WATCHING the tearful apology of Mitchell Pearce has done very little for me, in the wake of the football star's unforgivable behaviour on Australia Day.
In Australia, we have a fairly substantial drinking culture, and in certain groups - such as football - the behaviour seems to be magnified.
Heck, I'm partial to a beer or two myself so I certainly don't judge athletes for that, but when you hold a certain position within the community you are expected to act a certain way.
The problem with sub-cultures such as football, the level of responsibility gets shifted when the people surrounding you are behaving in the same manner.
The football code is never short of a scandal, and yet, players coming through the ranks just don't seem to get the message that things like this are unacceptable.
Mitchell Pearce has now openly admitted that he has a "drinking problem", which is the usual language thrown around when a crisis like this hits the media.
The more you hear it, the more it sounds like a cop-out.
I question where the support from his friends and family was, prior to the simulated sex with a dog?
Were they aware that Mitchell had a drinking problem? Surely there were signs?
At the very least a moment where someone could have said to him, "Hey mate, you might want to tone it down a little with your drinking. You're the captain of the Roosters."
Or "If you want to keep your multi-million dollar contract, I'd recommend you stay off the grog?"
But did he have to be told that at all?
At 26, if I have millions of dollars riding over my head, I would want to make sure I kept out of trouble.
For the general populace it's not difficult to achieve, so why do these guys attract such unsavoury attention?
To think this is the one time something was captured on camera; I can only imagine how many more incidents weren't videoed.
Despite having two brother-in-laws (who I love very much) who have played for the Cronulla Sharks, my opinion of footballers is fairly low.
The culture, as I've seen it first hand, is rife with lewd behaviour - Mad Monday is a prime example of that.
My mother-in-law feels sick to the stomach every time it rolls around.
She worries all day until her boys are home safe, and not hauled up in a cell somewhere. What does that tell you about the culture?
I think the NRL has a lot of work to do with its players, and I don't think educating them is the answer.
Footballers understand things in far less complex ways - and that's harsh consequences for their actions.
It's about time they hold the bad eggs of the game accountable, and let it be a warning for others.
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