“After the game” – Four Corners – on the struggles of elite athletes post-retirement


The life of top-level sportspeople post-retirement is a topic close to many Almanackers.


Tonight on ABCTV 4 Corners will screen an episode called “After the Game.”
Details are here: http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2017/05/01/4659870.htm


A corresponding article on ABC online appears here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-01/former-athletes-on-depression-joblessness-after-elite-sport/8482282



The episode will be later replayed on ABC2 and will be available on iView.
iView address: http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/four-corners/NC1704H012S00

What are your thoughts?



  1. Only got to see part of 4 corners (2 corners?). I’ll endeavour to see the rest later.

    In the last two weeks week on SBS with Jenny Brockie on the “Insight” programme has been having a pretty raw & frank discussion on the same subject.



    Cheers Jim K

  2. E.regnans says

    Pretty stark interviews.

    The similarity in essential story across sports is/was striking.
    So much to be done here.

    I have a hazy idea that David Parkin used to advocate for his players to learn skills in preparation for life after footy.
    Saddening to learn of the prevalence of difficulty across retirees from cricket, swimming, basketball, footy, rugby…

  3. Dave Nadel says

    I couldn’t help noticing the difference between the responses of Cricket Australia and Basketball Australia on the Four Corners program. Basketball Australia admitted that they hadn’t done enough for Lauren Jackson and said that they were trying to put in better support policies for injured and retiring players. Cricket Australia told Bracken he should sue them if he felt that he wasn’t being looked after, and when he did they fought him in court for five years. I realise that its not completely comparing apples with apples – Lauren Jackson is Australia’s greatest woman basketballer while Nathan Bracken was just one of many ODI bowlers but one can’t help feeling that CA hasn’t learned much since their behaviour forty years ago when their neglect, bullying and underpayment of the national cricket team opened the door to Kerry Packer and World Series.

  4. John Butler says

    E Reg, Parkin was advocating players have an outside job or study back in the ’90’s. He made it almost compulsory at Carlton. The modern advent of full time professionalism has made that more difficult. As the ‘Oils once said, ‘some say that’s progress…’

    Dave, an interesting observation. Particularly if we consider the manner in which the current player contract negotiations are being conducted.

  5. Sean Gorman says

    Dave – I have yet to see the 4 Corners episode but I will – but it would be helpful by extension to your salient comments to compare the past-players associations in terms of the money they have and their general efficacy around players who have transitioned out. If that is indeed the advice they gave Bracken it is shameful.

  6. Dave Nadel says

    Sean, the comments that I referred to came from the sport’s governing bodies rather than the past players association. So Cricket Australia said to Bracken, we are not taking any responsibility for your injuries in the service of Australian cricket and if you don’t like it..sue us. Nevertheless you raise a relevant question as to what the players association did for him.

    Congratulations on the new book. I look forward to reading it. Dave

  7. Citrus Bob says

    This is a must for all sporting clubs who are involved in elite sport. I recall having breakfast with Hawthorn’s no 27 many years ago where our main topic of discussion was life after football and life after missing out on making the big time in football.
    I am not sure whether the AFLPA or CAPA have ever done a complete survey on both issues. Some how I don’t think so but Four Corners has certainly given a wake-up call to all elite sporting administration bodies.
    One must not forget even clubs at grass roots level if a player is forced out of the game through injury or illness that has its roots at club level.
    Once again the ABC has triumphed. Take note politicians.
    Citrus Bob

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