There are those who contend that professional athletes aren’t role models and have no obligation to be role models.
They are wrong.
Youngsters look up to pro athletes. They try to imitate professional athletes. They try to play like professional athletes and they try to live like professional athletes.
The recent news about Joel Monaghan, a rugby league star who was photographed having “relations” with a dog, has led to an amazing series of statements in the news which are impossible to read without feeling that they have come from the draft script of a new Ricky Gervais movie. How about this for starters:
The Australian representative is unlikely to face criminal charges because bestiality is not illegal in the ACT.
That particular paragraph gets even better:
However, the controversy prompted RSPCA officials to write to the ACT Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, calling for the law to be changed following dozens of complaints from people who had seen the photo of Monaghan and the dog on social media networks.
How has the league star’s club responded?
“It is important that the club deals with it appropriately and that it reports to the NRL as soon as possible on the outcomes.”
Ok, so how do you deal with this appropriately? Do you really have to have this conversation with every person you sign to the club?
NRL Official: So please, in your free time no drugs, no bribe-taking and no prostitutes. It brings the club into disrepute.
Joel Monaghan: Sure, sure. What about dogs?
Joel: Dogs. Can you… you know? With dogs?
Joel: Is that a no?
It gets better though.
Monaghan described confronting his family about the incident as ”the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do”.
”Those conversations will remain private, but it’s fair to say we’re all doing it tough at the moment,” he said. ”I’m just so sorry that I’ve put them through this because they don’t deserve it.”
I really can’t imagine a way that this particular conversation with your mother could go well. Probably best to do it by phone.
Hi Mum, it’s Joel.
You’ll never guess what’s happened.
You heard already?
Geez, Mum – that’s a bit strong.
A golden labrador.
Love is a complicated emotion, Mum.
How does Joel explain himself?
”I’m in the process of getting counselling at the moment: the first step I took was the decision a short time ago to stop drinking”
Seems pretty solid. Mind you, I’ve had the odd drink in my life and have never thought that performing a sex act with a dog seemed like a good idea. Then again I’m not a hard man in the NRL.
”I am eternally grateful for the support I have received from many senior figures in the game who got in touch with me and have helped me through the last few days with advice and just giving support.” Hunter hoped the game of rugby league would give Monaghan the opportunity to redeem himself.
Two things. If any of my friends get caught with a dog I won’t be offering them my support and advice. Advice? What the hell is that? “Um, don’t have sex with dogs you fricken idiot”. Support? “Hey, bro, we’ve all been there.”
Secondly, how do you redeem yourself for bestiality by playing rugby league?