On 21 September 2018, 94,959 people turned up to the Melbourne Cricket Ground, expecting to see a game of Australian Rules Football. What they got, instead, was a masterpiece of trolling, a piece of performance art for the ages.
Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
So the predictable outcome has been reached and the AFL has fined Ben Cousins for his “offensive” gesture in the rooms before Richmond’s clash with Fremantle on Saturday night.
We all know now that Cousins’ actions were directed at a fixed camera in the visitors’ rooms.
However, the incident occurred 90 minutes before the match started. And, Channel 10 goes to air 30 minutes before the bounce.
So, if “flipping the bird” is so offensive, and frowned upon by so many, why did Channel 10 choose to show the vision? They are in control of the vision and the incident was not “live”.
You also have to question why they showed it over and over again, why such a big deal was made of it, and why it was sold to other networks.
For what it’s worth, I didn’t find Cousins’ gesture offensive, and didn’t think it warranted a fine.
But, if the AFL tribunal is going to slap Cousins with a fine, Channel 10 should be hit with a penalty as well.
In Cousins’ Herald Sun column on Monday, the Tiger said his actions had been blown up and it was a light-hearted hello to his “mate” in the mini-van.
Since, this statement has been confused, with people believing Cousins had a personal friend operating the mini-van. This is another mistake in a week where many have been made.
Hawthorn’s director of football, Jason Dunstall, swore twice on air on MMM radio on Sunday afternoon. There would be people in society, no doubt, who would find that offensive, too, yet nothing will come of it.
Some also opine that footballers are role models for young children across the country. Parents who think this is the case are looking in the wrong place.
I presume they thought the gesture was offensive to young children?
That’s fine, but blame Channel 10. Cousins didn’t think it would go to air. And, if networks showed everything that goes on in the change-rooms before a match, well, the football would be screened even later at night.
I think most of us, had we been made to cope with the high-level of media scrutiny Cousins has, would have done something more serious. Remember when Tony Lockett chucked a set of crutches at a young reporter named Eddie McGuire.
Tell me which case is more serious?
Cousins is endeavouring to rebuild his life after his addiction to illicit drugs became public. It’s time to give him a break.