Marcus Rashford is a likable guy. Even those of us who are not Manchester United fans have to admire his earnest demeanor and fairytale-like story.
Signed to Manchester United's academy system at only seven years old, Rashford rose through the club ranks to make a series of impressive debuts – scoring in each and every one of them.
Here's a list of debut games with United's first team in which Rashford scored:
First-team debut (Europa League): 2 goals
Premier League debut (versus Arsenal): 2 goals
Manchester Derby debut: 1 goal
League Cup debut: 1 goal
England National Team debut: 1 goal
So it was with disappointment that children around the world watched Rashford flop to the ground today after a challenge inside the box from Swansea keeper Lukasz Fabianski.
"The Dive" - ft. Rashford pic.twitter.com/iYzQWVoOwL— (@TheBarcaDecree) April 30, 2017
Clearly, this is a dive. Sure, Fabianski makes an aggressive challenge, but Rashford starts to go down well before the eventual, meager contact is made.
Watching this unfold in real time, we found ourselves hoping against hope that the replay would reveal blatant contact on behalf of Fabianski. Or perhaps a sudden and debilitating leg cramp that sent Rashford crashing to earth despite valiant attempts to stay up, sort of like Monty Python's John Cleese declaring "It's just a flesh wound!"
This was not to be. The replay reveals a calculated decision to go down and take the penalty. Many of you will, of course, suggest this was the smart thing to do.
To this we say, "ptttttthhhhhhhpt."
We refuse to accept that flopping to the ground like a giant man-baby is the correct thing to do. Sure, maybe your team scores a goal. But it's a well known fact that every time a player flops, a baby seal dies.
OK, we made that last thing up. But, every time we watch a man of Marcus Rashford's seeming integrity flop, we sure feel like a baby seal just died.
Judging from the immediate and violent reaction on Twitter, many of you agree with us:
Rashford through on goal pic.twitter.com/SEFaCdgdSe— Coral (@Coral) April 30, 2017
Footage of Rashford back when he was 15 https://t.co/JpCLBTtVmn— MGH (@OfficialMgh) April 30, 2017
Marcus Rashford's half-time heatmap... pic.twitter.com/axpM1vPffS— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) April 30, 2017
And we know at least one person who agrees with us. Asked by my young daughter why the player on television fell down, it took me only a moment to respond, "Because he forgot kids like you are watching."
Related: The 8 Worst Divers In Football History