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Today's players are unprepared for the temptations they face

James Slipper passes the ball at Wallabies training (Image: Paul Miller / AAP)
Roar Pro
24th May, 2018
24

Let’s talk about the not so silent elephant in the room.

James Slipper has been suspended for the use of a powdery white substance that seems to be prevalent in all the major football codes in this country.

Slipper. Sailor. Barba. Hunt. Bennell. The list goes on

It is not surprising that this has come about.

Footy players in the past would walk off the field and have 15 schooners, wake up with a headache and tell the coach that they could not be arsed training.

Times have changed. Footy codes are big business and there is plenty of money involved. Billion-dollar TV deals, ground sponsorships, boot deals, Instagram, online content and so on.

There is one fact that has not changed. Young men from mostly disadvantaged backgrounds play sport for the amusement of those who can afford to pay. These kids come into situations where the want to impress the club, mates, and senior players.

They are subjected body fat tests, breath tests and mental exams.

Let’s be honest here, in the major cities of Australia drugs are easy to come by. If these kids are going to cop a fine or hiding from their coach, is it any wonder that they try to get their kicks from stuff that all their mates are doing?

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All the codes in Australia have a pretty soft approach to recreational drugs. Don’t get me wrong I am not trying to preach here. I think that most kids just need a bit more guidance than anything else.

I guess here comes the point. I have dealt with depression and it is terrible. But to see every player that gets caught doing the wrong thing blame ‘depression’ does nothing for those blokes who actually are battling with it. If anything, putting blow up your hooter is more likely to cause depression than be the solution.