‘Be kind’: Ben White’s agent makes appeal to Arsenal defender’s critics

<span><a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Ben White;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Ben White</a> has been subjected to ‘negative’ coverage in the media, according to his agent.</span><span>Photograph: Copa/Getty Images</span>

Ben White’s agent has called on the Arsenal defender’s critics to “be kind” after he asked to be left out of England’s squad for March’s international friendlies with Brazil and Belgium.

Gareth Southgate revealed last month that White does not want to be considered for international selection and said he had to go public with the truth because to continue to “protect” the Arsenal player would have been to risk his own credibility. But in an impassioned defence of the 26-year-old posted on his LinkedIn profile on Wednesday – the day after White scored twice against Chelsea in Arsenal’s 5-0 win – his agent, Alex Levack, said he felt “compelled” to defend his client after “negative” coverage in the media.

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“Whilst I appreciate that Ben is in the public eye which brings its own connotations and leaves you open to criticism I wanted to make the point that every elite performer, whichever field that may be, is a human being who has the same feeling we all have and experience good and bad,” he wrote.

“No one knows what is actually going on in one’s life so I really believe people should think before making a judgment or criticising these elite performers in public. Ben has shown unbelievable robustness and strength throughout this adverse period off the pitch and has blocked out all the noise and has performed incredibly well on the pitch, in a situation where many others could have and would have wilted.”

Levack added: “Ben has an incredible temperament and attitude which allows him the ability to navigate through his working and personal life. I suppose the main message is be kind to people as you do not have the full facts, which in Ben’s case neither Ben nor I wish to vocalise publicly, and do not know what is going on in people’s personal lives so again please be kind.”

White won the last of his four caps in 2022 and was part of England’s squad for the 2022 World Cup but went home early due to what were described as “personal reasons”.