Kyle Walker has taken to Twitter to address recent controversies while hitting out at the press for digging into his personal life.
The Manchester City star ended up in hot water last month for breaking lockdown rules after a tabloid report claimed the England international hosted a ‘sex party’.
Walker apologised for the incident while adding that his “position as a professional footballer brings the responsibility of being a role model”.
The full-back was in the news once again this week for breaking lockdown rules, with The Sun stating that the England defender visited his sister and parents within a 24-hour period.
According to the report, the 29-year-old faces police intervention and a potential fine for breaching lockdown once again.
But Walker took to Twitter to defend himself by releasing a statement to both apologise and criticise the extra negative attention his family has been receiving as a result.
“I feel as though I have stayed silent for long enough. In light of the most recent article published about me and my family, I feel as though I have no choice but to address things publicly,” Walker said.
“I have recently gone through one of the toughest periods of my life, which I take full responsibility for. However, I now feel as though I am being harassed. This is no longer solely affecting me, but affecting the health of my family and my young children too.
“In relation to the events on Wednesday, I travelled to Sheffield to give my sister a birthday card and present, but also to speak to one of the few people I believe I can trust in my life.
“She hugged me to remind me how much she cares and that I am loved. What am I meant to do – push her away?
“I then travelled to my parents’ house to pick up some home-cooked meals. Again, it’s been an extremely tough couple of months for them: everything I’ve gone through in my life they have gone through with me.
“What have my parents and sister done to deserve their privacy being invaded by photographers following me to their homes? I constantly feel as though I am being followed. I don’t even feel safe in the confines of my own home – why should they have to feel like that too? Who deserves that?
“I am in a privileged position as a role model and a professional athlete, and can assure you from my upbringing that I do not take it for granted. But at what stage do my feelings get taken into consideration?
“My family has been torn apart, this has been dragged through the press, and I ask: when is enough enough? At a time when the focus is understandably on Covid-19, at what point does mental health get taken into consideration, an illness which affects every sufferer differently? I am a human being, with feelings of pain and upset just like everybody else.
“Being in the public eye as a professional athlete does not make you immune to this. It is sad, but I feel as though my life is being scrutinised without any context. I understand if people are upset or angry with me, but it was important for people to have a better understanding of my life. Thank you for taking the time to hear my feelings.”