Over the past couple of weeks, videos have emerged online of top level players from the Premier League paying little attention to fans and children who are desperately waiting for a chance to meet their heroes.
At the start of April, Arsenal shared a video on their social channels showing their players signing a mascot's jersey prior to kick-off, but sadly for the young girl, the players barely acknowledged her.
At the weekend, something very similar circulated on social media. Leeds players were leaving their team hotel before their game against Bournemouth and some young Leeds supporters gathered in the lobby in the hopes of greeting some of their favourite players.
Much to the fans' disappointment, the players walked straight past without even speaking a word to them.
Leaving the hotel 😳#LUFCAway pic.twitter.com/TyL9D25F1r
— ian (@igrattan) April 30, 2023
The video has been viewed over 16 million times and it's safe to say that the footballing world was outraged with the poor form from the Leeds squad.
I’m not one to say too much on these issues because I was a player and occasionally was in poor form and felt embarrassed about it, however signing an autograph for a supporter is a way of keeping supporters well supporting you .
— Brian Deane (@deanobri1968) April 30, 2023
That young child just wanted to wave to his heroes. He doesn’t care about Histon in the cup or -15 in league one. He’s just waving at his heroes. What a shambles we have become. Give the little man a high five or something. 😡 #lufc
— Rob (@JuceeRob) April 30, 2023
That is so poor, so arrogant. Leeds fans don’t deserve that, especially that little lad just waving and hoping for an acknowledgment 😔
— Darren (@_stonyd) April 30, 2023
Really doesn’t take much to acknowledge people who look up to you. Footballers these days man smh
— Conn (@ConnCFC) May 1, 2023
It's been nothing short of an abysmal season so far for Leeds who are mired in the relegation battle. Javi Gracia's side haven't won a game since the start of April and they conceded a worrying 23 goals in the past month.
For a side in such poor form and on the brink of relegation to the championship, it's such a shame to see how the players treated the fans who continue to stick by them regardless of results.
Leeds players issue apology
On Monday afternoon, Leeds released this statement from their players to the fans, apologising for the recent video which circulated online.
📝 A message from the players
— Leeds United (@LUFC) May 1, 2023
As the first team squad at Leeds United, we wanted to reach out to the fan base regarding yesterday’s game and subsequent posts on social media.
Firstly, the performance was not good enough. There is no other way to look at it and the only way to respond is on the pitch. Leeds fans travel up and down the country in huge numbers and deserve more than this.
What is just as concerning to us as a group, is the video online of us leaving the hotel. Words can’t express how sorry we are that the youngster in the video wearing the Leeds kit is not shown more love from the squad. On a matchday we do an activation walk, before and after this we stop for photos and autographs to ensure we interact with fans, but also that we are on time when leaving for games. However, there is no excuse for not acknowledging fans and if the parents of the fan wearing the Leeds kit in the video could make themselves known to us, we would be grateful.
We do not believe that this fight is over and we will keep going until the last ball is kicked this season. Thank you again for your support.
It's becoming a worse and worse look for the beautiful game every time videos like this are released, but hopefully due to the attention brought on clubs and players when they do blank supporters, they might actually stop and make a young fan's dream come true in the future.