I know it can’t be easy living with the stress of managing a whopping pay packet – and being idolised must be incredibly draining as is (I would imagine) dealing with the day to day trauma of enormous sponsorship deals – (nobody wants to be told what free car they have to drive) – but here we go again.
Another day. Another unsavoury headline: “Melbourne Vixens in Mad Monday Romp”.
Sadly, it’s become an all-too familiar theme – women in sport behaving badly. When will they get it? With all that cash and heroine-worshipping comes responsibility. Simple really.
Let’s be clear. This isn’t just a netball phenomenon. It cuts across all female-dominated sports. No club is impervious to the Festival Of Stupidity, especially at this time of the year.
A few weeks ago a star player from the Victorian Women’s Football League was caught setting fire to the smooth, oiled, naked bottom of a Chippendale who had been hired to dance for the girls at their closed-off team gathering.
We’ve also learned of an alleged multi-million dollar international match-fixing ring involving one of our semi-professional women’s soccer teams. It was slightly more sophisticated than the recent Nigerian effort of 79-0 but spectacularly dumb nonetheless.
The past year has been a particularly fertile period for sporting idiocy – we’ve had salary-cap breaches, draft tampering and “tanking” in our national sport and some moronic individual performances deserve special mention; our Spin Queen’s mistimed Ashes head-butt in a Coventry Bar, the centre court hotshot who auditioned for the remake of Bullitt in her canary yellow Ferrari, and the late night slugfest between two women’s rugby team mates. Yes, that’s right. Team mates.
Who could forget the “bonding” session our female swimmers had before the London Olympics? To be so cruel to the men that trained so hard for so long… and worse, to tarnish the sport in which our reputation was for so long held in the highest regard. A simple lesson in how to turn gold into manure.
Some of the top women coaches are prone to bouts of churlishness too. Not even a magnificent qualifying final win could stop one from belittling a journalist for asking an entirely reasonable question. I know us women are a sensitive bunch but there’s really no need for that kind of unprovoked bitchiness… what’s the expression we could all learn from – manners maketh the man.
Rudeness at media conferences is one thing. Experimenting with Frankenstein cocktails, Venezuelan mystery phials and liquidised cockroach testicles (for their anti-wrinkle properties apparently) is quite another.
I’ve always found the notion of injecting substances into the body for vanity a baffling one – but introducing baboon cells into the bloodstream is plain madness. This has been denied of course – a club statement veered off into the absurd when it said they didn’t know what they were injecting?
When it comes to exploring normally sacrosanct body parts on-field, no one does it better than the tough women of rugby league. We don’t bat an eyelid any more when we read of a 6-week ban for nipple-biting and crotch-tweaking.
And I’ll leave you with the case of the high ranking official who told her staff to call her “Dolly” in reference to the size of her breasts. Just think about this for a minute. Can you imagine a man in that position demanding to be called Donkey? It’s preposterous. Inconceivable. The woman later resigned saying the comment was made “in jest” – the only one standing by her was her man (Ms Parton would be proud).
All this begs the question – why is it only women in sport who are susceptible to boneheaded behaviour? Men, on the whole, are a respectful lot. Take Buddy Franklin for example. It can’t have been easy keeping that secret from his club and team mates. But life isn’t fair. Men don’t get the recognition they deserve or the juicy rewards, despite being more successful on the world stage. But what they do have is grace and humility.
Our women could take a leaf out of their book.