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Was Theo Walcott’s “2-0” gesture really a big deal?

Jan 4, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

Britain Soccer FA Cup

Some of the initial reaction on Theo Walcott’s mocking gesture today toward Spurs fans came across as a bit of, well “overreaction.”

But was it really so bad? Isn’t this far more “misdemeanor” than “felony?”

Walcott flashed an impromptu “2-0” score with his hands as he was stretchered off the Emirates Field on Saturday toward the end of Arsenal’s win over North London rival Tottenham in third round FA Cup action.

Cooler heads were thankfully prevailing with Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood, who dismissed the attacker’s gesture as “a bit of banter.” And he’s correct. A couple of points to quickly consider here:

First, this was at the Emirates, Walcott’s and Arsenal’s home ground. It changes the conversation a bit if Walcott (or anyone) does this at someone else’s home ground. Taunting home fans always seems ill advised (potentially a threat to incite fan unrest in some grounds) unnecessary and even a bit tacky.

(MORE: Reactions from Arsenal’s FA Cup win over Tottenham)

Second, his gesture was pretty benign. It was just the score! The correct score, at that.

The conversation changes if Walcott does the “throat slashing” gesture or something with a little more menace. A “2-0” score sounds more “playful” than “sinister.”

A week ago, weren’t we talking about something far worse, something from the hands of Nicolas Anelka, who is apparently pitifully under-informed about the friends he hangs out with?

And finally (back to Walcott and Saturday), aren’t these teams are bitter rivals, aren’t they?

  1. unclemosesgreen - Jan 4, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    They were showering him with coins so a little mild get-back was in order.

    Then he got showered with Arsenal scarfs as he passed his adoring Goonahs. It was actually a really cool moment.

  2. mdac1012 - Jan 4, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    How this is even being considered an “issue” by anyone amazes me. Walcott made no obscene, derogatory or racist gestures or comments to anyone in the stands. He was winning 2-0, the fans were giving it to him and he gave it back by reminding them what the score was. A complete non-issue!

  3. mrstev - Jan 5, 2014 at 4:13 AM

    Agreed.
    But for some unknown reason the commentators made a huge deal of it. “Oh dear…this is really not good”. These two clowns seemed to be trying to whip up some controversy where none existed.

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