It is tough being a star. When someone pushes your button when you’re stressed, you got to still stay composed. "But not this time," reacts James Rodriguez.
Rodriguez gave the middle finger to journalists gathered outside the team’s practice on Friday in Bogota ahead of their World Cup qualifier on Tuesday against Ecuador. The gesture – which is called “the pistol” in Colombia – drew criticism from some in a country where the attractive captain is an idol.
Luis Acosta / AFP
A debate soon erupted on social media, with Colombians alternately criticising and defending the 25-year-old star. The picture even spawned its own hashtag on Twitter: #NoJodanAJames (“don’t fuck with James”), which was the social network’s top trending topic in Colombia.
“James Rodriguez is a humanly imperfect being. He puts up with a lot from the sports media’s yellow (tabloid) journalism and destructive stories,” wrote Twitter user Miryam Riveros.
The AFP photographer who captured Rodriguez’s gesture, Luis Acosta, said the footballer made it towards a group of journalists from a gym on the second story of the Colombian Football Federation’s headquarters.
Be extra careful the next time, or do as you damn well please?