Dear Kyle Walker, thank you for your service in defying lockdown

A lesser man would have come up with an apology of some sort but not you, Kyle

Manchester City’s Kyle Walker claimed he was being “harassed” after admitting that he breached lockdown rules to visit his sister and parents. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Manchester City’s Kyle Walker claimed he was being “harassed” after admitting that he breached lockdown rules to visit his sister and parents. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

 

“SERIAL lockdown clown Kyle Walker has managed to net a hat-trick of coronavirus breaches in 24 hours. The England defender, 29, visited his sister for a party then his parents before cycling near a second home he’s renting. The Man City star, who had apologised for previously breaching lockdown, could face a police quiz and a £1,000 fine.” – The Sun, Friday May 8th, 2020

Thank you, Kyle Walker. Look, someone needed to say it. As we slide into another MonTueWedWhatever morning, let nobody imagine that we’re the type of people to allow the heartfelt goodness of a self-obsessed footballer to go unappreciated. These are lean times in the sports column-writing game. All chow is welcome chow.

Thank you, Kyle Walker. Thank you for being yourself, first and foremost. The ultimate measure of a man, after all, is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King’s words live on in your decision to stand in your sister’s house and then your parents’ house, a 100-mile round trip from your home, in the middle of a lockdown. It will be argued by some that the handing over of a birthday card maybe wasn’t quite the challenge Dr King had in mind. But game would surely recognise game.

Thank you, Kyle Walker. Thank you for knowing yourself better than you know anything else. The rest of the world – losers, fools and plebs the lot of us - has been making do without seeing family, without visiting elderly parents, without getting a hug from loved ones for, oh, the guts of two months now. “What am I meant to do – push her away?” you wrote in your statement in regards to the photo of you hugging your sister in her driveway. Quite right, champ. You tell ‘em.

Lockdown Hooker Orgy

No seriously, thank you, Kyle Walker. You have been doing yeoman’s work right the way through this crisis. There are those who have contended that the Lockdown Hooker Orgy you organised mere hours after tweeting that everyone should stay home back at the start of April was possibly a little on the nose. Don’t listen to them, Kyle. Lotta fuss about nothing. You did stay home, after all. You just did with a little more swagger than the rest of us.

Thank you in particular for that tweet, by the way. “On a serious note though,” you wrote, “please everyone stay home, look after one another through this difficult time and check in on loved ones but don’t visit them. #StayHomeSaveLives.” While everyone presumed it was just simple bog-standard hypocrisy at the time, little could we have imagined that you were playing the long game with the whole don’t-visit-loved-ones line. A little bit of Checkov’s Gun there, Kyle. You’re giving out writing lessons for free at this stage.

On which note, thank you for your latest statement, tweeted out last Friday lunchtime. A lesser man would have come up with an apology of some sort, full of insincere contrition and confected self-recrimination. Nuts to that, says you. Instead, you said what was in your heart. And what was in your heart was that you should be allowed to go where you like and see who you like without snappers from the tabloids following your every move.

Sing it, Kyle! This lockdown carry-on is a drag – and you’re the man to tell it like it is. It doesn’t even seem to be working where you are, that’s the mad thing. The UK has the most deaths in Europe and everybody is saying the official numbers are well below the actual total. You guys are only behind Trump’s America in terms of body count through this whole thing.

So like, there you are Kyle, staying at home alone for the good of the country - apart from the occasional visit from a lady caller and the odd jaunt down the motorway to Sheffield and back and sometimes visiting four different houses in the space of 24 hours – there you are doing your bit and the UK figures are just getting worse and worse. You’d swear people didn’t get what a lockdown is supposed to be.

Frontline workers

Anyway Kyle, back to your statement. Fair play to you for not pouring out any of that sickly, forced praise for the NHS. For not mentioning them at all, in fact. Weeks and weeks we’re at this now, with nobody able to say a word in public without putting their hand on their heart and swearing their love for frontline workers. It took a serious man to release a 329-word personal statement about life in a Covid-19 world and not try to shield himself with some sort of cheap applause line. You’re right, much better to stick to the issue at hand.

“At a time when the focus is understandably on Covid19, at what point does mental health get taken into consideration, an illness which affects every sufferer differently? I am a human being, with feelings or pain and upset just like everybody else.” Well indeed, Kyle. Indeed. And the next time you see Pep Guardiola, do be sure to explain those feelings and pain and upset to him. Since he recently lost his mother to Covid-19, he will definitely, definitely agree that you are going through a lot of the same troubles right now.

So shine on, Kyle Walker. Keep exploring, keep finding new and better ways to liven up this whole thing. The scum in the cheap seats might give you a bit of gyp every now and then but they don’t know you. They don’t know life. Most of all, they don’t know what it’s like to try and write a weekly sports column at a time when there’s no sport.

You’re alright by us, Kyle. Thank you for your service.

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