David and Victoria Beckham sit in the Royal Box during the men's final… (Clive Brunskill / Getty…)
Remember all that talk about David Beckham's loyalty and his promise to bleed Galaxy blue after he signed his contract extension last January?
Well, apparently that's passed.
While his slumping team was playing a crucial Major League Soccer match in Chicago on Sunday, Beckham was seen on TV sitting in the Royal Box at Wimbledon watching Roger Federer beat Andy Murray in the men's final.
It's been a rough couple of weeks for Beckham, who first learned he would be left off the British team for this month's Olympic Games in London, then was suspended for last Wednesday's MLS match with Philadelphia because of an accumulation of yellow cards.
The following day the league suspended him another game for his petulant play in an earlier match in San Jose when, during a break in the action, he inexplicably booted the ball at a San Jose player, striking the game official as well. In the resulting melee, Beckham had to be restrained from attacking most of the San Jose team, including the mascot.
And while that prevented him from playing in Chicago on Sunday, it apparently cleared him to leave the team and fly to England -- for at least the second time in two months. On the first occasion he helped escort the Olympic flame to London. This time he sat in the Royal Box at a tennis match alongside the likes of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, and her sister Pippa.
Apparently Beckham kept his cool there, attacking neither officials nor mascots.
Although Beckham did not miss any training sessions last week and, with the team off the next two days, he isn't expected to miss any practice this week, it's hard not to read his jaunt to England as a show of disrespect for both the Galaxy and MLS. And yes, suspended MLS players typically don't travel to away games they can't play in. But, in the meantime, they generally don't show up at a major sporting event on another continent either.
Certainly he had permission to go -- Becks tends to get what Becks wants -- but when the third-best-paid player in the league and the face of MLS' global marketing campaign feels it is more important to spend the day watching tennis rather than watching the Galaxy, it makes you wonder where his true loyalties lie. A player of Beckham's importance and stature shouldn't have asked for permission in the first place.
Oh and by the way, Beckham did get a spot of good news while he was in England: he's been voted onto his third MLS First XI, the league's midseason all-star team. That team is scheduled to meet European Champion Chelsea on July 25 in Philadelphia. But that's two days before the opening ceremonies for the London Games. Guess where Beckham's likely to be for that?
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