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.