Thierry Henry: Screwing more than just the Irish?

Quick thought, as the bubbling outrage concerning the former Invincible’s “Hand of Dieu” heartbreaker against the Irish begins to subside… it’s been widely speculated that Thierry Henry hopes and intends to finish out his career as a member of the New York Red Bulls, in a year or two. I was a big proponent of the move — it would bring a marquee name to one of the league’s key markets, and Henry is a legitimate star who wouldn’t be using MLS as a springboard back to Europe. Anything that helps promote and legitimize MLS ultimately helps the health of the sport on this part of the continent.

But now I’m not so sure. Henry’s image is irrevocably tainted. Would his much-heralded arrival in MLS only serve to bring scorn upon the league? For those unaware of his long-time ambition to play for New York (that is to say, 99.9% of the population), would this seem like a cheap PR stunt by a league hoping to bring any kind of attention to itself? Or will the anger surrounding his flagrant cheating have faded completely?

I’m worried that it’s closer to the former than the latter… the handball has gotten an unbelievable amount of mainstream press, and the play might have ingratiated itself into the popular consciousness (even — nay, especially — among the sport’s non-fans and detractors) in the same way as the tragic final act of Zinedine Zidane’s career did. While Henry’s inevitable arrival may have been anticipated by some as a great promotional opportunity for the league, has his reputation now turned into a potential liability for MLS?

It seems to me that with that one flick of the wrist, it’s possible Henry didn’t just screw the Irish… he may have screwed the Americans (and Canadians) too.

2 Responses to “Thierry Henry: Screwing more than just the Irish?”

  1. I’m pretty sure that by the time Henry decides to go to New York this will not count against him in a major way. Let’s wait and see what he does at the World Cup.

  2. Cheatin’ Cheeze-Monkey

    FIFA’s token-commitment to the notion of ‘Fair play’ should be obvious to all, by now

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