It has to be said Becks has had some fantastic PR over the years. Going from being one of the most hated men in England, after the ’98 World Cup, to a shoe-in for a knighthood in the space of 15 years is an impressive feat. But how much of it is down to him being a genuine, sincere person and how much is it down to PR stunts and successful image management?
Last week Becks secured a move to French side Paris Saint Germain, worth £170,000-a-week, and he promptly announced in his press conference that 100% of his wages would be going to a local children’s charity. For something that I feel should be seen as incredibly positive, it has been met with mixed reactions from the French press and across the world. Some say it was merely a way of David avoiding the contentious tax system in France, and others say it’s just a publicity stunt that will still see Beckham net a fortune, due to loop-holes in his contract regarding shirt sales.
Regardless of whether there are ulterior motives behind this move it’s worth asking, ‘do the positives of this action outweigh the negatives?’ and ‘do we ever make entirely unselfish acts?’ Like in the TV show Friends where Phoebe lets a bee sting her in an attempt at a purely unselfish act, only for the bee to (obviously) die.
So, was it a not-so-cheap stunt or genuine act of kindness? I would always pick the latter. Essentially, when answering that question, it boils down to what you know about the character of the man. For perhaps England’s biggest celebrity, he seems so down-to-earth and unchanged by his fame. Watching him on the Jonathan Ross show talking about how important it is to him that his children are polite and thinking back to the personal involvement he took with Kirsty Howard and Kirsty’s Appeal can only lead me to believe he is a good person. His charity work should be met with respect, not derision and cynicism.