I’m both disappointed and saddened this week. I have asked myself on numerous occasions in the last seven days what has our great Association come to.
That is the fallout from last Sunday’s game in Ballybofey between, Donegal and Tyrone and all the chat about sledging, which I have to confess is a new word to me.
All I have to say is that it is very sad that our game has come to this and that our great Gaelic football has been sullied in such a way. Let me hasten to add sledging, as it has become known, was always part of the game. Fellas have always mouthed off to one another but it seems it has dropped to a new low and some of the comments I hear have become personal, and to be frank about it, disgusting.
Referees are going to have to deal with it and the culprits are going to have to be singled out and handed out lengthy suspensions. And offending county boards are going to have to be hit with big fines.
I know people say that it is difficult to police and identify the culprits. But there are seven officials covering all big games and numerous TV cameras so it should not be all that difficult.
Sitting in the stand last Sunday, I could see fellas in other players’ faces and mouthing off and they were hardly talking about the weather.
And if I can see it going on from the stand I cannot see why it cannot be picked up by the referees or any of his six other officials.
A few lengthy bans and a few big fines will bring everybody to their senses; there can be no excuses. It has to be stamped out.
Another thing that has crept into the game of late is thing of goading a player after a big score or a big miss. It is something I don’t like either and it should not be tolerated. It does nothing for the image of Gaelic football.
If all of the above was not bad enough then we hear of the incident involving Donegal minor captain Michael Carroll, and the alleged comments about his late dad Francie, who died of cancer last year.
It is a new low and just like all the above it simply cannot be tolerated. It is another good reason why this whole sledging thing has to be rooted out once and for all. There can be no pussyfooting about on the issue. The time has come to act.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.