You may remember Raheem Sterling being “caught” with a balloon of nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas due to the relaxed, euphoric feeling it can give those inhaling it, back in April. Now it seems that he’s been at it again, with today’s tabloid headlines showing the Liverpool player and England international holding a balloon and standing next to what appears to be gas canisters containing the legal high.
And this is the point where I issue the bi-monthly reminder that Raheem Sterling is a 20-year-old young man. A very rich 20-year-old young man, yes, but still 20-years old nonetheless. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone of that age who frequents terrible clubs, as professional footballers are prone to do, that isn’t inhaling (or at least hasn’t tried) laughing gas due to the ease in which it can be acquired. While a legislation passed in May made the production and sale of legal highs such as laughing gas illegal, it is still legal for an individual to have it in their possession.
So what’s so bad about Sterling doing it, other than the fact that it’s a pretty embarrassing substance to take? Not much, really. Yes there are health implications, as there are with almost anything you throw into your body that isn’t water, but in terms of stuff he could be doing with his Scrooge McDuck wealth it ranks pretty low on the list.
That won’t make much difference to him, though, as he was already very publicly reprimanded by Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers the first time he was snapped taking the legal high, and as he stands in the middle of a reported £40million deal to move to Manchester City, that he just can’t seem to stop sucking on these bloody balloons won’t paint him in a very good light. If the Man City deal falls through because of this incident, then it will surely be the silliest roadblock a footballer has ever come across whilst trying to further his career.
Hopefully Sterling can keep his penchant for legal highs restrained whilst discussions continue to take place between Manchester City and Liverpool, so that when he talks to his future grandkids about his career in professional football, he doesn’t have to conclude his story with “and then I was forced to see out the rest of my career at Liverpool after sucking on too many balloons.”
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