Extracts from an article by Peter FitzSimons – SMH 21/11/18
Time and time again, year after year, the common factor in footballers either ruining their own lives, the lives of others, or the reputation of the game in general, is … excess of grog.
But does the NRL do the obvious and bring in huge penalties for getting pissed as a newt? Of course not. And there are two obvious reasons why not.
The first reason is that it would be bloody well un-Australian to do so. Getting fall-over rat-faced pissed is simply what Australian blokes do, don’t you know? And the second reason is that when the game is heavily sponsored by grog companies, those sponsors might take a very dim view of the NRL doing what all alcoholics need to do, which is to say “I need help, I have a real problem with alcohol.”
Surrounded by atrocities and endless damaging headlines, all with alcohol as a factor, what is the drug that makes them lose their nana? Cocaine!
And yet who actually thinks cocaine is a genuine problem for rugby league?
How often have we seen players behaving abysmally when it has been established that they had been sniffing cocaine?
But grog is, and it is getting worse. Sometime soon the league must act to protect the game, to protect the players, and most importantly of all to protect vulnerable women and men who cross the paths of drunken league players.The NRL has a duty of care to their players to do something of this kind, and a duty of care to protect the public from their players. If it is not obvious by now, just what will it take?
What are we to do about alcohol?