Sky have suspended football pundit and former Liverpool star Jamie Carragher until the end of the season after he was filmed spitting towards a father and his 14-year-old daughter.

According to a statement released by Sky, “Jamie has taken full responsibility for what has happened and we will ensure he gets the help he needs to guarantee something like this never happens again.”

The incident took place following a match at Old Trafford between Premier League rivals Liverpool and Manchester United, which United won 2-1. Video of an altercation between Carragher and the father surfaced online, in which Carragher is shown spitting in the direction of the family’s car as he drives away.

Though he claimed he was provoked three or four times on the motorway, Carragher issued an apology on Twitter, saying, “I’ve made a big mistake & accept full responsibility. I am the only person to blame for this sorry situation, so please leave the family alone.”

While some thought he might be fired, Sky announced today that he will be suspended from his job as a pundit until the end of the football season. The statement included a note that Carragher will meet with Sky Sports personnel at that time to review if he is fit to return to that role.

It appears in the video that the father was boasting about Manchester United’s victory despite his daughter urging him to stop. Carragher, a Liverpool legend who played at the club for 17 years, was clearly bothered by the taunts.

Though passionate rivalries like the one between Manchester United and Liverpool are part of what make football such a great sport, there is no place for behaviour like Carragher’s. Tensions were heightened after a tough defeat, but even though he was being goaded there is no excuse for what Carragher did.

He will now have to accept his punishment and take the appropriate steps to repair his reputation if he hopes to return to covering football, whether at Sky Sports or elsewhere. Carragher, who has a daughter of his own, has expressed regret that a young child was affected by his actions.

“I would find it hard to know what I would say or how I would react if it happened to my daughter,” Carragher said to Sky News. “I’ve made mistakes in my 25-year-career but this is the worst one.”

While apologising was the right start, Carragher has a long way to go to gain back the trust of the public. His inappropriate conduct should serve as an example not just for players and pundits, but all football fans. No matter the result of a match, the game has no place for treating others with disrespect.

Photo by Jack Hunter on Unsplash

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