I’m cheering

I’m really glad Nick D’Arcy has been dumped by Swimming Australia. Athletes should be held to a high standard of behaviour, being in the public eye as they are. Other sporting bodies should take note. What I’m not impressed by are the idiotic media statements made by D’Arcy’s supporters. Here’s a sample of what his coach Brian Stehr had to say:

I’m still in shock. When do you stop punishing somebody. Fair enough he did the wrong thing, he did a silly thing, he knows that, everyone knows that, but this is getting ridiculous now.

They’ve stopped punishing him – he got a suspended sentence. He did more than a silly thing, he violently assaulted someone in a public place. He brought swimming into disrepute. Representing the country in a sport is a privilege, and Darcy’s shocking behaviour has resulted in him losing this privilege.

Here’s one from Nick D’Arcy’s father Justin D’Arcy:

It is now seemingly a matter of every other sporting body that’s subordinate to this (the Australian Olympic Committee) just lining up in a queue to punish him for precisely the same thing.

Are you completely blind? Your son violently assaulted someone in a public place. That kind of behaviour has consequences. He brought this on his own head. He’s only received a suspended sentence — a slap on the wrist. By his own stupidity, he’s given up the privilege of representing Australia in elite sport.

This sort of news for young people can be absolutely devastating.

Well, I never would have imagined… Come to think of it, maybe people would get upset about being punched in the face in a public place, too. Now who was it that did that? Oh, I remember: it was your stupid, violent, aggressive son!

It doesn’t matter whether you’re an elite cyclist, an elite swimmer, or someone else who’s given years of their lives to one of these major sporting bodies, there has to be some compassion at least in the way this news is delivered.

Compassion? They should make an example of him! They need to send out a message that this is not acceptable behaviour, and hopefully other athletes will take note.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, 8 April, 2009 at 8:11 pm and is filed under Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One response to “I’m cheering”

Kiwi says:

International athletes are kind of ambassadors for their country. At one point the issue is no longer about the individual – it is about the image of the sporting body and how Australia presents itself to the international swimming community.

For a lot of jobs, there is a clause in the employment contract that involves termination of employment when the employee is convicted of a criminal offense. This is not really any different.

There are plenty of swimmers who will gladly take that spot on the team and do whatever it takes to stay out of trouble.

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