Mitchell Pearce: The fault lies not in footy stars, but in ourselves

Kath Logan Columnist

By Kath Logan, Kath Logan is a Roar Expert

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94 Have your say

    There hasn’t been a bigger storm in a schooner glass since Todd Carney tried to follow in the steps of the great yogis and reach enlightenment by drinking his own urine.

    Unluckily for Carney, a bystander captured it on their smartphone and made sure that anyone in the world who wanted to see it could.

    Last week, Mitchell Pearce got himself into a similar spot of bother when he stayed out way past his bedtime.

    We all know that both men belong to the large club of people who are unable to guarantee their behaviour when they start drinking, and are well advised to give the grog away.

    More Mitchell Pearce:
    » Roosters need to take a long, hard look at themselves
    » The new and improved NRL Code of Conduct
    » Mitchell Pearce speaks for first time following Australia Day scandal
    » Whatever Pearce’s punishment, make sure he learns from it
    » Roosters stand down disgraced captain Mitchell Pearce
    » Footage emerges of Pearce simulating sex act with a dog

    Pearce’s behaviour was out-and-out wrong, and exactly what happens when people who shouldn’t drink, do.

    But it was you and me who escalated the event from the NRL’s weekly bogan-behaves-badly story into a full-fledged, week-long, contract-shredding scandal.

    The media’s helpful pre-release beat-up, “I can’t tell you exactly what’s on the tape, except that it’s shocking,” made watching it ASAP that extra bit compelling.

    If you’re reading this, I’m betting you watched the video as soon as you could, just to see what the fuss was all about. Even though everyone on Facebook said it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as they were expecting.

    Bizarrely, my straw poll of everyone I know who watched the video indicates they’re equally outraged that someone filmed the incident.

    The person filming didn’t intervene when unwelcome advances were made against another partygoer, or when the host’s sofa was damaged, but that’s not why they’re outraged.

    They’re outraged that Pearce’s privacy was breached – and worse, within a few hours that person had sold the recording for a small fortune.

    Everyone’s waving the hatchet at the anonymous and supremely self-interested person who filmed the whole sordid scene. That they had sold it to a media agency within a few hours proves they recorded with profit in mind.

    But it was only worth a fortune because the media buyers know that the general public are clickbait monkeys. Cued up like Pavlov’s dogs, deep down we like nothing more than drooling over footage of the private failings of the famous. For the average Australian, there’s no tastier schadenfraude than seeing an NRL gladiator fall on his sword.

    A grainy smartphone video is not a scandal. A grainy smartphone video plus a few hundred thousand views is.

    Well done us.

    Raised in a family of rugby tragics, Kath Logan attended her first rugby test in a baby basket in 1970. Passionate about good people and good communities, she has worked in numerous regional and remote areas where sport has been a powerful force for change. What happens off the field is often more exciting than what happens on it.

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    The Crowd Says (94)

    • Roar Rookie

      February 3rd 2016 @ 6:59am
      Reccymech said | February 3rd 2016 @ 6:59am | ! Report

      I like the Pavlov’s Dog reference – how true….Yap, when I tell you to yap.

      Notice the salivating hoards when Dustin Martin was ‘drunk & disorderly’ in a restaurant? The social media went into ‘critical mass’ over an, now to be a false accusation, incident. Anyway, damage done.

      I guess you can’t legislate against stupidity on both accounts.

      • February 3rd 2016 @ 11:48am
        Rob McLean said | February 3rd 2016 @ 11:48am | ! Report

        Plenty of doubt over whether it was a false accusation. Furthermore, if it was a false accusation, why hasn’t he sued for defamation? Being accused of assaulting a woman aren’t allegations that brush away lightly- I’d have thought he’d be pissed his character had been defamed in such a way.
        Not all is as it seems.

        • February 3rd 2016 @ 3:53pm
          Marge said | February 3rd 2016 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

          You wouldn’t win any friends suing a woman who made a false accusation against you. For example when men are found not guilty of rape after a false accusation they have every right to sue but never do…Did greg Bird sue his ex girlfriend after the glassing incident..

    • February 3rd 2016 @ 7:32am
      Onside said | February 3rd 2016 @ 7:32am | ! Report

      The professionally outraged move on ; ask Joey Johns.

    • Roar Guru

      February 3rd 2016 @ 7:36am
      The Barry said | February 3rd 2016 @ 7:36am | ! Report

      Yeah unfortunately I tend to agree.

      I’ll admit to watching it as soon as I heard about it. My response after seeing it was “is that it?”

      It’s naive to blame the media for these problems. The media like any customer based industry profits by giving customers what they want, not what is ‘good’ for them.

      And obviously this is what we want, what generates clicks and comments.

      Through the latter half of last week there were dozens of articles on the roar getting hundreds of comments and probably thousands of reads.

      Meanwhile articles about Shaun Johnson and Matt Bowen being announced in 9s squads got 1 & 5 comments respectively. Jason Hosken’s excellent and well researched article about player milestones likely to be broken this year was lucky to get 10 comments.

      We have spoken. We’re more interested in the grubby, gossip side of footy than what’s going to happen on the field.

      I wonder what the reaction would have been if Pearce had saved the girl and the dog from a burning building?

      • Roar Guru

        February 3rd 2016 @ 7:59am
        peeeko said | February 3rd 2016 @ 7:59am | ! Report

        well said Barry, check how many comments Beardans comments get or anything with a code hopping player or comparing codes
        some really good articles get nothing

      • Roar Guru

        February 3rd 2016 @ 8:34am
        Jason Hosken said | February 3rd 2016 @ 8:34am | ! Report

        Thanks for the free plug TB, much appreciated. My fault in part, I should’ve held onto it for another week.

        Still, that’s footy…no indication the worm is about to turn.

      • February 3rd 2016 @ 2:29pm
        Neville Neville said | February 3rd 2016 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

        agree TB, and not for the first time (even on the occasions you’ve baked some of the ill founded comments I’ve roared in the past)

        Jason Hosken’s piece in particular deserved far greater attention than it received as it was a top read full of great detail and obviously took far greater time to put together than Mitch did reversing the table on a leg humping pooch.

        Plus it was actually footy based, you know, the stuff on the field, and if anyone needs an additional reason to tune in to the next season (other than to tally up the inter club player swaps or rule changes) than that article was it.

      • February 3rd 2016 @ 3:44pm
        Albo said | February 3rd 2016 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

        Spot on Baz !

        Seems this is the shallow entertainment society we are now living in, and where click-bait rules everything in our lives. Get some vision , spread it around, get outraged , or get philosophical, market your favourite cause, grab any kudos, advertising or personal dollars there to be gained, and then load up the IPhone looking for the next opportunity ! Next !
        The scene displayed by our totally disingenuous media class last week, to incite the ever burgeoning ” permanently outraged set” and to enhance any commercial opportunities for themselves, was just another grubby scene involving a drunk, a scene that we could have viewed at 30 different drunken parties on Australia Day or any Friday night. It was not a typical NRL footballer’s event ( as it is being marketed) , it was a typical drunk in todays society event. So Pearce and his career, has likely been significantly destroyed, not just via his own boorish actions at a private party and his obvious problems with the drink , but also by the sick fascination we have to expose and exploit such pathetic individuals to satisfy something in our own lives ?

    • February 3rd 2016 @ 7:57am
      AJL. said | February 3rd 2016 @ 7:57am | ! Report

      There must be something wrong with me. As soon as I heard about the contents of the video I decided I wasn’t going to watch it.

    • February 3rd 2016 @ 8:17am
      Jameswm said | February 3rd 2016 @ 8:17am | ! Report

      The biggest problems are:

      1. why it is part of our national culture that the favourite way of young men to spend days off is to go out and get hammered; and little respect many young men (and possibly older ones) have for women, and how they see them primarily as a sex object, or something to be obtained. I realise Pearce was under the weather, but he wouldn’t have said it at all if he wasn’t thinking it.

      • Roar Guru

        February 3rd 2016 @ 8:35am
        The Barry said | February 3rd 2016 @ 8:35am | ! Report

        1. Because it’s fun.

        2. It’s a journey. 30 years ago no one would have batted an eyelid at Pearce’s behaviour towards the girl. Now apart from a few outliers it’s been widely condemned. The debate has been about what punishment Pearce should receive not whether what he did was right or wrong. That is encouraging.

        Obviously we’re not there yet but when you consider attitudes towards women have been culturally ingrained over literally thousands of years we’ve come a long way in the past 40.

        • Roar Rookie

          February 3rd 2016 @ 9:24am
          Squidward said | February 3rd 2016 @ 9:24am | ! Report

          Yep. 1 is a stupid question. I would completely never drink again and save a lot of money if it wasn’t so bloody fun. Had some of my best times after a few ales

          • February 3rd 2016 @ 10:15am
            Speachless said | February 3rd 2016 @ 10:15am | ! Report

            Squidward. Stop being so honest, The majority of the people judging on here are saying they have never 1) acted in a stupid manner and 2) acted in a stupid manner while drunk.

            We loved to “feel” outraged even though on reflection none of us are perfect. We also love it when its a sports person who has committed these heinous crimes.

            • February 3rd 2016 @ 11:02am
              clipper said | February 3rd 2016 @ 11:02am | ! Report

              That’s not true, I think you”ll find that many people own up to acting in a stupid manner when drunk, The big jump is acting in a disrespectful manner, which includes pissing on someones couch and pretend humping their dog – don’t think many people have gone down that road and if people think that’s OK to behave like that when drunk, they’re certainly not people most would want to associate with.

              • February 3rd 2016 @ 12:02pm
                Speechless said | February 3rd 2016 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

                Pretend humping a dog? Disgusting but not illegal, so saying that many people have not gone down that road is again over sensationalism and over dramatic, and how do you know? Also correct me if I’m wrong but mitchell Pearce apologised! Is that not good enough? I have had friends do some ordinary things, probably worse than dry humping a dog, nothing illegal but worse. But i guess I’m a goose because those guys are still my mates. Anyhow people in glass houses…….

                But on the flip side I’ve had dogs dry hump me, double standards I say.

              • February 3rd 2016 @ 12:58pm
                clipper said | February 3rd 2016 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

                Doesn’t have to be illegal to be disrespectful, but how do you fell about pissing on someone else’s couch – even if he apoligised, it’s still a big jump from what most people consider acting in a stupid manner when drunk.

              • February 3rd 2016 @ 5:32pm
                Speechless said | February 3rd 2016 @ 5:32pm | ! Report

                The pissing on the couch was an allegation. Some have said that it was water, that is also an allegation. Either way I don’t know so I can’t judge. I get the feeling people want the pissing on couch to be true so they then can get outraged! It makes them feel superior.

              • February 3rd 2016 @ 8:03pm
                We've got a live one said | February 3rd 2016 @ 8:03pm | ! Report

                Rage on Clipper, rage on.

                You say you do nothing stupid and disrespectful, but you have said enough stupid and disrespectful things that you’re about one dodgy comment from getting banned.

                And you’re probably not even drunk.

            • February 3rd 2016 @ 11:24am
              Jameswm said | February 3rd 2016 @ 11:24am | ! Report

              Where did I say I have never (a) had too many or (b) acted like a goose when I’d had too many? I’ve done both. But there’s having “a few ales” and then there’s getting legless and out of control. I am saying we should have a look at our culture.

              And I’ll add that when I’ve had a few, I haven’t simulated sex with a dog, or said I’d f*** anything.

              And I have also never acted towards or treated women anything like Pearce did.

              • February 3rd 2016 @ 12:56pm
                Speechless said | February 3rd 2016 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

                Don’t be so outraged Jameswm. I was replying to clipper.

              • February 3rd 2016 @ 1:24pm
                Jameswm said | February 3rd 2016 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

                Don’t get so defensive Speechless, I was clearly replying to the squid.

        • February 3rd 2016 @ 12:00pm
          Jameswm said | February 3rd 2016 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

          What’s fun? Actually drinking, or getting hammered? Or is getting tipsy fun, as long as you don’t go over the edge?

          What’s fun about it? The atmosphere – ie the pub, the club, the friend’s place? The actual drinking? The losing your inhibitions? The company? The laughs?

          Have any of you ever thought about it? Why does alcohol have to be part of our culture of having a good time?

          • Roar Guru

            February 3rd 2016 @ 12:20pm
            Kaks said | February 3rd 2016 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

            Because you drop your guard down, you go with the flow and you enjoy yourself with people you like being around.

            Didnt know the roar turned into my mother.

            • February 3rd 2016 @ 12:51pm
              Jameswm said | February 3rd 2016 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

              Some people don’t like looking in the mirror I guess.

              So the alcohol is important to help you drop your guard? Why is that important? Should we drop our guard?

              Why do we need alcohol to enjoy ourselves with friends? Why do they need it?

              OK, I’m not picking on you Kaks (these questions are aimed internally as well), but these are questions people don’t want to think about it. The simple fact is that drinking is so massively ingrained into our culture. We toast with champagne, if we’re happy we want to go out and drink, if we’re down we want to drink.

            • Roar Guru

              February 3rd 2016 @ 1:30pm
              Sleiman Azizi said | February 3rd 2016 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

              It’s possible to do that without alcohol.


              • Roar Guru

                February 3rd 2016 @ 1:36pm
                Kaks said | February 3rd 2016 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

                IMO its more fun to do it with, again that is my opinion.

                To each their own – why people care what people would rather do in their spare time is beyond me when it doesnt harm anyone else.

          • Roar Guru

            February 3rd 2016 @ 12:59pm
            The Barry said | February 3rd 2016 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

            It’s all fun Jimmy…

            What of the things you’ve mentioned isn’t fun?

            Alcohol doesn’t “have” to be a part of having a good time.

            • February 3rd 2016 @ 1:23pm
              Jameswm said | February 3rd 2016 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

              I know that Baz, but why is it usually thought to be?

              • Roar Guru

                February 3rd 2016 @ 1:43pm
                The Barry said | February 3rd 2016 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

                I don’t think you’re going to find one answer that satisfies you Jim.

                I do plenty of things without alcohol and have a good time, but I also have times (plenty) that I set aside to drink and socialise with friends. I do it because I enjoy it – drinking has a pleasant effect and it’s nice to do in a group with friends. Hanging out with friends is fun, doing it over a few drinks is even more fun.

                Day after aside, if drinking alcohol felt like getting jabbed with red hot pokers people wouldn’t do it.

                So that response may be a little glib and doesn’t take into account addiction and compulsion, but I’d wager that’s how most people start – because it feels good.

              • February 3rd 2016 @ 2:04pm
                Jameswm said | February 3rd 2016 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

                I’m not trying to be satisfied Baz.

                I enjoy it too, don’t worry.

              • February 3rd 2016 @ 8:09pm
                We've got a live one said | February 3rd 2016 @ 8:09pm | ! Report

                But according to you and others such as clipper, we do.

      • Roar Guru

        February 3rd 2016 @ 11:57am
        Kaks said | February 3rd 2016 @ 11:57am | ! Report

        Some people enjoy spending their time playing scrabble, others enjoy having a few drinks and catching up with mates, others enjoy getting plastered. Too each their own – who are we to judge?

        • February 3rd 2016 @ 12:52pm
          Jameswm said | February 3rd 2016 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

          I’m not judging. I’m asking questions and asking people to think about it. I do it too, so I wouldn’t be judging anyone else any more than myself – if I was judging at all.

          • Roar Guru

            February 3rd 2016 @ 1:37pm
            Kaks said | February 3rd 2016 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

            The Judging statement wasnt directed to you, it was a general statement that people seem to always believe that their way of life is the only way and everyone else is a numskull for not following their practices

            • February 3rd 2016 @ 1:40pm
              Jameswm said | February 3rd 2016 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

              Nah – I’m in my mid-40s and still working this out. I will say conclusively though that what is right for one person is not necessarily right for another. Everyone’s different, and differences must be respected.

              • Roar Guru

                February 3rd 2016 @ 9:44pm
                Kaks said | February 3rd 2016 @ 9:44pm | ! Report

                Fair enough mate!

        • February 3rd 2016 @ 12:56pm
          Danny said | February 3rd 2016 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

          Fine to get plastered. Not fine to piss on someone’s couch. I would imagine you have been plastered. I would imagine that you haven’t pissed on someone’s couch. Same / Same? Or Different?

          • Roar Guru

            February 3rd 2016 @ 1:40pm
            Kaks said | February 3rd 2016 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

            People make mistakes whether they are plastered or not. Dont think a guy should be lambasted for getting too drunk and allegedly pissing on the couch (I say allegedly as there is no proof of him doing so, nor was there a wet patch on his shorts that I observed). Crap happens, you pay for the mishap and move on. Pearce should not pay for this mishap with his career as he did not break any laws.

            • February 3rd 2016 @ 2:02pm
              Christo the Daddyo said | February 3rd 2016 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

              “Pearce should not pay for this mishap with his career as he did not break any laws.”

              Strawman argument.

              Law-breaking is punished by the law. Breaches of contract/codes/etc can cost someone their career.

              • Roar Guru

                February 3rd 2016 @ 2:25pm
                Kaks said | February 3rd 2016 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

                What code/section of his contract did he breach?

              • February 3rd 2016 @ 4:17pm
                Christo the Daddyo said | February 3rd 2016 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

                How would I know?

              • February 3rd 2016 @ 5:39pm
                Douche said | February 3rd 2016 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

                Well you must know what is in his contract to cost his career. You wanted him to get a “real” job and to be stood down from the roosters at the end of last week.

              • February 3rd 2016 @ 8:11pm
                We've got a live one said | February 3rd 2016 @ 8:11pm | ! Report

                That’s right, you don’t.

              • Roar Guru

                February 3rd 2016 @ 9:44pm
                Kaks said | February 3rd 2016 @ 9:44pm | ! Report

                Precisely my point.

              • February 3rd 2016 @ 10:40pm
                Matth said | February 3rd 2016 @ 10:40pm | ! Report

                I suspect there is a clause about acting in a manner likely to bring the club into disrepute. Sort of a catch all for anything club is unhappy with

              • February 4th 2016 @ 9:01am
                northerner said | February 4th 2016 @ 9:01am | ! Report

                NRL Code of Conduct, Sec 12:

                No Club or person bound by this Code shall:
                (1) Engage in any conduct that is detrimental to;
                (2) Bring into disrepute;
                (3) Act in a manner inconsistent with;
                (4) Act in a manner contrary to; or
                (5) Act in a manner prejudicial to;
                the best interests, image or welfare of the NRL, the NRL Competition, the
                National Youth Competition, the Related Competitions, the Representative
                Competitions, the Clubs or the Game.

                Seems pretty clear: damage the image of the game, and you’ve violated the code of conduct.

              • Roar Guru

                February 4th 2016 @ 9:21am
                Kaks said | February 4th 2016 @ 9:21am | ! Report

                Damaged the image of the game to who? Definitely not me, I couldnt care less if someone drank too much and was recorded being a goose in a private residence when they dont harm anyone. It’s a massive media beat up so that they can ruin someones career – again – and feel like they have power.

              • February 5th 2016 @ 11:16am
                northerner said | February 5th 2016 @ 11:16am | ! Report

                I’d say that damaging the image of the game is something to be decided by the administrators of the game. In a country with four football codes competing for sponsorship, broadcast fees, membership and interests, behaviour like Pearce’s can do a lot of damage. You might not feel that League’s image has been damaged, but the sheer amount of coverage and commentary on this, both from the media and the ordinary man or woman on the street, suggests that there are a lot of people out there who would disagree with your take. Clearly, the NRL disagrees, and that’s what matters in the end.

                In any case, I was merely citing the rule that Pearce violated.

        • February 4th 2016 @ 6:16am
          Norad said | February 4th 2016 @ 6:16am | ! Report

          Every Superbowl time is the same. The AFL mob who despise NRL and Origin as a meathead form of football violence come out as NFL loving experts in praise of the brutality and excitement on offer.

    • February 3rd 2016 @ 8:26am
      wardad said | February 3rd 2016 @ 8:26am | ! Report

      They need to build a decent and respectful club culture that helps these young blokes ,giving a huge amount of time and money to young blokes without any bloody guidance is a recipe for disaster .
      And destroying his career isnt helping him either .

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