Though I’m a few days late in getting last week’s Pic of the Week up on the blog, you might be even more confused that to the picture I’ve selected because it most certainly wasn’t taken last week. In fact, the picture above was taken in 2006 during one of Paolo Di Canio’s final matches with Lazio before he retired. So why, then, did I pick this as this week’s picture?
Di Canio, a self-professed Fascist sympathizer, was named the successor to Martin O’Neil as manager at Sunderland at the weekend. And though the Italian lightening rod earned the opportunity to try to save the Black Cats from relegation thanks to a very fruitful two year spell in charge at League One Swindon Town, most of the rhetoric surrounding his appointment has concerned this six year old picture. Though a few of the punditry chosen to overlook the political leanings of a potentially very talented manager and debate his merits as as a manager — a novel idea, right? — many have decided to attack Sunderland and Di Canio for the decision by calling them “racists” and “unethical”. And while Paolo can be accused of having a fiery personality and is probably guilty of some poor decision-making in his past, that doesn’t mean he’s not qualified for the job. By all accounts, he’s a very intelligent man and a promising managerial talent.
So my selection for this week’s Pic of the Week is meant to convey this simple message: let’s let current news and future results dictate our perceptions of someone, not their past indiscretions. Otherwise, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.