Something has bugged me for a few weeks now. Something which I wanted to blog about, but wondered if it was too insensitive or would be too far against what many people want to read, that something is with regards to Arsenal legend Kenny Sansom.
The frustration’s began a while ago, when a Twitter account surfaced rumoured to be from his nephew. It became clear it was indeed, his nephew, but it also became very clear that his nephew was clearly attention seeking. I do not know how old his nephew is, but it was obvious that he was trying to build a Twitter following through being Sansom’s nephew. It came across as very sad and attention seeking.
Then the news about Kenny Sansom being an alcoholic broke. I had a massive issue with this at the time, the reason being this ‘World Exclusive’ of Sansom’s cry for help, appeared in the very first Sunday edition of a well known tabloid. I took this original story with a pinch of salt, wondering how much Sansom was paid by said tabloid to ensure it had a massive World Exclusive on its first edition.
My frustrations with the Sansom situation increased, as no sooner had he come out (for the 3rd time in the press, no less) as an alcoholic, another Twitter account appeared, with it’s Bio being:
“An account created to show support for suffering alcoholics & homeless. Inspired by my uncle Kenny Sansom to help others like him that aren’t in the public eye.”
How sick in the head must you be to set up a Twitter page about a family member who is an alcoholic? Anyone who has dealt with an alcoholic family member (my family has a history) knows your 1st thoughts are with helping them. Clearly in this case, family members see it as a way to increase publicity. Maybe it is this exploitation of Sansom which drove him to drink to begin with?
The final straw for me came when Kenny Sansom begun his own Twitter account. It became clear immediately that it was unlikely that it was him tweeting. The tweets were in the same childish manner as the previous accounts, set up by his nephew. Was this a coincidence? Was this his nephew giving advice? Or was it his nephew once more using his Uncle’s great name to grow his own ‘popularity’, increasing his own attention, living his life through Kenny?
On his account, Kenny begged the attention of other ex-players. Continually tweeting them, begging for RT’s. I begun wondering once more, whether this was Kenny himself, or his nephew hoping to open up dialogue with the likes of Ian Wright, Lee Dixon, et al.
Most recently, a tweet from his account made me disgusted that it became the straw that broke the camel’s back:
“It’s Ben. Kenny’s really down & struggling big time having fallen off the wagon a few times. Trying to find some ideas to pick him back up?”
This is exploitation. Kenny’s name, his illness, is being used by those around him. His family should be helping him fight the battle, not making his dirty laundry public at every opportunity.
Yes, alcoholism affects a lot of people, and those who suffer from it need to seek help, but they also need to help themselves. What they do not need is to be exploited by those closest, their family, for the sole reason of gaining followers.
Kenny, turn Twitter off and tell your nephew to stop being an attention seeking prick. The Arsenal are with you every step of the way. Other’s are simply exploiting you.