Frank Lampard facing supporter backlash in the US for 9/11 insensitivity
FRANK Lampard may receive a less than warm welcome if his expected move to New York City FC goes ahead, after one of the city’s main newspapers reminded readers of his insensitivity following 9/11.
The New York Daily News retold the story of how Lampard was one of four Chelsea players who abused American tourists stranded at Heathrow in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
Under the headline: “British soccer star poised to join NY team once mocked Americans after 9/11 attacks,” it described how the midfielder and his team-mates “drunkenly stripped, swore and vomited” in front of the upset group.
With a circulation of more than half a million, the tabloid Daily News is popular with fans of the new MLS franchise.
Lampard, 36, is reported to be poised to join the team as soon as this week, although they are not due to begin playing games until March 2015 and he may play for their sister club, Melbourne FC, until then.
Supporters have already taken to fan forums to express disquiet over the signing.
One fan, Midas Mulligan, wrote: “He better be down there sweeping the grounds at 1WTC EVERY DAMN DAY, after he publicly apologises to every American for being a s***bag of highest order. Maybe then, and only then, will I consider supporting him.”
Yankeedom added: “If you're old enough to get drunk and abuse American tourists regarding something as tragic as 9/11, hours after it happened, then you are old enough to deserve any ill-will people will have toward you.
“I will never respect him. If he issued an apology and made some sort of donation to a 9/11 charity, then I could forgive him but I will never support him; nor will I forget what he did.
“I can only imagine what might be going through the minds of those who were directly affected by 9/11, to have a man (and I use that term very hesitantly) like Lampard represent an NYC team.”
Lampard and the others involved in the incident were fined by Chelsea at the time. He has said in interviews that he regrets the mistakes he made in the past, but that young men in other walks of life did not receive the same attention for their youthful indiscretions.
The player who was at Chelsea for 13 years, becoming the club’s all-time record goal scorer and winning three Premier League titles, the Champions League, and four FA Cups, is on holiday with his fiancée, the television personality Christine Bleakley.