Professional footballers enjoy some of the higher reputations among professional athletes.
That has everything to do with the popularity of football, its status as the national game of the UK, its worldwide popularity and the sumptuous lifestyle of those at the highest levels of the game.
Top footballers have become icons of success and role models, particularly for the young, who aspire towards the lifestyle.
Those footballers are not generally noted for their social concern. This paved the way, a couple of months ago, for Health Secretary Matt Hancock to lead calls for Premier League footballers to accept pay cuts, insisting they should "play their part" by reducing their very large salaries to help cut the amount of furloughing among football clubs.
The issue died when Wayne Rooney and other football aristocrats asked why all rich people were not being asked to contribute, a response which muted the attack.
Step forward Marcus Rashford, who reminded us that a considerable number of well-off footballers, like himself, come from very poor and underprivileged homes.
He and his siblings and many contemporaries once relied on school meals, and he forced a humiliating climbdown by a Government seeking to end free school meals during the summer holiday.
This young man demonstrated a deeply embedded social concern and went on the attack, formidably. His chosen weapon was Twitter and he wielded it with a rare skill.
There are many lessons to be learnt from what happened. It has been said that his ability lay in familiarity with the Twitter platform, but that isn't quite the full picture. Mr Rashford is bright - and he can write. He is a skilful practitioner of brevity.
According to anecdote, Woodrow Wilson, Democratic president of the United States from 1913 to 1921, was asked about the amount of time he spent preparing speeches.
He replied: "That depends on the length of the speech. If it is a 10-minute speech, it takes me all of two weeks to prepare it; if it is a half-hour speech, it takes me a week; if I can talk as long as I want to, it requires no preparation at all. I am ready now."
On Twitter, a maximum of 280 characters can be used, which is more debilitating than many would believe. The requirement for brevity can distort, sometimes woefully.
Examine the interchange between Mr Rashford and Dr Therese Coffey, the Work and Pensions Secretary. Mr Rashford wrote: "When you wake up this morning and run your shower, take a second to think about parents who have had their water turned off during lockdown."
Dr Coffey's reply was very short. "Water cannot be disconnected though."
Technically correct, but that mattered little. What did matter - and mattered a lot - was that the tone of Dr Coffey's short tweet communicated more that she calculated.
Mr Rashford's words had levels of meaning regarding deprivation. Readers sympathised. Coffey's words also had levels of meaning regarding social deprivation, of which, I'm sure, she was unaware.
Her short message appeared to reflect a lack of empathy, even a callousness, about the deprived. Readers did not sympathise - quite the opposite. She was probably bewildered by the reaction and she will not be the last to suffer from careless brevity.
Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: "Imagine having priorities so warped that a snarky comment is your response to Marcus Rashford's powerful campaign."
The Twitter exchange was widely picked up on mainstream media. On Good Morning Britain, anchor presenter Piers Morgan, who often seems permanently angry these days, described Dr Coffey's tweet as "heartless, devoid of empathy".
Mr Rashford's reply to Dr Coffey is worth dissecting, because of his moderation.
Perhaps generational difference was showing. Those using Twitter are mostly, but not exclusively, of a younger generation than the hapless Dr Coffey, who is around twice Mr Rashford's age.
Mr Rashford, experienced social media practitioner, wrote: "I'm concerned this is the only tweet of mine you acknowledged. Please, put rivalries aside for a second, and make a difference."
This was the tweet of someone who thought before clicking send. Effective brevity requires accurate targeting.
The footballer, throughout his series of tweets on the subject of deprivation, has been careful to keep out of party politics.
However, his mention of rivalries in that tweet above would seem to bring him very near party politics.
This once again highlights the dangers of brevity. Dr Coffey, though not a Liverpool MP, or born in the city, was brought up in Liverpool and is a well-known supporter of Liverpool FC, arch rivals of nearby Manchester United, Mr Rashford's club. So, the footballer's tweet may very well have been a reference to sporting rivalries.
Twitter has little room for such clarifications. It is a real-time micro-blogging platform, publicly launched in July 2006. A major defining feature is that tight limit of 280 characters.
Twitter was the chosen name, referring to small bursts of inconsequential information, or chirps, of birds. But it has grown into something else.
Twitter is not a news outlet - well, not officially - but its operation often substitutes for one. It is a source of news, as one of Woodrow Wilson's presidential successors is all too aware.
Twitter is especially loved by the Press. Therefore, if you ignore it, it may not ignore you, especially if you've just embarrassed yourself on the national or regional stage.
Twitter exerts disturbing power and influence on our public discourse, notwithstanding that only a minority use it regularly.
If a subject surfaces on Twitter, celebrities, politicians, broadcasters and journalists talk about it. That's the way of the world - and it is a world that Mr Rashford navigates with aplomb.
The limitations of expressing complicated issues in a sentence or two means Twitter really does adhere to the description of one critic who called it a machine for misunderstanding other people's ideas and identities. But for those who pause and think, it can uproot injustices.
Mr Rashford won the Twitter exchange with a representative of government, lock, stock and barrel because he did pause, did think and only then wrote superbly from the heart.
The result was a chorus declaring Rashford 1, Johnson 0. Nice and brief.