As George Orwell said, “Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence.” In other words, sport isn’t just about game play anymore. The athletes we see in serious sport, the people who have acclaimed money and fame, usually expect better treatment from everyone else, they’re spoiled and therefore behave poorly on the basis they believe they can get away with it. This is why it is not only appropriate, but essential for sporting clubs to punish athletes for off field indiscretions, that is, behaviour that displays a lack of good judgement. Sporting clubs should show no lenience towards athletes who choose to put their sporting careers at risk by behaving in childish ways. Their contracts should result in termination, suspension or they should be fined, depending on the circumstance. Athletes who display idiotic behaviour create a financial loss for their club as well as creating a negative image for them too. And, by being in the public eye, they are setting a bad example for their fans, especially the children who look up to them.
Media coverage of off field indiscretions can create a negative image of the club that has employed the athlete involved. The Rugby league’s image problem is at a very bad state and is known to have so many scandals that even a Wikipedia page has been made for their record of off field indiscretions. On Sunday 17th April, 2011 there was a 60 Minutes report that highlighted the battle between AFL and Rugby league for junior participation. The parents that were interviewed admitted that the relatively clean-cut image of the AFL held greater appeal for them, and normally led to them persuading their kids not to choose Rugby league. Rugby players are continuously stained with a poor reputation because of the reckless actions of a very small minority. An athlete represents the club they belong to. So, when one member...
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