Okay, I’m not a fan of Matthew Johns. Truth be told, I don’t care what he does. I don’t know him. I also don’t care about his predilectionf for group sex (each to his own). I care about the fact that someone is yet again, being tried in the media rather than in court.
I care that the journalist specified that consent was not the issue. Obviously, for innumerable reasons, consent is the issue. If she consented to the act, then he and she are simply guilty of stupidity (if we’re presuming to judge morality). If she didn’t then the case should have gone to court, not to Four Corners!
I also care that Australians are being suckered into participating in more ‘tall poppy syndrome’. There were eleven other men in the room with Matthew Johns. Have they all been either sacked or stood down from their jobs? Because surely if that’s considered justice where he’s concerned, it could only be just when applied to the eleven others.
Further to this, I want to know why no other reporters are ‘investigating’ for facts concerning consent, who the other participants were and why the story has been untold for the last seven years (was there some kind of payoff?). There is a LOT more to this story and it’s going untold either because it incriminates witnesses or because there are other, more influential people involved. Where ARE the investigative journalists?
Lastly, I hate to contribute to problems without offering solutions, so here’s the real issue for me:
The men playing football nowadays have been footballers from the age of six upward. Many of the boys my son played football with were ‘retained’ by the Titans or other clubs and trained with them, in order to ensure their future careers with those clubs. As such these boys became not only the biggest, most co-ordinated boys in their age groups, they also got more money, more acclaim (needless to say, more girls) and more adult male influence than other boys in their age groups. In short, they know more, have more and have done more than most other boys.
Basically, from the age of fifteen or so, these boys are treated, by our sport mad culture, like little gods. Then when they grow up to behave like spoiled gods, we are outraged.
My solution? Mentoring. Along with the other educational programs the clubs have in place, individual mentors should be carefully selected and allocated to rookie players. I was told once that when it comes to raising boys, it’s ‘Mummy from 0-8, Daddy from 9-15 and after that they need an external male as a role model’. Good men with wives, kids, lives etc, who are already established in the club could be responsible for guiding and overseeing the behaviour of the young ones coming up. An element of accountability would be good too. This would help to counteract many of the problems regarding alcohol and drug abuse encountered in young players as well as the unfortunate side-effects of this lifestyle.
So that’s it, that’s my say. In this case, I am aware of what I don’t know, of what we (the public) haven’t been told. What I also perceive is a general socio-cultural issue with regard to these men. Being the ‘fixer’ type I am, I feel the need to offer solutions rather than to point fingers (which ultimately fixes nothing). What do you think? Any more to add?