By Stephen Gallagher
Under the watchful eye of the public, scrutinised at every turn of a corner, at the every sip of a beer, and at the every laugh of a joke.
Our sports stars, our heroes, the idols for us and our children are no longer so, these mere human beings with sporting ability are targets.
With the power of social media, and the evolution of smart phone technology – no one is safe.
This article is being written on the back of the Jesse Ryder and Doug Bracewell article that broke late last week. Ryder, who has battled with alcoholism and drunken behaviour issues in the past is once again back in the spotlight for having one too many beersies out celebrating a rare One Day International Series win against what was the number one side in the world in the fifty-over format, India.
It’s not every day the Blackcaps win a series against the world’s best – nor is it every day the Blackcaps put together five One Day International games in a row with high quality batting and bowling without throwing out a terrible performance. Praise goes towards them, so delivering such an emphatic series sweep.
Go out, enjoy yourselves, this is a rare occurrence. Congratulations! Well done Blackcaps! Our heroes! Our professional cricket team, always in the spotlight for one thing or another on or off the field – but I feel this was one of the highlights for the Blackcaps in the last ten years.
However, when I wake up in the morning and hear about Ryder being intoxicated, stumbling around and being assisted to a taxi may not be the greatest look, this only comes about after footage shot on a phone surfaces to the media.
What happened to people actually respecting our heroes and actually treating them as the idols we perceive them to be?
Is the Kiwi binge drinking culture taking its toll? Especially when I see headlines of bodyguards being issued for the NRL Nines players for when they are out and about. That’s just absurd.
Why can’t we just appreciate those who serve us so well in our beloved sports? Forever we are putting these human beings on a pedestal, admiring them and praising their success – but when it comes to seeing them out on the drink we all of a sudden stop being fans and change to monitor their behaviour, when ours is not so different.
Give these guys a break, they are still heroes and idols for children and adults alike – they always will be. However let’s not worry too much about what they’re doing, and worry about what we’re doing.
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