A 12 month suspension and a slap on the wrist for Essendon

Australian sport has been hit by an ongoing scandal with 34 players from the Essendon Football Club in the AFL being suspended due to taking part in an illegal doping program. The trouble is that it's been called the worst scandal to hit Australian sport, yet all the players seemed to get was a slap on the wrists. Is that justice? Jamie investigates in this guest post opinion piece.

Get yourself up to speed with the Essendon saga then read on.

12 months suspension? Really? That’s the punishment for taking part in a doping program and trying to cheat the system? But any other person in any other profession would be sacked without question for smoking a bit of weed on the weekends. Right, seems fair.

Now I’m not condoning drug use of any kind here, I’m just giving you a comparison between the real world and the non-real world that professional sportspeople live in. Hell, the only reason Essendon copped any punishment whatsoever was because the World Anti-Doping Agency had to step in and investigate after the Australian authorities found the players not guilty.

I’m sick to death of those in the media seemingly buying their way out of a fair punishment based on who they are and their status in the community. If you ask me, if you are a public figure and you’re caught doing something illegal or untoward, you lose that status immediately if not sooner and should be put through the system like the rest of the world.

Ramsey essendon memeI’ve had enough of the lies, the secrecy, the inner circles of wealth and fame getting away with their reckless lives and ways, it has to stop and they need to be accountable just like the rest of us. All it does is prove one thing that we’ve always known; money will literally buy you out of anything. Recently, a ‘high profile’ man applied to the courts to have his identity suppressed following being found slumped over the wheel, drunk, in his Porsche and it was approved. Yet we see article after article and post after post of the common man being named and shamed online and in the print media without so much of a question. It’s just not on.

If you are a sportsperson and have been found guilty of doping when it is blatantly illegal, immoral and just plain wrong, then why are you simply just suspended from your ‘duties’ of kicking a ball around an oval for 12 months then welcomed back to your ‘profession’ like nothing happened? I’d love to see what their contracts say about this. I’m sure it doesn’t states ‘should you take banned or illicit substances and be found guilty of this, you’ll get 12 months off and welcomed back’. But then again, I’ve not read it so am merely making an assumption. I can tell you one thing though, no place I’ve ever worked at has had anything other than instant dismissal for breaking the law.

What kind of a message are you sending to your fans? To the fans that pay money year in and year out to come and watch you play. To the kids that idolize you and aspire to grow up to be like you one day? How do you explain that you’ve done something bad and then simply gotten away with it? Where is the consequence in that equation? It simply does not exist, great role model guys.

You know, maybe I am being a bit harsh, I’m sure its not all as simple as the mainstream media reports it and no doubt the players and management involved have had to face more than a few angry people with some explaining to do, but I really hope they’ve learnt a lesson here and show some remorse for their actions as public figures and role models to the young children who look up to them.

In the end though, when compared to the real world, this is nothing more than a slap on the wrists for those involved. If they hadn’t been caught out, would it have mattered? When it comes down to the high-flying, multi-billion dollar, win-at-all-cost world of professional sport, I guess it doesn’t.


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