Were Manchester United and Newcastle United players wrong to kiss their badge on Saturday?

Two high-profile footballers made the headlines at the weekend for the wrong reasons, with many people criticising their decision to kiss the badge on their team’s shirt. While most players reserve this activity for when they score a goal, this duo made the gesture in response to the opposition set of supporters giving them some stick. Were they within their rights to do this?

The Telegraph reports that Wayne Rooney has escaped FA action after kissing the Red Devils crest at Goodison Park on Saturday, something that appears at odds with his ‘Once a Blue, Always a Blue’ message on a t-shirt a few seasons ago.

Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that Joe Kinnear is backing Joey Barton, that loveable scamp, who responded to taunts from Sunderland fans by kissing the Newcastle badge. The interim Magpies manager has no problems with the midfielder’s gesture.

Kinnear, though, seemed unfazed. “I’m not worried, I don’t see what he did wrong,” he insisted. “Ninety per cent of footballers kiss their badges at some time. I will probably say to Joey that he can kiss the badge again if he scores a hat-trick.”

Indeed, many are saying that Sunderland supporters were throwing missiles at the player, although Barton’s gesture was at best naive in light of the fact that this was a Tyne Wear derby. Do Newcastle and Manchester United supporters think that their respective players were well within their rights to express love for their club?

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