ heads that fighting the fans is forbidden, some players end up allowing their emotions to overwhelm their common sense and cross that line.
That’s what PSG and Brazil superstar Neymar did after losing the Coupe de France final. It was a match where PSG should have overwhelmed Stade Rennais, their opponent. Instead, it was a match that left PSG thoroughly humiliated, where French national and world-class winger Kylian Mbappe was given a straight red card for a horrendous foul (for which he’s received a three-match ban).
After the match, though, was where Neymar lost his head. On his way to receive his runner-up medal, he punched a fan. That’s right. Neymar PUNCHED A FAN. One of the biggest soccer stars on Earth decided to abandon his senses and punch a spectator at the match, as if no one would notice.
Obviously, there are consequences for this, which Neymar will likely feel going into next season. Ligue 1, the top French soccer league, is seeking an eight-game ban of the Brazilian, which would stretch until the fourth match of the next league year. However, it’s not missing matches that should have Neymar concerned; it’s the optics of such an awful incident.
As if his reputation for overexaggerating contact and arrogance wasn’t enough to dissuade potential corporate sponsors or prospective buyers, they now have to worry about possible assault charges and a reasonably lengthy ban. It won’t affect the money Neymar makes from PSG, but it’ll make many of his business partners think twice before adding him to their campaigns.