AFL grapples with sex and drugs and rock and roll
It’s been a turbulent year for the AFL, as it grapples with some of the hottest issues in the public eye. Sex scandals, the homosexuality debate, players caught out with illicit drugs – and major upsets each week on the field.
Match attendances are healthy, newspapers are overloaded with dramatic revelations of off-field disasters and the injury rate has meant some of the younger players are being rested for fear of breakdown.
Let’s talk about sex first. Now that I have your attention, the St Kilda-pregnant teen incident has highlighted the dangers for star footballers, young fans, and the potential disruption to all of their lives.
Quite simply, if the footballers are playing with fire, they will get burnt. What goes around comes around.
There’s no doubt that many football stars fall victim to the predatory behaviour of groupies or young, starry-eyed teens/young ladies keen to latch on to a player.
When are some players going to learn they are risking their reputations with irresponsible behaviour?
I would suggest it’s time the AFL adopted more vigorous education programs to protect the stars from predatory behaviour.
What do men want? Let’s look at the human needs – money, power, sex, food to satisfy hunger, work and achievement, and time for R & R.
Players like being adored by the public and adored by women. But being a public figure carries a huge responsibility and the footballers have to restrain themselves.
If something goes wrong, the players’ names are dragged through the mud.
When news travels into the public domain, the issue explodes and it could lead to legal action. It’s not pretty.
Players carry the responsibility of role models and their social etiquette should be exemplary.
Are the clubs educating the players on social etiquette?
Players who fuel themselves with alcohol are asking for trouble and that’s when the trouble starts – girls, groupies, social drugs and fights.
We see it time and time again.
The players need a safe outlet to meet their friends in relaxed social settings.
The clubs have a responsibility to protect its players from troublemakers. The problem is players are tempted by the trappings of fame – the glamour, functions where the beer flows, the adoring eye of women and drugs at their fingertips, if they indulge in the party scene.
Hey, everyone’s human. It’s easy to be sucked into the trappings of a privileged life.
AFL players have many impressive qualities to survive at the top level. If they ensure their behaviour is equally as good as their on-field performance, they will stay out of trouble.
There’s plenty of motivation for players at the moment, as they’re faced with an even competition. Anyone can win. This playing environment should help keep the players’ focused and challenged.
Meanwhile, off the field, the AFL and clubs should be more proactive in helping players with managing fame – the art of staying out of trouble.
AFL players are vibrant, young men who want to enjoy their lives at an exciting point in their careers. Let them enjoy themselves in a fun, but safe place – without the risk of predators spoiling their lives.
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