British newspapers tend to truly distinguish themselves during election season, and though the very sad news of Aaron Lennon being detained under the Mental Health Act has nothing to do with electoral politics, reporting today of his personal crisis has been infected with a similar tone-deaf dunderheadness. As Lennon's family and friends appeal for privacy, they will be pleased to know that the British tabloid media are treating Lennon's situation as a celeb story.
After breaking the news of his arrest, the Mail thought Lennon's salary was somehow relevant to their story about his detention.
Then - after mentioning a list of prominent athletes who'd tweeted support of Lennon - they thought it'd be worth informing their readers that Lennon picked up a speeding fine 12 months ago and had an argument with a member of a boy band.
Honestly what the fuck has this got to do with Aaron Lennon suffering from mental health? Just spiteful and irrelevant, fuck you Daily Mail pic.twitter.com/n346xYkLZa
— Sam Mapp (@sammapp) May 3, 2017
Not to be outdone by Paul Dacre's rag, the Mirror have trotted out their own ridiculous story on Lennon's 'colourful partying past'.
So the Mirror saw the reaction to that Mail story and thought 'We want some of that'. And actually made it worse. For f**ks sake. pic.twitter.com/93d0QGMZUQ
— Football365 (@F365) May 3, 2017
Their reporter notes that Lennon was once photographed in the same room with 'Essex babe' Lauren Goodger in Marbella. Their investigative team reveal that "the young footballer was pictured checking her out as she stood beside him".
As society attempts - and struggles - to overcome the stigma surrounding mental health, it's hard to understand what reporting of this nature actually achieves. Lennon has lived his life in the public eye since making his debut with Leeds United at 16. It's hard to know what is gained by reminding people of his dust-ups with One Direction members or pool-partying past.
Mediawatch, as ever, is essential reading on this issue.