The last time Marlon King graced the St. Andrews turf with his presence was back in February. He was, quite rightly, tormented and abused from the home fans throughout and at one point, after scoring the opening goal for Coventry that afternoon, he seemed to revel in the chants aimed at him.
At that point, I despised him. How could he have assaulted a woman and then be rejoicing in the abuse he received for it? It was disgusting, like gut-wrenching as the crime he committed – and the thirteen offences before that.
But the next time he’ll be at St. Andrews, he’ll be playing for my club.
If the cost of relegation is having Marlon King wearing your club's shirt, I dislike it even more now - and I know a lot agree with me. Some are saying “if he scores and gets us up I don’t care” but speaking as a woman, I do care. I care because that could have been someone I know, a friend, a family member, anyone. Sometimes in football we can put things behind us when it comes to the actual game. Players having affairs for instance: you might think the player a bad role model, but on the pitch if they put on a good performance their off the pitch antics are put to one side. But other times things cannot be forgiven or ignored, and this is one of them.
Morals cannot be overlooked either, but then again, opinions can be changed. When he signed for Coventry City fans were heavily against the idea of having King play for the team they adore. Who can blame them? Applauding someone week in week out who is on the sex offenders register is not how many people visualize spending their Saturday afternoons. Yet, many goals and many great performances later, he was voted their player of the season and whilst Blues fans are adamant they don’t want him at the club, many Coventry fans wish he'd stayed with them.
I reserve judgement on a lot of new signings until I see them play, and I will give King credit if he does well for my club, but I cannot - nor should anyone else for that matter - overlook his past for the sake of a few goals to get us promoted.
Yet, we shouldn't let that affect our love of the club. As I saw someone mention earlier: you may not like King, detest him even, but there are ten other players on that pitch who need our support, and the arrival of one player shouldn't decide whether we attend games or not.
As it stands my opinion of Marlon King is a negative one. If he does well for us that opinion will change, but I cannot and will not forget what he has done in his past no matter what he does for my club. It's a lot easier to change your opinion than it is to change the morals you believe in.