Jack Grealish has opened up on the controversy surrounding his actions in breaking COVID-19 social distancing guidelines earlier this year.
Villa star’s serious lack of judgement
The incident in question came late in March, when Grealish’s name took centre stage across the English media.
After speculation began to circulate that the English midfielder had been spotted breaking quarantine rules, the finer details soon followed, with it revealed that Grealish’s Range Rover had been involved in a crash.
Photos of the Aston Villa star at the scene subsequently emerged online, before it was confirmed that Grealish had been present at a Saturday night house party in Solihull.
PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: New images show Jack Grealish leaving the scene of Range Rover crash https://t.co/ksxvvwTwm8
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) March 30, 2020
Incredibly, this came less than 24 hours after the 24-year-old had posted a clip of himself on social media, imploring all to remain in their homes during the COVID-19 lockdown.
A swift public backlash inevitably followed, forcing Aston Villa into taking action against their club captain.
In a post across the Claret and Blues’ social media platforms and official website, Villa condemned Grealish’s decision-making, before confirming that the midfielder had been fined:
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) March 30, 2020
‘Old enough to know that I’d done wrong’
Grealish himself, at the time, also issued a public apology, confirming that he had been left thoroughly ’embarrassed’ by the incident, as well as revealing his hopes that the public would accept that he had simply made a mistake.
Many, though, were understandably not so quick to forgive, amid widespread agreement that individuals in Grealish’s position should be amongst those setting an example during such a difficult moment in time.
As outlined above, however, the Villa standout maintains that, above all, he is ‘still human’, and should be treated as such.
Speaking in an in-depth interview with the Guardian this week, Grealish was asked to look back on his actions in late March, having had time to reflect on the situation as a whole.
And the 24-year-old appears to remain fully aware of the serious nature of his transgression, having explained:
‘I knew straight away that I had to come out and apologise myself, which I wanted to do; I didn’t want to hide behind a club statement. I am old enough now and mature enough to know that I’d done wrong.’
Grealish, though, added:
‘I know I am a footballer but I’m still human and we all make mistakes and straight away I knew I’d made a mistake.’
I’m also a role model as well to a lot of people out there, especially young children who might look up to me. So I try to act in respectable manner but since then I have tried to keep my head down, work hard and do as much charitable work as possible.’
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) June 3, 2020
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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