Gunnersaurus is the latest casualty of Arsenal’s COVID-19 cost-cutting measures. The Athletic reported that Jerry Quy, who has played Gunnersaurus since his creation in 1993, has been let go. Arsenal “insist” the beloved mascot will return, presumably when fans return to the Emirates.
The temptation here is to joke about it, after all Gunnersaurus is a fun, silly part of the club that we all enjoy. But Jerry Quy just lost his part-time job. In addition to playing Gunnersaurus, Quy has worked with the Junior Gunners and the Travel Club, and even missed his brother’s wedding to attend a home match. He is Arsenal through and through. During lockdown, the Gunnersaurus suit was stored at his house, and he made “Gunnersaurus at home” videos for the club.
And now, he’s out of a job. I mean, seriously. How much were they paying him? Enough for it to make one iota of a difference? Doubtful.
The move is indicative of an attitude that seems to pervade Arsenal, sport, and society at-large. One that shoves aside and tramples over the little guys in pursuit of bigger, more glamorous aspirations. We’re in the midst of the biggest public health / economic crisis that many of us will experience in our entire lifetimes. People are losing their jobs, their homes, and their lives. But don’t worry, Arsenal will get that transfer deal over the line. We will keep The Economy humming along.
The juxtaposition of furloughing someone who has been a loyal, beloved club employee with pulling together £45M pounds for a deadline day transfer is disgusting. It makes me ashamed to be a fan of the club and part of the structure that enables things like this. People matter.
Is this going to make me not an Arsenal fan? No. But I’ll be damn sure that I use my (small) platform to point out the hypocrisy and remind all of you that the little guy is just as important as the shiny, new signing. Maybe not to Arsenal Football Club winning matches, but to our collective, societal soul.