D’Arcy’s 200m qualification is no redemption

christo Roar Rookie

By christo, christo is a Roar Rookie

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    Nick D'Arcy after winning the Mens 200m Butterfly semi-final at the Australian Swimming Championships in Sydney. AAP Image/Paul Miller, file

    After Nick D’Arcy won the 200m butterfly at the Australian Swimming Championships, talk of redemption was thrown about the media.

    “Redemption for D’Arcy,” read the ABC headline; “Nick D’Arcy’s much-publicised tilt at redemption is on track,” Sunshine Coast Daily contended; “Nick D’Arcy has earned a shot at Olympic redemption,” said the Herald Sun.

    Redemption. Something left me ill-at-ease with the widespread and carefree use of this word.

    Were parts of the Australian media telling us that by qualifying for the London Olympics Nick D’Arcy had redeemed, or was on track to redeeming himself for assaulting Simon Cowley?

    Redeemed himself not only for assaulting Simon Cowley but for sending his victim the bills by declaring himself bankrupt?

    Redemption without accountability. Redemption without remorse.

    Redemption… through swimming?

    It struck me as an amoral equation.

    Redemption. I had assumed redemption for a wrong must somehow be related to correcting that wrong.

    For example, the act of winning a swimming race might redeem someone for having lost a swimming race.

    Was this why the Herald Sun wrote of “Olympic redemption”?

    Somehow the distinction seemed lost and seemed to suggest nonetheless that Olympic redemption for Nick D’Arcy equated to wholesale redemption.

    And even if the writer were to argue the contrary, Nick D’Arcy didn’t go to Beijing because his didn’t qualify. He didn’t go because of a brutal criminal act that saw him removed from the team.

    So how could qualifying for London be redemption?

    I arrived back at my assumption that redemption for a wrong must somehow be related to correcting that wrong.

    Moral redemption. Recognition of a wrong by the wrong-doer.

    Righting the wrong. Payment of an obligation.

    Atonement for guilt. Redemption.

    And, we hope, forgiveness.

    The media that talk of redemption might seek to clarify its use.

    Or just drop it. After all, is Nick D’Arcy interested in redemption?

    Is he even interested in forgiveness?

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    The Crowd Says (24)

    • April 11th 2012 @ 9:45am
      Rory said | April 11th 2012 @ 9:45am | ! Report

      Spot on. The most succinct thing I’ve read on the “redemption” phenomena in journalism. All the flaccid, empty-headed journos who perpetrate this rubbish by basing stories around such flawed thinking should be made to read this and respond.

      • June 20th 2012 @ 1:14pm
        himo said | June 20th 2012 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

        nick is great i love swimming 2

    • April 11th 2012 @ 10:48am
      Bearfax said | April 11th 2012 @ 10:48am | ! Report

      I say Leave the kid alone.

      He made a mistake (people forget he didnt throw the first punch in the incident according to reports) and he is being crucified over and over again by the media.

      Meanwhile people who commit planned and intended criminal acts such as Corby in Bali, are treated by the media like the little misunderstood princess girl next door who should be saved from those nasty people, all because she has a pretty face.

      Darcy’s action was bad, but impulsive, and he has had to suffer financially, emotionally and negatively in terms of his sport for years now, as punishment for that action. Where does the punishment end for a single foolish act so many years ago. Time to congratulate this young fellow for coming back from, virtually the dead, and making the Oz Olympic team, despite all those pressures and a vindictive media.

      I dont condone your actions Darcy, those many years ago, but I commend your strength of character and perseverence to rebuild your swimming career.

      • April 11th 2012 @ 12:55pm
        Harry said | April 11th 2012 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

        Agree with you Bearfax except for the phrase “virtualy the dead” … OTT.
        Drcy is lucky in that he has had excellent support from those closest to him.

        ANyway good luck to him for the London Olympics.

      • April 13th 2012 @ 1:03pm
        Bobby May said | April 13th 2012 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

        D’Arcy is supported by his manic mega-rich father who will support his way-ward son until he completes his bankruptcy period. Sick I think. D’Arcy is a spoilt brat and that’s it.

      • May 3rd 2012 @ 10:38am
        Katie said | May 3rd 2012 @ 10:38am | ! Report

        YEAH! thank you for sharing that opinion. i think you are absolutely right.

    • April 11th 2012 @ 1:29pm
      Christo said | April 11th 2012 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

      My article is focussed on the gross misuse of the term ‘redemption’ by journalists; a misuse that at its worst positions readers upfront into thinking redemption has or is taking place. i.e. presents ‘redemption’ as an underpinning truth. It sweeps aside unfinished business. Compensation payouts in civil cases in Australia are not pulled out of the air. Judges have guidelines. Compensation for Simon Cowley was set to cover medical costs, legal costs, loss of income, and to the much LESSER amount pain and suffering (in Simon Cowley’s case this was probably around the $28,000 mark, from a total payout of $180,000, NOT including his legal costs, which are probably about the same again, so a total bill of $300k+). In short, compensation was largely allocated to pay costs that Simon Cowley incurred SOLEY because of Darcy’s actions. By taking the (cowardly) option of declaring bankruptcy, D’Arcy not only assaulted Cowley, but he also made his victim pay for his medical and legal costs and any loss of income. Accordingly, my article contends that Nick Darcy is not on any path to redemption and thus has not yet arrived at forgiveness.

      • April 11th 2012 @ 6:34pm
        Bearfax said | April 11th 2012 @ 6:34pm | ! Report

        Like I said I am not condoning the action and there may well be outstanding legal implications. I have also heard said that there may be a later attempt to reopen the case by the Darcy family given Darcy was reportedly struck first after he was apparently mouthing off. But that is all for the Courts to decide. The lad has every right though to continue his life, and attempt to achieve his goals. Having worked in the criminal justice system for several decades, I see too often people who make mistakes when they are younger (and sillier) discriminated against in later life. We expect these people to address their aberant behaviour and live a law abiding life, but too often journalists hinder those efforts by continuously focussing on past indiscretions and making them public so that the individuals efforts to reform are hampered.

        • April 11th 2012 @ 7:05pm
          Christo said | April 11th 2012 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

          The assault matter was decided on in a criminal and civil case. I have no further issue with the actual assault, the rulings and the punishment, though a suspended sentence is light. But surely you cannot accept that the victim should bear the costs, not the perpetrator, in addition to life-long injuries? Are young males to learn that bashing someone late at night in a bar has no real consequences? indeed you can bash them and then cause them enormous future financial loss, with comparably little effect on you. Forget Darcy was kicked off the Beijing team as that is not relevant to your drunken brawling thug who beats someone up; Darcy got a suspended sentence and skipped out on his bills. This is not a good signal to send and the matter should be settled properly. There is no redemption, just a walking away.

    • April 11th 2012 @ 6:40pm
      Big john said | April 11th 2012 @ 6:40pm | ! Report

      Well put Christo. I sometimes wonder how much journalists are influenced by their need to be allowed into press rooms for ‘exclusive’ titbits, and given free, or heavily subsidised trips overseas to cover the Olympics etc, by sports bodies. If a writer really got stuck into Swimming Australia, I wonder how they would be treated. I think the term is , bite the hand that feeds you. As for D’Arcy not throwing the first punch, or elbow , I have never heard of that being accepted as evidence in Court. It appears that D’Arcy being slapped by Cowley was something that was fed to the media by his legal team, working on the principle that if you say something often enough, people will believe it to be true. Personally I hope that D’Arcy wins gold, and then the bankruptcy administrators take it off him.

    • April 19th 2012 @ 12:53pm
      Dale said | April 19th 2012 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

      Darcy’s selection in the Australian team sends the wrong message,in particular to our young athletes.He may well have made a poor judgement in his altercation with Simon Cowley but the bottom line is that he has not “done the time for his crime”.Only then is he morally able to move and lead his life in any direction he chooses.Yes he may have acted with the shortsightedness of youth but when is this ever justification for actions which hurt another person.Shame on the AOC for selecting this person as a representative of Australia.At this point he has not done anything to demonstrate that he understands the importance of representing Australia.So what he can swim fast.There is much more to being a champion Australian!

      • April 19th 2012 @ 10:39pm
        Bearfax said | April 19th 2012 @ 10:39pm | ! Report

        Yes Father Dale and I’m sure your moral judgement is the framework upon which forgiveness for sins can be dispensed.

        The Courts have dealt with the matter and sure there is an issue still to be resolved regarding compensation, but I think that’s best left to the appropriate authorities dont you. You may maintain that his claim of bankruptcy is a cop out of responsibility, and you are most assuredly right. But if we were to judge everyone who abrogates their responsibility in a system that’s still probably the best in the World, The Westminster System, we would be seeking retribution for literally tens of thousands of people in Oz…not to forget all those wealthy people in this country, who through quirks in our taxation system,not only pay virtually no tax but make a profit … and it does happen frequently, I’ve seen it happen…so that the poor wear an even greater burden in raising family.Shall we make this young fellow the final scapegoat for our frustrations with a flawed system.

        The legal system I’m afraid is not about justice, for justice is what you can afford. Its about giving the impression that we have security so that the status quo can be maintained…mainly for the wealthy. There are far worse misjustices happening every day in our society Dale than some kid who impulsively battered another. And I’m not saying he’s right, I’m just saying that’s the system and yet its the best so far around.

        • July 31st 2012 @ 9:31am
          Buzz said | July 31st 2012 @ 9:31am | ! Report

          It’s amazing to think that nick Darcy should defy the advice bestowed on him by his legal persons in regards to going bankrupt. When ray Hadley and his co commentators suggested he should of just paid Simon Cowley and ignored his advisors is pretty ludicrous.
          I for one would think that morally he should pay and apologize and would love to think we ALL should do as such, but the fact is we would not need a legal system would we?

    • April 20th 2012 @ 1:48pm
      Christo said | April 20th 2012 @ 1:48pm | ! Report

      Hi Dale. Indeed our legal system is imperfect, e.g. what people might generally consider to be morally wrong is not necessarily legally wrong, and yes it is the best we have. This doesn’t mean that you are wrong to voice your views on the matter (I think BearFax’s response is unnecessariy personal, btw). I’ve had people say things like, “If Matthew Johns can get away with what he did then why single out Nick?”. Such comments shift the argument away from what Nick D’Arcy did to Simon Cowley and the way he avoided payment of his punishment; it is not about dumping the ills of society of some ‘poor fellow’ who ‘made a mistake’. (Isn’t Nick D’Arcy part of the wealthy who have the means and knowhow to beat the system?). If you feel frustrated by the fact that Nick D’Arcy assaulted Simon Cowley and then sent Simon the bills for his actions, and that the AOC doesn’t seem to care, then find your voice elsewhere. An example. Nick D’Arcy employed Max Markson to repair his public image. Markson thought D’Arcy could make millions in endorsements with companies like Red Bull. Use your voice as a consumer. Email/Facebook Red Bull and let them know their brand has been high-jacked and that if they endorsed Nick D’Arcy many people would associate their brand with images like this: http://resources2.news.com.au/images/2011/06/27/1226082/730070-d-039-arcy.jpg

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