Has Australian sport gone soft?
Nick D'Arcy is caught up in another controversy, though this time he did nothing wrong (AAP Image/Ben Macmahon)
It’s official, Australia’s sporting bodies have gone soft. So far this year we have seen a number of athletes across the country punished for fairly innocent and harmless “crimes”
The first massive over reaction came a few weeks ago when two Australian swimmers, Nick D’Arcy and Kenrick Monk, were condemned for posting photos on a social network with the pair posing with guns in US gun store.
This harmless photo caused a massive outcry from some members of the media, which was followed by the AOC making a decision to send the two home from the London Olympics after they have finished their events.
Then came another out cry, this time in the AFL. During the Western Bulldogs versus Port Adelaide match at Eithad a week ago, Bulldogs ruckman Will Minson made a comment to Ports Danyle Pearce about Pearce’s mother.
Again people jumped up and down saying “that kind of sledge is acceptable in society these days”. Really?
These comments have been around for years, now so more then ever. Minson basically got a week’s ban for his mum joke.
But the most significant evidence that sport had gone soft came last weekend. Again, it was in the AFL at the MCG in the Melbourne versus GWS game. It was the first time Melbourne’s 2009 no.1 draft pick Tom Scully came back to face his former team mates after leaving them for GWS last year.
The Melbourne fans came ready to give it to Scully. Some had signs with “$CULLY” and others had jackets with fake bank notes clipped to them, all mocking Scully and his decision to chase the big bucks at GWS.
These were some how deemed “offensive” and some were taken from supporters.
Have we seriously got to the point where something meant as a bit of harmless fun is found to some how be “offensive”. Offensive to who? I doubt Scully would have worried much about it, he knew it was coming. And I can’t see how anyone in the crowd or watching at home being offended by something as meek as as sign reading “$CULLY”.
This isn’t the first time the fun police have targeted fans. We have seen fans trying to enter cricket venues, only to have their water-melon style hats and trumpets taken away before they even entered the ground.
Of course issues like racism need to be stamped out. But none of the conduct above even comes close to racism. Why have we felt the need for this crackdown?
Going to watch sport should be about having fun, that’s what the fans go for. The CEO’s of any sport in this country need to be very careful about sucking the fun out of going to games, or they may find the crowds dropping very quickly.
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