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Footballers were put under scrutiny during the Covid pandemic way back in the first lockdown, with health secretary Matt Hancock calling on Premier League players to 'make a contribution' and 'play their part.'
Considering how Marcus Rashford reacted to that you'd have thought that Hancock probably looks back at that as not one of his smartest ideas.
Now Knight, the chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, has criticised footballers for hugging during celebrations.
"These people are looked up to, they're role models, and not to respect any form of social distancing in that way - at a time of national emergency - is brainless at best and negligent at worst," he told the Telegraph following goal celebrations on Tuesday and Wednesday night.
"These people are absolutely putting themselves on the line every day for us, and they are appealing to people to obey the rules. And footballers should listen to them and see that they are in a position of influence where they can help the NHS get us through this very difficult time."
DCMS committee member, Clive Efford MP, followed the committee chair by adding, "To see millionaire footballers just flouting the rules in the way they are is just absolutely disgusting and is beyond contempt."
The condemnation follows on from Pep Guardiola defending his players. Phil Foden's incredible goal on Wednesday against Brighton was followed by eight members of the team celebrating in a huddle.
After game the Manchester City boss said, "In a real moment of joy, I don't know if we will be able to do it. When you score and one guy runs and the others don't celebrate with him, it is weird and uncomfortable."
Of course the issue has seen lots of different opinions on both sides of the argument on social media, with some believing players can temper their celebrations.
Plenty of footballers have deserved to come in for criticism for their actual flouting of Covid-19 rules, with Jack Grealish, Kyle Walker, Mason Greenwood and Foden amongst those who have mixed with people at different times during lockdowns or outside of their bubbles.
Sure the aesthetic of celebrating goals together doesn't look great right now but it's unlikely to be the cause of serious spreading of Covid, or even lead to the cancellation of matches we're currently seeing as players are regularly tested.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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