Does the AFL have any responsibility to the welfare of Ben Cousins?
When an organization positions itself as the lighthouse of social and community issues one gets a tad confused with the AFL’s actions relating to Ben Cousins.
From terminal illnesses to bullying, from racism to violence against women and finally the world leader in the fight against drugs in sport, the AFL certainly talk the talk but do they walk the walk?
Their ulterior motive seems to be much more about brand protection than association and taking responsibility. Somewhat of an all care and no responsibility culture. That is; if we can protect or promote our brand we will be front and centre at the press conference however if there is potential for damage – count us out.
My view is the AFL are duty bound morally and ethically to be up to their ears in situations such as the one confronting Ben Cousins. Either that or stop trying to be the savior for society’s problems. You are either in and fully invested or you are a football competition that does not align itself to government and society problems.
This is where the dilemma sits. Personally I struggle to have sympathy for people making poor choices. Understanding consequences for actions is something that we were taught whilst growing up.
I understand that a few people may get some sort of adrenalin rush and have a wow of a time when using a social drug. However when the dust settles and the clear light of day arrives surely the guilt and embarrassment is enough to help them make different choices next time. Most people “try” something once however their values and upbringing helps them to make smart decisions relating to ongoing use. I also understand – to some degree – the mental issues and “wiring” problems that some people have that makes these choices much more difficult.
Nobody will convince me that West Coast Eagles players, officials or related media did not know about the shenanigans during the volatile period. Most people outside the WCE associated with the game knew something was happening. It was unavoidable. Rampant use comes to mind. It is inconceivable for the officials at the Eagles to plead ignorance.
It’s time the AFL exerted it’s massive influence, rolled up their sleeves and fully committed to a guy that has exhausted every other avenue of help available to him.
Loss of life, loss of family and friends, addiction, mental conditions, lies and deception. It’s a tragic situation and there is grave concerns around the next headline on Ben Cousins.
Seems the AFL are still pondering if it’s really their problem or someone else’s? Or is it really about the brand damage?