Theo Walcott‘s gesture towards Tottenham fans during Arsenal‘s 2-0 FA Cup win was completely acceptable. The 24-year-old was stretchered off due to injury in the final 10 minutes, and pointed up towards the away Spurs fans and indicated with his hand that the score was 2-0.
The fact that this was even considered inappropriate or deserving of punishment is utter nonsense. Walcott simply stated the score of the match — it’s what you would call ‘gloating’ at worst. If players aren’t allowed to enjoy success vs. their biggest rivals, then what is the point in showing so much passion in fighting for the ‘important’ victory?
Spurs fans were almost certainly firing all sorts of explicit insults at him while also throwing missiles towards him despite he was being carried off. I think it is pretty clear what, if anything, needs to be addressed in this interaction: the fans.
Walcott did no wrong whatsoever. Perhaps the only thing you could say against him is that it puts him in danger as it incites the opposing fans into violent behavior. That is really the only justifiable claim that Walcott should be given some sort of reprimand. But if they’re going to begin punishing footballers for gestures such as stating the score to rival fans, then they need to sort out their priorities.