BY now, there will be few people in football circles who have not seen the viral video footage of Shabir Khan’s body-slam.

Few at Aggborough on Saturday could believe what they had witnessed and it continues to astonish no matter how many times you watch.

But, regardless of which side of the argument you are on in regards to his reaction, it brings the whole issue of retaliation into focus.

How many times down the years have we seen players wound-up to breaking point and then getting sent off for lashing out?

Shabir’s situation is the perfect example. Even before he was sent flying into the air by Charlie Russell’s terrible tackle, the left-back had been the subject of two previous challenges which saw the perpetrators booked.

Russell’s challenge was the last straw for the defender whose reaction, while extreme, is perhaps understandable given the context.

After all, is it not human nature to react in the face of blatant provocation? Psychologists call it fight or flight, an instinctive response to perceived danger. In the heat of sporting combat such responses will only be heightened.

Anyone who has played football competitively, even if it’s a game of five-a-side down the local leisure centre, will know of someone who has squared up to an opponent after a particularly robust challenge.

Just last Saturday, Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic was sent off for chasing after Ashley Barnes and shoving the Burnley midfielder to the floor following a tackle that almost bent Matic’s leg double. Barnes escaped punishment.

Pundits say that you can’t react but they know it’s not that simple and were often guilty of exactly the same thing during their careers.

It’s not just football either, with such scenes pretty common place in rugby. Even tennis players throw rackets to the floor in anger. They are all things that occur in the heat of the moment.

None of this makes the reaction right but they do happen.

It’s knowing when a line has been crossed and Shabir certainly got close to that with the overly-physical nature of his actions.

But his instinct to fight back is understandable.