Manchester United striker Michael Owen believes professional footballers are increasingly at risk of being viewed unfavourably by the public.
The past few months have seen English football overwhelmed by a slew of negative headlines regarding the behaviour of some high earners in the Barclays Premier League.
Against the backdrop of the government's recent spending review, footballers have become an easy target for critics, with some quick to brand them as being out of touch with the rest of society.
But Owen insists the sweeping generalisations are unfair on many professionals.
"People like to judge footballers as a whole but I think that's pretty unfair," Owen told BBC Radio 5 Live. "Everyone's different. I've met some footballers that are absolutely fantastic people, are always visiting sick kids, they do things for charities, but they don't ask for any press coverage.
"They just go about it because they want to do it. Some don't, but that's not to say they're bad people. I think it's dangerous if you generalise and say `all footballers are this, all footballers are that'."