I stand corrected. Back in the day I claimed that there were no eco-friendly chaps in the English Premier League. But lo and behold — I bring you Calamity James.
James, a goalkeeper for Portsmouth, was born David, not Calamity, but seeing as Wikipedia lists him under the heading “Notable footballers prone to errors,” it’s a deserved nickname. Still, judging from a recent op-ed, at least his heart’s in the right place.
James berates English football (yes, soccer, whatever) for its eco-slackerness:
Not many clubs – and probably not many fans or players – worry much about their carbon footprint, but they should.
And carbon footprints don’t come much bigger than football’s. Think of all the teams and fans flying to fixtures, football stars driving around in gas-guzzling 18-litre cars, and all those thousands of fans driving to the grounds, spewing litter, week in, week out.
James suggests a reasonable mix of kicking individual arses into high gear, coupled with regulation:
It’s about changing attitudes on an individual level, but also in terms of the way the clubs themselves operate.
So whose responsibility is it to enforce this change? Environmental damage is a global problem so let’s bring in the global authority. Fifa should be issuing directives to football’s national governing bodies to be more responsible.
He urges recycling, carbon offsetting, tax incentives, better transportation — the list goes on. It may be just “David James on another moral crusade,” but it gives me a Premier League player to respect (and he’s cute, too — even with the hair). Besides, does it get any better than this?
Football can and should be moulded into the perfect ecological role model. Get a load of footballers on a reality TV show and challenge them not to chew the balls off kangaroos or whatever, but to reduce their carbon footprint by 20 per cent.