Sadly, one of the best known West Australian footballers, Chris Mainwaring, has been found dead at the age of 41 (1 Oct).
According to media reports, alcohol and drugs may be involved. This is hardly surprising, given Mainwaring’s part form (which includes being busted for drug usage) and the off-field antics of his teammates.
However, it brings to light the deeper issue of sport, alcohol and drugs. This is highlighted at present by the end of the national rugby league and Australian football seasons. Both winning and losing teams celebrate/commisterate with so-called “Mad Mondays” (days of drinking). In fact the Mad Monday turns into a mad week … and beyond, for some. It’s extended by end-of-season overseas trips, on which players often make “gooses” of themselves by fighting, swearing and urinating in public.
What message is sent to youth when pictures of celebrating footballers always show them with alcohol in hand? Surely they can move between venues without the need to carry a bottle, or glass?
The media, sports clubs and players have a duty to lift their game. We really are still a nation of yobbo piss-heads.