Not all of them, not most of them, but certainly some of those who play football are dishonest and cannot but be aware that their intention is to deceive. They will endeavour to ensure a game goes their way, whatever the form of cheating that may be required.
In the rarefied atmosphere of the English Premier League, the opportunities for deception are limited, although even there players seem to fall over at a passing breath of air.
Outside of the world of live television cameras and video assistant referees, the chances of misleading the match officials are more abundant.
At matches at grounds where spectators can stand within touching distance of the players, the attempts at deception are much more noticeable.
Players will know that a ball has hit them, or may actually have kicked it themselves, but will insist that the ball has gone into touch off of an opponent. They will knowingly bring down an opposition player and insist they were not responsible. They will handle the ball and claim they did not do so. And time and again they will fall to the ground feigning serious injury, when all that has happened is that they have lost the ball.
Perhaps the problem lies with following two codes, having a season ticket for a soccer team that plays at a level comparable with the National League in England and for a rugby team that includes thirteen of the Ireland team that overwhelmed England at Twickenham in March.
Anyone who has been at a match at a rugby match will know the relationships are different. At the conclusion there is an expectation that each of the players will shake hands with each of the others and that each team will applaud the other from the pitch.
Of course, there has always been a class difference between the participants in each of the sports, but the dishonesty seems more recent.
Maybe for some footballers it is a case of feeling a need to succeed at any cost, to prove they are dominant. Few of the lower league footballers will have the opportunities enjoyed by many of those who play on a rugby pitch.
However, there seems also a willingness to accept a post-truth culture, to think there is nothing wrong in knowingly telling lies. Political leaders who believe it acceptable to repeat assertions they know to be untrue seem to have had an influence that has permeated working class culture.
These last two years have shown who the working class are. They are the people who carried on working and kept society running.
I do not believe that workers are dishonest. They may expect politicians (and their accomplices), msm and various others to be dishonest, but they themselves work around it. Workers learn that a reputation for dishonesty is not a long term asset.
Footballers mostly are not chosen for their iq. They are paid a fair bit to do exactly what their manager/ coach tells them to do.
They know that their careers will be very short and, not having any other well paying skill, will know that not being a footballer would be a disaster.
The manager/coach is in exactly the same position.
As someone who worked right the way through, carrying on because there were children whose parents were working or because they were vulnerable, I knew who were the workers and who were the gougers. In September 2020, we resumed as normal, I turned up to face thirty kids in a classroom, four hundred different kids every week.
The only newspaper I read is the Financial Times, partly because it is the best newspaper and partly because it tells the truth as it is. I have no time for anything that is not peer reviewed.
Standing on terraces over many years, I never thought proper football was played in front of seated fans, there has been a definite decline in standards at the matches I attend. These are not people who are paid very much, only one club in the league is full time professional. The young men are not career footballers, they all have other jobs, which makes it more baffling why they would deliberately tell untruths.