Bad Boys

Last week the press in general took a big stick to Peter Costello for questioning the value of AFL players as appropriate role models for our kids. The list of people lining up to have a whack at him included current and former AFL players, club presidents, AFL officials; the list was endless! How dare he suggest that AFL players were not appropriate community role models for our children to look up to!

On the weekend we had 2 news stories break. One was high profile player manager Ricky Nixon’s admission that he had unwise dealings with the girl at the centre of the St Kilda photo scandal. The other was the announcement by the Brisbane Lions that they would move to sack Brendan Fevola after his latest antics landed him in trouble with the police.

A couple of weeks ago, members of the Western Bulldogs were caught on video being drunk and disorderly overseas, holding up traffic and making a nuisance of themselves. A few weeks earlier we had several Saints players sanctioned for taking prescription drugs and alcohol, that one followed hot on the heels of the whole nude photo scandal thing.

Last year we had the likes of Michael Johnson charged with cocaine possession, Andrew Lovett was removed from the Saints list after he was charged with assault. Collingwood’s Andrew Krakouer spent time in jail before making a successful comeback. Buddy Franklin is being taken to task because he has endorsed a range of T-shirts that are fairly explicit – some might say pornographic. And no-one needs to be reminded of the whole Ben Cousins/WC Eagles saga – or for that matter Wayne Carey.

Now I’m not suggesting for a moment that the whole of the AFL is rotten – I’ve no doubt there are many good players who do play their part within the community. But all the players mentioned here are high profile people, people our kids look up to, people our kids want to emulate. And lest we think that these are just isolated cases, most of the ones I cite here have taken place within the last 6 months.

Its certainly true that AFL players undergo a level of scrutiny that you and I can probably never understand. But I’m wondering if Peter Costello hasn’t picked up on a point that we don’t want to face because God forbid that in a nation of sport worshippers our sporting heroes should appear vulnerable. The condemnation of his comments was loud and long. But I’m wondering if those who made those comments perhaps should be looking to clean their own house before they start throwing dirt at someone else’s.

Costello’s comments are not without some foundation – as the list in this blog shows.

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About andy63

Auditorium/Facilities Manager at Kennedy Baptist College. Family man, Dockers Supporter, NFL and NBA tragic who loves the Red Bull Air Race and a good meal. A Christian who is grateful for grace and forgiveness and the fact that Jesus is alive.

One Response to “Bad Boys”

  1. Excellent post Andy. Australian sport is a sacred cow that definitely needs barbecuing!

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