Not that I’m particularly invested in any of this, but Zidane’s position is just sorta stoopid. He says about his decision to headbutt that other guy: “I would like to apologise because a lot of children were watching the match. I do apologise but I don’t regret my behaviour because regretting it would mean he was right to say what he said.”
I-apologize-but-regret-nothing is already a pretty contradictory stance. But since when is regretting an over-reaction a blanket endorsement of somebody else’s provocative behavior? If Rich deliberately steps on my toe and I respond by burying a ballpoint pen in his skull, I will regret it later. But that doesn’t make Rich right for stepping on my toe. And saying, “I apologize but I don’t regret it,” wouldn’t count as a lot of sincerity.
I now leave this topic forever, unless I’m dragged in by forces beyond my control. Should that happen I will apologize for breaking my word, but I won’t regret it.
Update: A good point, from a reader:
The most important part of the whole “Zidane Affair” is that _it creates a new negative behavior with which to stereotype the French_! They can be “Head-butting, cheese-eating surrender monkeys!” You can ponder “Will Chirac head-butt Pres. Bush at the G-8 Summit?” and subtly deflate the vaunted French arrogance. A new deflater for French pride is a thing to be celebrated.