Manchester United have again, set another record.
United forward, Marcus Rashford, is to become the youngest recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester, England.
Did he complete a doctorate degree program? Not quite.
The reason for honoring him with the doctorate?
He launched a campaign against child poverty. And the second reason? His sporting exploits on the pitch.
Well, the first reason might seem a little bit unfair, given some of the students currently at the University of Manchester, undergoing a doctorate degree program in one field or the other, who are laboring day and night to achieve the singular goal of completing their program and being awarded an honorary doctorate.
But what some of them might not realize concerning the award is that an honorary doctorate is often awarded in recognition of one’s life experiences.
Getting the award has less to do with academic achievement, and more to do with honoring a person for some events in their life.
But then, the question still remains.
Marcus Rashford was awarded the honorary doctorate for the launch of a campaign against child poverty, and, for his sporting exploits on the pitch.
Can any and every other footballer on the field of play act in the same vein, in the hopes of getting recognition of a similar nature?
For what it’s worth, his teammate Jesse Lingard could have literally done the same thing and received the award.
So could Harry Maguire. Or Luke Shaw. Or Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Let’s look at the second reason for which he was awarded.
His sporting exploits on the pitch.
It’s a wonder at this point, what sporting exploits on the pitch, to be exact?
It’s not to say that he hasn’t done well on the field of play. Going by his current statistics, as well as his recent run of performances, he’s not been bad.
He’s been scoring, he’s been assisting, he’s created chances, and he’s done quite well for his position and his role in the resurgence of Manchester United.
He’s a key player in the United squad; but he’s not exactly had the impact on the team as Bruno Fernandes, who joined up with the squad in January, has had.
If anything, it wouldn’t exactly sound out of place if a player like Bruno Fernandes did launch the campaign against child poverty and receive the award.
He’s already won at least two Player of the Month awards in the Premier League, in recognition of the turnaround at Old Trafford that he’s inspired in the months since his arrival from Sporting CP.
He’s indeed done spectacularly well for a once-struggling side.
Another award from the University of Manchester wouldn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary. It wouldn’t be strange if the Portuguese was called Dr. Bruno Fernandes at this point.
He’s treated some debilitating conditions which were plaguing Manchester United before he came in to the squad. He’s been like a doctor, in a number of ways.
This development, going forward, could mean a number of things.
For one thing, if Rashford could be awarded an honorary doctorate for campaigns against child poverty and for sporting exploits on the pitch, it means that any and every other footballer can hope to achieve the same thing by just launching similar campaigns against racism, segregation, or discrimination.
Well, whether disagreements or disputes arise concerning the development, the fact remains that Rashford set a record, at the very least for himself.
To be fair to him, his campaign apparently effected some crucial changes in school feeding programs in England, given that the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, initially rejected the objective of the campaign.
But he did a U-turn after huge public support for the campaign forced him to reconsider.
So, for what it’s worth, recognizing Rashford’s campaign is not really out of place.
But he’s become, unofficially, Dr. Marcus Rashford, of the University of Manchester, now.