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Todd Carney hasn’t redeemed himself yet

Joe Frost Editor

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    After three weeks of playing solid rugby league, the Australian media seem prepared to once again let bygones be bygones and forgive Todd Carney.

    This week the Sydney Morning Herald ran a story regarding Carney as the lead candidate over Jamie Soward as the five-eighth for New South Wales Origin.

    Though there is truth to the story, it was the first word of the headline which seemed a little premature – “Redemption”.

    Fairfax aren’t the only ones who have been quick to consider Carney’s past indiscretions as past, with the Daily Telegraph‘s Phil Rothfield also recently writing a story about Carney’s rebirth.

    “12 months ago I was sitting at this very keyboard typing out a column about why Todd Carney should go to jail,” Rothfield wrote.

    “I thought he was gone, irredeemable and had no hope of getting his life sorted after another drink-driving episode.

    “I was wrong and I apologise. People can change and we shouldn’t be so quick to write off troubled individuals.”

    It is wrong to dredge through Carney’s past with the sole purpose of bringing him down. However, it is irresponsible to start bandying around words like ‘redemption’, ‘apologise’ and ‘change’ when talking about a bloke like Todd Carney.

    Because he’s not a larrikin Aussie sportsman who enjoys a beer. He’s a young man with a long history of misdemeanours, indiscretions and some pretty serious crimes.

    Carney made his NRL debut for the Canberra Raiders in 2004 at the tender age of 17, but his breakthrough year came a couple of seasons later.

    In 2006 he starred for the Raiders as their leading try scorer. However, it was also the first time his name appeared in the paper for the wrong reasons. Carney had his license torn up for five years after being charged with drink driving and reckless driving.

    In 2007 Carney led the police on a high speed chase through the streets of Canberra and made a getaway on foot before turning himself in the following day. He was again charged, found guilty and given community service.

    His Canberra teammate Steve Irwin, who was in the car with him, was not charged at all. However, the Raiders saw fit to sack Irwin from the club. Irwin later said he had been instructed by Raiders officials to lie to police about Carney’s alcohol consumption so Carney would avoid prison.

    2008 saw Carney once again hauled before his club’s officials, after he was accused of urinating on a patron at a nightclub.

    This time the Raiders didn’t give Carney a chance, they gave him a five point plan. A total alcohol ban was point number two. Carney didn’t agree, was sacked and deregistered by the NRL for the 2009 season.

    Carney spent 2009 playing for the Atherton Roosters in North Queensland, however before he left he was given a farewell gift from a magistrate in his hometown of Goulburn – a 12-month good behaviour bond and a 12-month ban from the town.

    This sentence related to a series of unrelated incidents Carney committed in Goulburn, including smashing the glass door of a phone shop and jumping on a car bonnet.

    The Sydney Roosters signed Carney for the 2010 season and, following a small incident in preseason where Carney set one of his mate’s arses on fire, he swore off the booze.

    In what was by far his most successful season, he steered the Roosters to the grand final, won the Dally M medal, represented his country and had his driver’s license reinstated.

    Naturally, stories of redemption flowed. Then came 2011.

    It got off to a flyer in February, with Carney once again hauled before a judge for drink driving. It was low range and so, once again, he avoided prison. The Roosters stood by him after he swore to stop drinking.

    Then in April he went out drinking with Anthony Watts in an episode which ended with Watts’ girlfriend sporting a couple of black eyes (which to be fair had nothing directly to do with Carney). This time Carney was stood down for a few weeks.

    Finally in August, he went to get tattoos with teammates Nate Myles and Frank-Paul Nu’uausala and, after doing so, the three also got drunk. Though this night ended without incident, it should never have happened because the entire Roosters first-grade squad had sworn to a booze ban.

    Enough was enough and the Roosters cut Carney loose.

    So now he finds himself at the Sharks and he’s playing well.

    As long as his form is good enough, there is no reason why anything he has done in the past should stop him from playing for his state or his country. But it is far too soon to assume he has changed his ways or redeemed himself.

    Not because he hasn’t recaptured his stellar form of 2010 and not because he is yet to return to representative level.

    Rather, because when someone stuffs his life up away from football, the football field isn’t where he needs to redeem it.

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    The Crowd Says (18)

    • April 5th 2012 @ 8:59am
      B.A Sports said | April 5th 2012 @ 8:59am | ! Report

      So just to clarify your position on this. You write;
      “It is wrong to dredge through Carney’s past with the sole purpose of bringing him down”

      You then spend your next 300 odd words dreding up his past to bring him down?! Whats your point? He’s not a model citizen, we get that. He has had his issues, more than most, we get that. He’s now playing good footy again and is keeping himself clean. Again, whats your point?

      • Editor

        April 5th 2012 @ 8:24pm
        Joe Frost said | April 5th 2012 @ 8:24pm | ! Report

        My point is probably that when someone stuffs his life up away from football, the football field isn’t where he needs to redeem it.
        If only I’d written that.

        • April 5th 2012 @ 10:08pm
          JVGO said | April 5th 2012 @ 10:08pm | ! Report

          The problem is Joe that the whole thing is inextricably linked together. that is in fact why eventually he has been sacked from football teams. The idea that anything is so black and white, good and bad is perhaps just a little simplistic.

    • April 5th 2012 @ 9:32am
      Brad said | April 5th 2012 @ 9:32am | ! Report

      The sydney roosters bent over backwards trying to help Carney as they knew he had personal problems and did all they could. Giving a player minders and putting him in programs to help him the club was treating him as an adult and a human being as the club wanted to help him. todd chose too ignore that help and ignore his teamates.For todd to bag the club is terrible and does not sit well with the club and fans who used to support him.

      The media, phil rothfield more to the point, hounded the roosters and carney( including he should go to jail) until there was no alternitve but to part ways. Now the same media people are saying he is redeemed after the cronulla sharks now let him drink and treat him like an adult…. As long as he performs on the field there fine with whatever he does. Phil rothfield,a cronulla fan mind you, has lost all creditabilty.

    • April 5th 2012 @ 9:39am
      Matt F said | April 5th 2012 @ 9:39am | ! Report

      You’re right, it is early days. His first season at the Roosters was fantastic and his second was a complete disaster so to start claiming “redemption”after only 5 rounds is very premature.

      Having said that the signs so far are as good as they could be.

    • April 5th 2012 @ 10:14am
      PLANKO said | April 5th 2012 @ 10:14am | ! Report

      Carney is fine. Roosters got what they paid for. People carry on like his time at the roosters was bad time. Booze bans do not work on SMART men in the their 30’s. Immature , wealthly boys in there early 20’s NO CHANCE. ROOSTERS made it bad. I would challenge anyone who has commented to put themselves on a booze ban. Not one of them would last this easter. It takes a lot to happen and trust me most people that give up the grog have done more wrong than Carney. What did he really do wrong in that second season nothing ? He blew 0.05 whilst on his P’s. The alleged nights he did nothing wrong. He was not charged with anything. He was not even accused of anything.

      I have been off the booze for 3 years. But I was sentenced to Jail term that was suspended on apeal, lost my job and was unemployed/unemployable, lost my wife and kids & a letter from bank arrived to sell my house before I got off the booze. All I can hope for Carney is that he hits rock bottom before I did and he family/wife give him the tough love required. It is not all bad 3 years on earn 6 figures have 2 house’s and wife/kids came back but it is hard to not drink at all in this place called Australia.

      • April 5th 2012 @ 2:41pm
        mushi said | April 5th 2012 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

        Bit concerned you mentioned the 6 figures and 2 houses before the wife and kids.

        • April 5th 2012 @ 3:06pm
          PLANKO said | April 5th 2012 @ 3:06pm | ! Report


    • April 5th 2012 @ 10:36am
      GD said | April 5th 2012 @ 10:36am | ! Report

      It’s a matter of what we mean by redemption, isn’t it? As a player, sure, he is well on the way. As an individual, the jury is still out, and justifiably will be for some time, I think.

      • April 5th 2012 @ 11:23am
        Mals said | April 5th 2012 @ 11:23am | ! Report

        Indeed if he wasn’t a star NRL rugby league player he would now be playing touch footy inside Goulburn Correctional Centre.

        • April 5th 2012 @ 12:03pm
          B.A Sports said | April 5th 2012 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

          If he wasn’t an NRL star, he would just be another 20 something with a drinkng problem. If you put everyone who has been charged with drinking driving in Gouburn Jail, while it might make my drive to work quicker, you might have some over crowding issues in our prison system…

        • April 5th 2012 @ 12:23pm
          PLANKO said | April 5th 2012 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

          Mirrors people go on Mal have a dry easter !

      • Editor

        April 5th 2012 @ 8:27pm
        Joe Frost said | April 5th 2012 @ 8:27pm | ! Report

        If he had a bad game but drove home responsibly without a drop would that redeem his bad game?
        Think the cops who chased him through Canberra consider him redeemed if he’s drink driven twice again, as recently as last year?
        How bout the person whose shop he smashed the door of? Or the person whose car he trashed.
        His redemption can’t happen by playing well. It doesn’t work that way.

        • April 5th 2012 @ 10:03pm
          JVGO said | April 5th 2012 @ 10:03pm | ! Report

          I think the door of the shop has pretty well recovered by now Joe, as has I’m sure the owner of the shop. The bonnet of the car is probably repaired too. But if there are any lingering bad effects whatsoever please let us know so we can boo Todd for you on saturday Joe.

        • April 5th 2012 @ 10:12pm
          PLANKO said | April 5th 2012 @ 10:12pm | ! Report

          I don’t think he is redeemed. However he deserved to be canned from canberra. His actions at Roosters was so much better

    • April 5th 2012 @ 12:34pm
      Crosscoder said | April 5th 2012 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

      Maybe the adult clowns who spend time, on their mobiles whilst driving,could offer Carney some cautionary advice.Oh wait they are mature thinking adults or they pretend to be. .

      • April 5th 2012 @ 12:45pm
        PLANKO said | April 5th 2012 @ 12:45pm | ! Report


        This comment was not made from an IPhone or IPAD

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