Work: Must you always go?

Before we start, let me answer your questions. Yes, this is an article centered around Harry Kane. He does play for Tottenham. Yes, you were promised that Tottenham would never be mentioned in this blog.

However, this is current news. You always have to go where the story takes you, even if it is to Tottenham.

Anyway, here is a brief background about the Harry Kane situation and why this article had to be written.

  • Towards the back end of the 2020/21 Premier League season, rumours began to circulate that Tottenham striker Harry Kane wanted to leave.
  • It was reported that Kane had become frustrated with Tottenham’s lack of competitiveness. He wanted a move to a club competing for trophies.
  • It was reported that Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea were all interested in acquiring his services.
  • Fast forward a few weeks to the European Championships. It was reported by a reliable source that Manchester City had made a bid of £100m to Tottenham for Kane. It was rejected. Apparently, Tottenham wants a £150m.
  • Now, fast forward again to last week, when it was reported that Harry Kane had not reported back from his summer break. He was supposed to return for pre-season training, but he had not shown up.

Kane’s absence led a lot of people, including yours truly, to raise questions about the media’s preferential treatment of some players. Harry Kane not turning up for work is one thing, but can you imagine the backlash if it was Paul Pogba?

Now, it is important to add that Kane did release a statement of Friday. He said that he had not skipped training and that he had always planned to return this week. This again raised questions. Why would you wait a week to tell us you had not skipped training? Odd.

Anyway, Kane’s absence raised quite an important question that you all must answer. Let us forget the difference in treatment of black players by the media for a second. Let us also say that Kane had indeed skipped training. Is he right to?

There are two sides to the argument. On one side you have the people who are against Kane doing this. These people believe in professionalism. They argue that many people are dissatisfied with their jobs, but they still turn up each day and work. They believe that Kane signed a contract and that he must honour it.

Then there is the other side. These people believe that athletes have a very short career as compared to other people. Therefore they have to make sure they do the best for themselves in a career that does not last long. They believe that they have a right to be selfish. They continue to make the argument that teams have the ability to sell, trade, and release players who are under contract. Therefore, these players have just as much right to look to leave their teams.

What Kane is supposedly doing is something we actually see very regularly in American sports leagues. Players who are not happy with their contract situation or want to leave their teams tend to not turn up to training for a period of time. The reason they do this is that as athletes, their only source of leverage in these negotiations is withholding their service from these teams. This actually helps to drive down their value, so the team has to sell or trade them as soon as possible.

However, we have seen teams decide that you are under contract and we will not sell you. The athlete would be fined for every training session missed.

As for Harry Kane, his situation is simple. He is one of the world’s best players, in the middle of his prime. Understandably, he wants to move to a place where he feels he can compete against and play with the world’s best players. But, for this to happen, should he be allowed to miss work? You decide.

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