According to the media — whoever that is — Liverpool’s newest youth sensation Jordon Ibe has been “slammed” and “criticized“ for this (now deleted) Instagram video he recorded of himself while driving. Or, at least we think he has. All the stories about this incident suggest a furor over the video, but never include any evidence that anyone actually cares, beyond a single spokeswoman for a road safety advocacy group.
Worse than the hyperbole is the fact that the coverage of Ibe’s questionable driving has completely overlooked the two most important aspects of the story:
- Based on the fact that he was playing “Kiss Me” by PARTYNEXTDOOR (really strong choice) in his Range Rover, Ibe was definitely the sender or recipient of an “R U up?” text, and was on the way to meet someone he met on Tinder for a hook-up. In that mind-state, who cares about road safety? That video was to let whoever he swiped right on know that he was on the way.
- Mario Balotelli owes Ibe an apology. He’s already 19. If Ibe’s ever going to be a real contributor to a Premier League contender, he should already be involved in bigger and better controversies. By the time Balotelli was Ibe’s age, he was an Italian champion and well on the way to being booted out of Inter Milan. He should be mentoring his young teammate in the ways of young superstardom. I’m usually hesitant to support the narative that Balo isn’t committed to Liverpool, but it’s hard to ignore evidence like this.
The press is dead-set of knocking young Ibe down by completely manufacturing outrage. Meanwhile, two critically important issues blew right by them. This is the state of modern soccer journalism. Fans should demand more from the outlets they trust.