Save Your Apology, Mr. Vaughan

Jonathan  TrottJudging by his Twitter feed, Michael Vaughan suffers not only from selective amnesia but astonishing tone-deafness. Here was his unprompted, unasked-for reaction to Friday’s news that Jonathan Trott still feels playing cricket is harming his health:

Yes, Michael, it is very sad. It is very sad that you think you can use your position as a former England captain, newspaper columnist and broadcaster to get away with accusing a current professional of colluding with his employer to fake a mental illness.

It is very sad that you wilfully misinterpreted the ECB’s statements in the immediate wake of Trott’s return home to suit your own narrative – the board were very careful not to mention depression, or to be seen to be diagnosing their stricken employee in any way. Andrew McGlashan’s interview with Dr Brett Morrissey for ESPNCricinfo is worth reading and re-reading on this point.

Incidentally, on your secondary point: that Trott sought to wear his troubles lightly in his Sky Sports interview is understandable. To construe that as him having ‘completely disrespected anybody who has gone through depression and mental illness’, as you put it, is absurd.

It is very sad that you made these cowardly allegations not just in your own name but in that of the rest of the England team, and that not one of them has called you out on it. You are not in the England dressing room, and only Ian Bell remains from when you were. How dare you presume to speak for them on anything, still less something as serious as this?

In response to your disingenuous platitude, many have asked you in deservedly contemptuous tones whether you would apologise for your column. I will not be joining them. It’s very clear what you think of Jonathan Trott, and what you think we as cricket lovers want to hear. H.L. Mencken’s oft-misquoted line that ‘no one is this world…has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the…people’ was not supposed to be a columnists’ manual. We deserve better than callous appeals to our worse nature from our journalists, and journalism deserves better representatives than you. So save your apology, Mr. Vaughan; and in any case, who would believe it?