Tottenham Hotspur manager José Mourinho has been in hot water since Tuesday when video and images of him and several star players training in a London park was posted on social media. Mourinho was with Tanguy Ndombele, while Davinson Sánchez and Ryan Sessegnon were filmed running close together in a different section of the park.
By being there and training together, the Spurs manager and players were completely ignoring the UK government’s public safety guidelines (which say that outdoor exercise can only be done with people in your own household), and appeared to be flouting the UK’s two meter social distancing regulations (equivalent to about 6.5 feet). The UK has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic (more than 55,000 confirmed cases and over 6,000 deaths), so their decision to ignore the guidelines seemed especially egregious.
Mourinho released a statement about the incident on Wednesday, but it wasn’t quite complete. Can you tell what’s missing?
"I accept that my actions were not in line with government protocol and we must only have contact with members of our own household. It is vital we all play our part and follow government advice in order to support our heroes in the NHS and save lives."
What’s missing is an actual apology. Mourinho didn’t apologize for ignoring the rules, which could have put people at risk, and he didn’t explain why he and several of his players decided that the rules didn’t apply to them. According to the Guardian, Mourinho has insisted that they all followed the social distancing regulations, even though there is video proof that at least two players did not.
In response to the entire incident, Tottenham Hotspur was forced to publicly and privately remind all of their players (and probably coaches, too) to follow all relevant safety guidelines.
“All of our players have been reminded to respect social distancing when exercising outdoors,” a Spurs spokesman told the Guardian. “We shall continue to reinforce this message.”
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