Terence Blacker in the Independent today defends footballer Peter Crouch, described by the Sun as a "Lanky love cheat" after News of the World revelations about his behaviour on a stag night, against the "sanctimonious scolding" of the British press. Blacker writes: "Peter Crouch is hardly the first young Englishman to have misbehaved, even twice, in a sozzled moment at a stag party, and yet, according to the stern moralists of the media (who of course would never dream of doing such a thing), he deserves the kind of sanctimonious scolding in which the British press specialises. "Sex-and-football stories are published to titillate sexually frustrated readers, but that hardly explains or excuses the level of moral disapproval. Few of us, given the opportunities on offer to Premier League footballers, would reach for the smelling-salts and run away. "Once one remembers that jealousy, that most familiar and under-estimated of vices, is behind much of what is written and spoken about football, then the emotion and the nastiness become easier to understand."
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