“Sorry Alan Brazil I think it’s perfectly acceptable for men like Andy Murray to cry”
PUBLISHED: 12:52 14 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:57 15 January 2019
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
After Sir Andy Murray’s emotional press conference when he announced he would be retiring from tennis, TalkSport presenter and former Ipswich player Alan Brazil had a bit to say about the sportsman’s tears.
Ex-footballer Alan Brazil has everyone talking.
Many have taken a dim view of his comments about Sir Andy Murray becoming emotional when he talked about his impending retirement from tennis. The 31-year-old Wimbledon champion tearfully revealed last week the Australian Open could be his last tournament due to a painful hip injury that has plagued him.
East Anglian resident Mr Brazil, formerly of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Ipswich Town, speaking on his TalkSport radio show said of Sir Andy on air: “He’s playing tennis for God’s sake. I’m not having the bubbles, the tears. The pain, the pain, the pain.
“I admire what he has done, but I don’t want tears... Anyone can play tennis. I’m more agile than he will ever be.”
He continued: “I think Andy’s got a bit of a problem to be honest. He’s got to be a little bit careful. I don’t like to see a grown man break down like that.”
Co-host Ally McCoist defended Murray, telling Alan Brazil: “You’re a cold-hearted man.”
I might be considered old school (four years older than Mr Brazil), brought up in an era when it was not considered manly to cry. But I have admiration for people who are not afraid to show emotion. It indicates, in my opinion, a well-rounded, sensitive character. At the same time, I have to confess to crying at TV series The Littlest Hobo and Highway to Heaven. Call me a sissy if you like, Mr Brazil. (Just the once, please).
In retrospect, I suppose men who did cry in the 1960s hid themselves away to do it.
In an emotionally charged situation - such as a press conference, when reporters have their voice recorders pointed at you it must be very hard to hold it together. Sir Andy did not blub but had to avoid looking at the cameras for a number of seconds.
As we move through the year 2019, is it still a problem that men openly cry? I would say no.
I have seen men cry at funerals, weddings, on the birth of their children, when faced with seemingly insurmountable difficulties. I imagine it is a form of expression that Mr Brazil rarely (if ever) uses. But, come on, this is the third millennium, it has to be okay.
Andy Murray has been in the public eye throughout his tennis years and, unlike footballers, tends to stand alone. We have watched him not win Wimbledon, we then had the enormous thrill of watching him win the tournament twice. In 2013 he returned tennis pride to a nation that hadn’t seen a Wimbledon men’s champion since 1936 and no singles champion at all since 1977 when Virginia Wade took the women’s title.
For most of us, being able to watch Sir Andy at the peak of his game has been a privilege and if he gets upset at the thought of having to forsake the career he has pursued since he was a boy, then that’s all right; he’s earned the right to cry.
As, indeed, has Mr Brazil, should he ever wish to shed a tear for his football career, which came to an end too soon because of a back injury. He toughed it out but if he was to feel the need to have a good cry then who would deny him that?
On social media DineAndDown wrote: “@talkSPORT how much longer will you allow Alan Brazil to spout his caveman views?” PatrickDavies7 said: “@talkSPORT Another example of how Alan Brazil is so out of touch with modern sports. A grandfather clock in a digital age.”
Later in the show, a taxi driver called in to say he had driven Andy Murray from Heathrow and said he was a ‘charming man’, Brazil interrupted: “Did he cry when he looked at the meter?”
It hasn’t been all criticism for the former Ipswich forward, however. Comments on the The East Anglian Daily Times Facebook page include: “Well said, Alan,” with a thumbs up emoji and “I’m with Mr Brazil - crying sportsmen drives me nuts. Stiff upper lip , dear chap. keep calm and carry on, Strong of body and strong of mind.”
Here are some other real men who have wept.
• Joe Biden was President Barrack Obama’s vice president and had he represented Delaware as a US Senator since 1973. Obama surprised Biden when he awarded his VP with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour. Biden couldn’t hold back his tears as Obama awarded the medal to him and he had to turn his back to the cameras at one point so that he could compose himself.
• Roger Federer, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, and a gentleman to boot, has been moved to brought to tears many times. He has cried after winning and after losing.
• Tiger Woods was overwhelmed with emotion when he won the 2006 British Open. The reality struck him that his father, who had recently died, would never again be there to celebrate a championship with him. Woods was unable to hold back the tears after he sunk the putt that clinched him the championship.
• Italian striker Mario Balotelli was in tears when his country lost to Spain in the EURO 2012 final. He was seen to sob uncontrollably after the match and it continued even after getting a hug from his adopted parents.
• Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez achieved everything at Barcelona but in 2015 it was time to leave or sit on the bench. He said goodbye in any emotional interview both with the club and the media. “I tried to control my emotions, but in the end, it wasn’t possible,” Xavi said.
• Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo is well known for crying. It is reported known very well when it comes to crying. In the final of Euro 2016 when he injured his knee and couldn’t continue with the match, he cried for almost 90 minutes (allegedly). He has also cried with joy when receiving the coveted award Ballon d’Or.
• One of the most memorable shedding of tears by a football star was, of course, on the occasion of the 1990 World Cup tournament in Italy when England lost to Germany in the semi-final. Paul Gascoigne’s tears touched a nation (with the possible exception of Alan Brazil... who, after all, is a Scot). He has said: “I couldn’t help but cry that night.”
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