Neymar “attacked” a fan after Paris Saint-Germain‘s Coupe de France loss (via penalty kicks) to Rennes last weekend.
It’s the latest in a string of unflattering incidents for the Brazilian star.
As the video shows, a Rennes fan was video’ing PSG players as they left the stadium after the loss. The fan insulted Neymar. Neymar pushed the phone down and appears to have struck the fan in the face (reportedly leaving him bloodied). PSG teammate Dani Alves spoke out about the incident, saying Neymar “has to show more control” when these situations happen.
Escalating blurred line between fans and players
While Alves is right, these situations are complicated.
Put yourself in Neymar’s shoes. You just had a very public failure. You take constant criticism (granted, mostly for actions that you bring on to yourself). In the face of that public failure, someone ridicules you to your face.
Now, Neymar shouldn’t have struck the fan. He made the situation worse. He brought more negative attention to himself. He resorted to violence. He’ll face punishment.
But fans don’t have the right to belittle other human beings to their face either. Imagine you’re walking out of a business meeting where you flubbed your presentation, or out of school after flunking a test, and someone you don’t know gets in your face and calls you a loser or worse. Responsibility and restraint goes both ways.
There’s a fine line between supporting your team and being a classless ass. The fan reportedly had been insulting a number of PSG players. None of those players reacted as bad as Neymar. They showed restraint.
The fan is not without blame though too. Celebrate that your team won, not that somebody else lost.