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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Monday, March 29

Wayne Rooney and sponcon

Tottenham Hotspur Women v Arsenal Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Hello, all!

That’s goalkeeper Aurora Mikalsen at the top today.

Ramble of the Day

The internet being what it is, an old video of Wayne Rooney resurfaced a couple of weeks ago. It naturally wasn’t new to everyone, but it was to me and I found out that he took part in a WWE event once.

He’s very obviously a good sport, which I imagine he’d have to be if he was asked to perform the task. It’s funny thinking about it in the context of the reputation Rooney obtained during his years as a player. Between some on the field struggles and off the field scandals becoming part of the discourse, a lot of jokes were made at Rooney’s expense. It left him with a reputation of being unprofessional, but ultimately boring outside of his scandals. It was all mundane enough, and there was nothing else that was part of his public persona to make him anything but that.

However, participating in a WWE event seems like something someone more interesting than Rooney would do. It also reminds me that Rooney has participated in a few other things that seem more interesting than him, like participating in Manchester United ads for X-Men: Apocalypse and Independence Day: Resurgence. He’s mildly amusing in both, though the entertainment value comes from how obvious the scrapbook-like quality is of the videos. (The person doing the voiceover for James McAvoy in the X-Men ad does not sound like James McAvoy!)

While Rooney has done interesting things, there are important things to note. The interest in these activities comes from their general uniqueness — footballers don’t end up slapping WWE personalities frequently, and they also don’t end up doing low-quality ads for big budget films. The fact that Rooney can hack it in these events means there are probably layers to him, like most people — he might be a little bit more interesting than you might have assumed. The main takeaway, for me, though is that Rooney just doesn’t mind doing some sponcon.

It’s hardly unusual for athletes, or famous folk of any sort, do to sponsored content — the WWE event and the movie ads are just more creative than Rooney posting about his new Nike boots on social media. At least for a time — the WWE event and ads took place in the span of a year — Rooney was willing to do these things, and it’s not like he had to embarrass himself. He seemed to be in a slightly different mold of footballer ready to participate in advertising, and align himself with some celebrities that very blatantly do a lot of ads.

It doesn’t always them more interesting. In Rooney’s case, I think it signaled both a particular willingness and a particular appeal on his part — again, at least for a time. There’s probably an interesting conversation to be had about advertising opportunities for players and managers, and players turned managers, but we can talk about that on a different time.

tl;dr: I think Wayne Rooney, at least for a time, did sponcon in a way other footballers didn’t, and it reminded me more of celebrity culture.

Stay informed, read this: Sky Sports’ report on Thierry Henry’s decision to stay off social media until the companies begin to regulate discrimination the way they regulate copyright infringement

Links of the Day

Lazio president Claudio Lotito received a seven month ban after the club hid multiple COVID-19 cases and fielded asymptomatic players.

Wales’ Rabbi Matondo and Ben Cabango were racially abused on social media this weekend.

FIFA is investigating use of anti-gay slur by Mexico supporters during the team’s Olympic qualifying match against the Dominican Republic.

Everton’s plan to build a stadium at the Bramley-Moore Dock has been given the all clear after the government decided not to intervene.

Former Dinamo Zagreb official Damir Vrbanović was removed from a UEFA committee for his role in embezzling money through Luka Modrić’s transfer to Tottenham.

A longer read: Ben Fisher on the EFL’s efforts to educate players on discrimination on social media for the Guardian