Almanac Opinion: Old Dog on Liam Jones

What a rollercoaster Liam Jones is. People’s opinions flying every-which-where. I admire him. I admire anyone who puts principle before dollars. I admire anyone who goes against the herd.

 

I also think he is a selfish moron. The whole point of this virus is that it is not about you, about your ‘personal freedoms’, it is about the health and safety of others.

 

It’s about communal responsibility.

 

Football is the original melting pot. We shout at each other, breathe in each other’s sweat, tackle, grope and slap each other on the bum. Literally wear a coach’s spray. That’s where the term came from. Crowds go shoulder-to-shoulder, shouting the same air. We swap tall stories, breath and bullshit at the bar after the match. Really, it’s the adult equivalent of kindergarten, or taking your kid to the pool.

 

During lockdown she was as healthy as a forest tree. Now she gets a cold every second week.

 

Covid-19 is a global pandemic, millions dead, ten times more sustaining life long health problems. So many catching it from people who said; ‘Don’t tell ME what to do! I’M healthy. I don’t need it!’

 

If a club let players play unvaccinated, and it then ripped through the team, and, in that, the community, they would be sued out of existence. They have a duty of care. A. Duty. Of. Care.

 

To not serve anyone who’s had too much to drink. To not let concussed players back on the oval. To help players with mental health issues. To make sure female players and supporters are fully respected. To not let old Nan who has followed the team for 205 years die because of an unvaccinated player.

 

I painfully want to just wish him well, and fully respect his decision. But what about the vulnerable people around him?

 

What is Liam’s reason? Religious? Tinfoil hat, microchip bullshit? Anti-authority defiance?

 

If it’s the last, why is he playing in such an authority-driven league, that has served him so nicely?

 

If it’s tinfoil hat, I’m torn again. A part of me has always said; bless the not quite right, life needs more weirdos.

 

If it’s religion, I have a very old joke for him:

A man was sitting on his porch when a big storm came, and the river started rising. A group of volunteers linked arms, wadding through the water to get to his house. ‘Thank you, but no,’ he said. ‘I have faith in my Lord, he will save me.’ The water rose more. The man was on his roof when someone paddled to him in a boat. ‘Thank you, but no,’ he told them. ‘I have faith in my Lord, he will save me.’ Finally, he was standing on his chimney, water rising all around. A rescuer lowered on a rope from a helicopter. ‘Last chance!’ they called. ‘Thank you, but no,’ the man insisted. ‘I have faith in my Lord, he will save me.’ The water kept rising, drowning the man. When God met him at the pearly gates, the man was ropable! ‘Lord! I had faith in you, and you let me down, ya mug!’

‘LET YOU DOWN?!’ God boomed. ‘First I sent a chain of people… Then I sent…’

 

Masks, social distancing, vaccines.

 

Anyways it’s a tricky one.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Agree with everything you say Matt. Well put.
    The only thing I’ll say about Liam Jones is whatever drives his decisions, I respect enormously his willingness to put his principles before $. While I’m generally interested in the rationales of anti-vaxxers to understand if they have anything worthwhile to teach me – sociologically, politically or medically – I could understand that he doesn’t want to have an ongoing slanging match with the twitterati.
    His views are his views. He’s acted with principle, even if in my view misguidedly.
    Hats off and wish him well in his future life.

  2. Malby Dangles says

    Well put, Matt.
    Football is a cruel games sometimes to its players and (in this case) clubs.
    AS a Carlton fan I just wish he’d announced this decision back in September!

  3. Although I am fully vaxxed, and cannot comprehend the whole anti-vax thing, I actually respect Liam Jones here. He has put his principles – however misguided we may think they are – before dollars. In doing so, has he not also put the team first??

  4. Hayden Kelly says

    Agree with Smokie and I am fully vaxxed . Whatever we might think of Jonesy’s misguided principles he has the courage to stick with them at a big financial loss .
    Matt
    it’s a very long bow to suggest that ‘almost all ‘ people who have caught the virus ,have died from the virus or are suffering ongoing health problems have caught it from ME ME Anti Vaxxers as that group only emerged after the various Australian Fiefdoms realised that it should be a race to get vaccinated . It only took 12 months for that to dawn on them .

  5. Hayden, yes mate, I agree. I worded it poorly, and have amended.

    As for Liam showing courage on his convictions, half of me agrees. But what a stupid hill to die on. There is so much more in the world you could take. stand on, that helps people. Maybe it’s simply the same pigheadedness he has displayed to defy the facts of science? Who knows? I WANT to barrack for him, but ‘hooray, he turned down money to make himself a danger to the vulnerable.”?

  6. Old dog my question is did Sam Docherty as a person with immune difficulties with his illness have any contact with Liam ? For mine,Sams illness is reason enough to get vaccinated.IMO appallingly advised I don’t think health experts would be trying to tell him how to play full back.i admit I am firmly in the get vaccinated camp – thank you

  7. Daryl Schramm says

    Great article and comments. I had a similar discussion/argument a couple of Friday nights ago around Dani Vanhagen, a nurse and AFL footballer demonstrating here it Adelaide. I just wanted to try to understand why she took these actions, even though I believe she should know better. Even my trying to understand her stance got howled down.

  8. Hayden Kelly says

    Daryl

    That is the frustrating bit about the anti vax group .Even the most polite enquiry re tell me your reasons for not being vaccinated is seen as an aggressive and threatening question . I have a good mate who for reasons only known to him is not vaccinated and that is his reaction on being asked . He is now turning bitter because in Victoria he can’t go to the races or partake in other activities he enjoys with his family and friends . Some how he thinks the rest of society should compromise to fit in with his choice .
    Very frustrating and if he searches the internet one more time and sends us 2 paragraphs which is supposedly research supporting his position to quote Terry Wallace ‘I will throw up ‘
    Hopefully Liam J who has made supposedly an informed choice is aware of the ongoing consequences that choice brings
    Matt
    Good article which invoked good discussion .

  9. Richard Marlow says

    Well put Matt
    I too, am torn by the fact that principles should outweigh the dollar no matter the price,

    years ago there was a Brisbane Rugby League player who refused to play on Saturdays – he was I think an Seventh Day Adventist practitioner of faith, he was glad when most games in the 80s changed to Sundays so he could play.
    You are right he is both to be lauded and yet derided because he is throwing away a huge opportunity to contribute to a game he obviously loves.
    The polarizing effect of the world we are in.

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