Australia’s sporting shame.
Let’s not confuse this with personal shame.
Media, by all means list the cheaters and the drug cheats, but let’s not confuse the players personal demons off the sporting field with being within the actual game of the sport.
Toxic masculinity starts when coaches and players accept that a particular particular aggressive and detrimental demeanor is acceptable on the field. If team mates turn a blind eye, then this is seen to the aggressor as acceptable.
The issue becomes more apparent when fellow team mates and coaching staff turn a blind eye to the behaviors of violence their players exhibit off the field. Men in particular don’t just become violent over night. It is the same in everyday society. Your boys are taught to “toughen up” or “crying is for sissy’s”. With this mentality they are unable to funnel their emotions effectively without harsh judgement and take out these emotions in physical form.
Is it the rigor and demand of being the fittest and the strongest on the field or lure of $$ which send the male psyche off the cliff when it comes to not being able to control physical and abusive tendencies off the field? Does the money flow too freely that players turn to vices such as roids, alcohol, drugs to get some kind of better high? With the recent allegations for a number of Australian Rugby players, it definitely seems there is a deep troubled acceptance of physical abuse which their players take part in. Smashing glass in women’s faces, terrorising families, going on drunken rampages. I can think of 4 players straight up who have all found themselves in deep water because of this. Long gone are the days of respectable players like Mal Meninga, Lazarus and Allen, would never allow the game to fall into disrepute.
I imagine some players have different kinds of relationships with their coaches. Coaches that cover up cheats: yes that’s sporting shame. Coaches that cover up a players obvious emotional unrest off the field, even worse. Some would argue that what happens off the playing field stays off the playing field.
If that’s the case though, then why would it be a countries sporting shame?
Wouldn’t it be the individuals shame?
If you disassociate the fact that the sportsman has a persona ON the field, or remove that altogether, all you have is a mentally troubled individual with power and ego issues who needs to seek help.
To the recent Aussie cricket team, yep, I’d call that “one” of sports darker moments. But there have been others, disqualifications, cheaters. The bigger thing here is that there are harshly enforced repercussions and that these players have apologized emotionally for the shame they’ve brought. Hopefully it will be a lesson to any future sports people that cheating is never the answer.