Sheffield Wednesday fans’ column: No place for ‘banter’ over Jeremy Helan’s big decision

Jeremy Helan has retired to focus on religion
Jeremy Helan has retired to focus on religion
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Last week’s game against Bristol City gave me a migraine.

The tension, the highs and the frustrations, it was as enthralling as it was exhausting and I was only sitting in the stand.

Players deal with these intense feelings in different ways.

Some party hard, some just go home to be in the bosom of their family and some take solace in their religion.

Jeremy Helan announced this week that he is retiring from football to pursue a life of religion.

He plans to travel to Saudi Arabia to learn more about his faith.

As a Frenchman who has watched countless atrocities in his homeland done in the name of his own religion it’s not difficult to see that his concentration may not always be on whether he’ll make the squad for an EFL Cup match.

It didn’t take long for the knuckle draggers to use his announcement as a source of discriminatory ‘banter’.

His Wikipedia page was hacked and his latest club was listed as ‘On loan to ISIS’ and edited photos of him dressed as a bomber were circulated.

The Sun even showed their lack of respect by posting an article about his announcement captioned with a photo of Royston Drenthe instead of Helan.

Just because a person becomes more devout it doesn’t mean they are automatically radicalised.

If Helan had decided to leave Sheffield Wednesday to join the clergy would he have received the same treatment?

I like Helan as a player. He’s fast, able to fill in different positions and had the ability to get booked twice and not get sent off.

Whether you believe Jeremy Helan is brave or foolhardy in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter, he is doing what he believes in and I for one hope he finds contentment.