Anorak | Australian role models upset by cricketers smoking

Australian role models upset by cricketers smoking

by | 11th, January 2018

Fresh from swatting England 4-0 in The Ashes, Australia’s cricketers decamped to Sydney’s Coogee Pavilion for a “relatively low key and good natured” celebration, where “the players happily chatted with fans and posed for selfies”.

In the hunt for sensation, the Mail picks up a scent, noting that the venue was festooned with “admiring female fans” – a scoop that amounts to a few of the players “chatting to a group of women”.

It’s all sedate stuff, despite the Mail’s attempt to spin a story of sex and excess at a “boozy” do from a few long lens photos.

But the paper missed the scoop. Australia’s Telegraph brings shocking news:

Two of Australia’s leading players Shaun Marsh and Jackson Bird were captured smoking during the team’s celebrations in Sydney on Tuesday following their 4-0 Ashes win …

The pair freely puffed away in public as other players chatted nearby.

Puffing on…tobacco!

At which point we recall when England won The Ashes in 2005. After a night’s drinking followed by a champagne breakfast, Mike Gatting asked Freddie Flintoff whether he had had anything to eat. “Yes,” replied Flintoff, “a cigar.”

So, about those ciggies. Well, Dr Michael Gannon, president of the Australian Medical Association, is unimpressed. “One answer is that they are private citizens but the truth is they are role models at an elite level that are looked up to by boys and girls and men and women across Australia and they expect a certain level of behaviour.”

Personally speaking, my kids look to Dr Michael Gannon for guidance. They can’t throw a ball for toffee but with dedication they should be able to purse their lips and pass judgement with the very best of them.

Dr Sarah White from Quit Victoria, verbalises: “It is really poor judgment and really poor role modelling for them to be doing this in public.”

For the want of a bike shed, where smokers can go bike shedding.

Dr Sarah, whose photo hangs over a millions children’s beds, adds:

“Cricket in Australian presents itself as family friendly but this is at direct odds with that given that smoking is the biggest cause of preventable death and disease in Australia. I would expect better judgment. It goes against their elite sports modelling and their healthy behaviour on the field. Smoking is against social norms in Australia and these players are doing damage by virtue with the regard they are held in by young Australians.”

David Chalke, a personal hero of mine, adds: “Smoking really is beyond the pale these days. It is not simply having a bit of fun. It is very anti-social. The players are role models… It’s not cool and it is not fashionable. If they are doing this, if they have to do it, they should not be doing it in public, they should be doing it in private.”

Time, surely, to make doctoring and therapy spectator sports, and give us the chance to see our role models at work and play. Call me Sky, I have ideas…


Posted: 11th, January 2018 | In: News, Sports Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink