Why has it become common to apologize after failure?

Marcus Rashford apologizes after missing penalty

Marcus Rashford publicly apologized after his missed shot on goal in the Euro 2021 final. Image: Keystone/Shutterstock

The president of the Norwegian Federation has apologized to fans after her team’s exit from the Women’s World Cup. The approach is troubling – why apologize when we’ve given it our all? – But explains.

10.08.2023, 18:5510.08.2023, 19:02

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“This is a result we do not like and for which we take full responsibility. I would like to apologize to all my supporters who expected more than this. These words belong to Lise Klevnes, president of the Norwegian Football Federation. After her selection ended in the Round of 16 of the Women’s World Cup (1–3 against Japan).

Women's World Cup 2023: Disappointment of Norwegian Frida Manam after the loss against Japan on 5th August.

The disappointment of Norwegian Frida Manam after her elimination against Japan on 5 August. Image: Keystone

In recent years, it has become common practice among footballers to apologize to fans after a failure. Prior to Lise Clevnes, there were some high-profile examples: Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius after his mistakes in the 2018 Champions League final; Kylian Mbappe after a missed shot on goal against Switzerland at Euro 2021; Englishmen Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after a failure in the same exercise in the final of this last European Championship against Italy. remembering,

Social Networks as in “spider web”

Three British victims of racist insults on a social network share their woes. In a lengthy message on Instagram, Rashford spoke out against the attacks and reaffirmed his pride in being black. But he also apologizes to the fans for his failed attempt against Gianluigi Donnarumma:

“I felt like I had let my teammates down (…) let everyone down. I was asked to take only penalties for the team. All I can say is ‘Sorry’.

Marcus Rashford, on his social networks

A practice that does not surprise Christophe Jacoud, a sociologist of sport at the University of Neuchâtel (UNINE). “There is a culture of excuses associated with social networks,” he analyzes. “They create a kind of cobweb where athletes are very exposed and where every user can voice their opinion. We can’t do anything now without seeing. This situation bound to accountNow you cannot stay away from the displeasure of others.

The disappointment was huge for Marcus Rashford after his missed shot on goal.

The disappointment was huge for Marcus Rashford after his missed shot on goal. Image: Keystone

In Marcus Rashford’s place, the Neuchâtel academic would not have apologised.

“It was not Rashford’s fault. He did not show negligence. Missing a sentence says nothing about a person’s moral qualities. And no one will die or lose their job because of it.”

Christophe Jacoud, sports sociologist

This observation also applies to the expulsion of Norwegian football players. But Martin Zinsser disagrees with Christophe Jacoud’s opinion. “I find Rashford’s approach positive,” appreciates the founder of Thurgau, the agency Sportlifephone, which manages the careers of elite athletes, and especially their communication with the media. “He took the bull by the horns by admitting his failure in this way, and that would allow him to push on and move forward.” come back strongAs he himself says.

If he finds Marcus Rashford’s reaction normal, “because he is a man with feelings and he needs to express them”, in coach media training convinced that the striker three lions He would not have taken this initiative if he had not been the target of racist attacks.

Picture treat

Christophe Jacoud also formulates a hypothesis: “I’m not sure that the idea of ​​an apology came from Rashford. The English Football Federation may be the source. The reason according to the Neuchâtel sociologist? Like other major national teams, three lions has become a real brand that’s about Take care of the image. “For example, there are shirts for sale,” he argues. “Supporters of the national team have become customers.”

england football fans wembley euro 2020

sales National football is a significant part of the associations’ revenue. Image: Keystone

Every company as per name has after sales service to deal with your complaints. Especially when the goods or services offered are expensive, such as football stars. “With the increase in the commercialization of football, players of this level today have a lot of monetary value”, analyzes the Neuchâtel-based professor. “Teams pay a big price for him, so fans expect a lot. there is There is a need to ensure a certain quality. And online pardon applications are part of that.

confessional sayings and collective memory

After losing the final of the last Euro, the English coach gareth southgate He made it his own during an interview, accepting full responsibility in the selection of the shooters. Comments made in the famous mixed area, this is the place where journalists and heroes meet.

For Christophe Jacoud, this kind of space also plays a role in encouraging people to apologize: “Before, to get an interview with a football player, you had to call him on the phone or run after him . but today it space equipment established with the aim that athletes reports Let him confess, in front of the press and the public”.

These statements, like any publication on the web, are saved forever. The historical significance of the failure has increased. and we can remember easilyFor example, for a long time and all over the planet who missed a penalty during the final of Euro 2021, sending it on the post.

Whereas before the advent of the Internet, sports fans had to work more of their brains or their VHS tapes to find the “culprits”.

“Today, with this Big Data frenzy, there is always someone or a statistic to remind us who failed. This adds to the pressure and prompts the players to apologise.

Christophe Jacoud, irritated

England captain Harry Kane consoles Bukayo Saka after missing a penalty as the Three Lions lose to Italy

England captain Harry Kane consoles Bukayo Saka after missing a penalty and defeat three lions against Italy. Image: Keystone

A digital reality that is the opposite of the field: at Wembley, the unfortunate Rashford, Sancho and Saka did not have to apologize to their teammates for rehabilitation. After the shock of the defeat, the coach and other players immediately consoled him. three lions, all United. Undoubtedly, an attitude is more constructive than condemnatory.

Two years later, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka have found their smiles and shine with their clubs and the national team. Undoubtedly, the same will soon be the case for Norwegian footballers.

This article has been adapted from an earlier version published on our site on July 15, 2021.

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