Neil Lennon in no way condones the actions of Jamie Carragher this week. He is explicit in that. Yet, in many ways he can't help but feel a touch of sympathy.
The Sky Sports analyst finds himself suspended from his job until the end of the season after the spitting scandal that has seen him rivalling the nation's fallout with Russia for front-page headlines.
But his was only the most graphic of unsavoury incidents that have placed sharp focus on how sporting figures are treated on public outings.
Neil Lennon in no way condones the actions of Jamie Carragher but does have sympathy
In the wake of Sunday's Old Firm game, Celtic's Scott Sinclair was verbally abused at Glasgow Airport. Rangers defender Russell Martin found himself targeted by foul-mouthed yobs while innocently going about his business in a supermarket.
Only last month, England rugby boss Eddie Jones was hounded by a collection of drunken Scots at a Manchester train station on his way home from the Calcutta Cup loss at Murrayfield.
Lennon knows from painful personal experience that being a public figure can leave a man feeling like public property.
During his time as a Celtic midfielder, then manager, he was subjected to two assaults on the streets of Glasgow and another on the side of the pitch at Tynecastle.
The Northern Irishman also, infamously, received bullets through the post, while two suspect packages - one a parcel bomb - were intercepted en route to his home.
While those incidents grabbed the headlines, the numerous encounters with supporters that go unreported have had an incremental, invidious effect on the 46-year-old.
Sky Sports pundit Carragher was filmed spitting at a teenage schoolgirl after Liverpool lost 2-1 to Manchester United
The former England defender said that it was a 'moment of madness' and admitted his actions were disgusting
'Look at what happened to Eddie Jones the other week - that's happened to me many, many times,' said Lennon yesterday.
'And it's not just me. I have talked to Graeme Souness about this before and he went through the same thing when he was managing up here (with Rangers). I am sure managers elsewhere go through the same sort of thing - and it's unfair.
'Andrew Flintoff was talking about an incident that happened to him in Dublin when a guy came up to him, started talking and then tried to swing a punch at him.
'Andrew had to hold him to the ground and he couldn't do anything just in case someone was filming it. He had to not only defend himself, but act as a peacemaker as well.
'Anybody in any other walk of life would have defended themselves as vigorously as they could.
'I get that people say we are role models but we are human beings as well and we are surely allowed a bit of private time.
'A lot of people (in the public eye) are seen as fair game and it's not right.
'Is it difficult to keep cool? Very! You have to watch everything that you do and that's totally unfair.' For Lennon, even the brushes with supporters that are not abusive can take their toll as he aims to relax from his taxing day job.
The ex-Liverpool defender has been suspended from his role with Sky's football coverage
'I've been out many times with my friends or family and people are taking photographs of you - without your consent - while you are sitting having a meal or a glass of wine or a beer. That can be rather annoying as well,' he admitted.
'Next thing you are seen online - on Facebook or whatever - and I think that's an intrusion on your private life.
'You can take 99 out of 100 photographs and the one person you say "no" to is the one everyone hears about and you become the bad guy.
'You become sensitive, you become paranoid. It is difficult at times. You can try to use a touch of humour as well, but it can take the gloss off your night at times.
'We have pressurised jobs and it can be an intense environment. Sometimes you just want to be able to get away from that and relax. But that can be difficult because, no matter where you go, you are instantly recognisable and people want to stop you. I was going through the airport in Dublin this week to do the telly and getting stopped. You don't mind but it can get pretty wearing after a while.
'I don't know the answer to it. But staying in your house the whole time, and drinking in your house, is not ideal.'
During his time as a Celtic midfielder and manager, Lennon was subjected to two assaults
Lennon is clear that nothing excuses Carragher's spitting shame. However, the Hibs boss admits to a touch of sympathy towards the ex- Liverpool and England defender. And he hopes Carragher is able to return to work as a television pundit when his suspension is up at the end of the season.
'You can't react the way he did. I can't condone that,' said Lennon.
'It's difficult to know what was going through his mind, actually doing what he did. It didn't look good.
'I can understand up to a point what he was maybe having to put up with but certainly I don't recognise the reaction from him.
'The abuse, if you want to call it that, seemed pretty innocuous for him to react that way.
'But there might have been a build-up of things that we don't know about. There might be more to it than what we saw on camera to possess Jamie to do that.
'It might have been one after another after another (fans targeting him) and he has just snapped at that particular stage, I don't know.
'But it was totally out of character. I know Jamie personally. I have met him a few times and I have always found him easy to deal with.
'It's wrong what he did and it will be very difficult to draw a line under it. He is going to have to live with that for a little while.
'It's not an easy thing for him to deal with. He will be going through a really tough time at the minute.
The former Liverpool defender apologised on Twitter after video footage emerged on Sunday
'It's a very sorry episode but I do feel that he has responded quickly in the right way.
'He has been completely contrite about the whole thing.
'Obviously, Sky will have their own take on it, but from my point of view, everyone deserves a second chance.
'It's one of those things where he has been caught off guard. It can happen to anyone.
'I am certainly not condoning what he has done, but I think everyone deserves a second chance. He has made a split-second, really bad decision.
'In this day and age, there is an unfair balance towards people in the public eye because other people can get away with stuff like that.
'I do have a tad of sympathy for him, but I do hope that he can resurrect things for himself and put things right.
'We've all done things that we regret. It was one moment of madness but I don't believe it should cost him his job.'