Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Rory McIlroy autograph row brought out the serially offended

Telegraph Sport: where the debate really gets started

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

It may not seem like it sometimes, but, truly, we live in a democracy in which free speech and tolerance are the cornerstones. How else do you explain the airtime given to the pious prats finding fault on the back of one of the greatest sporting achievements we will ever be fortunate to laud?

Rory McIlroy's 'crime'? Sub-consciously neglecting to sign an autograph at the zenith of his Open golf triumph.

What else would you be thinking about?

The excited lad who broke the ropes clearly meant no harm, but who knew that? Rory was in the zone. Who wouldn't be?

All's well that ends well and there ought not to have been harsh judgements or recrimination, either way.

Strictly speaking, had Rory paused to sign that piece of paper before autographing his scorecard, he could have been disqualified as the rightful Open champion. Imagine the outrage from the same quarters if that had occurred?

Instead, the offended bus did the usual tour of the radio phone-ins. The same opportunist tut-tutters who denounced Darren Clarke for 'over-celebrating' his Open win with a pint or three. Who wouldn't?

Wait til they see Rory's Twitter feed pictures of him pouring Jägerbombs into the Claret Jug.

This righteous indignation on the radio is less about Rory and more about the attention-seekers phoning in. Democracy, free speech and tolerance are good.

But can we have a radio red button to spare us from the serially offended?

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy celebrates winning the 2014 Open Championship with his mum at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy celebrates winning the 2014 Open Championship with his mum at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy kisses the Claret Jug after winning the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy kisses the Claret Jug after winning the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake.
Rory McIlroy wins the British Open at Hoylake, Liverpool and the members at Holywood Golf Club celebrate.
Rory McIlroy wins the British Open at Hoylake, Liverpool and the members at Holywood Golf Club celebrate.

Further Reading

Rejoice in Rory McIlroy ... everyone knows where he's from

The modest, shy (and very proud) mum who gave Rory his drive 

McIlroy is unable to emulate Tiger's heroics: G-Mac

Major record is there for taking if Rory drives on 

Biting Back: The righteous indignation was overkill 

In feelgood Holywood, everyone's smiling... and youngsters are hitting the golf course  

McIlroy is carving his name onto the pages of history 

A hero returns home, and they all want to see him  

Hoylake links attracts fewer fans than Woods glory 

The Open: Rory McIlroy shows elite sport and relationships just don't mix 

The Open: Rory McIlroy stars in another Holywood blockbuster 

The Open: Fred Daly set standard for Rory to follow, and now he can master Augusta 

Rory McIlroy: From boy to £25m superstar

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