Sending a dangerous message to young fans

Credit:Illustration: Vintage Andrew Dyson

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FOOTBALL

Sending a dangerous message to young fans

“No one claims Bailey Smith or Jordan De Goey are saints” (Letters, 20/6) but they are role models for aspiring players. Also, they are in the public eye and are failing to represent the AFL in a positive way.

I was recently at the Bulldogs-Geelong match and witnessed countless impressionable kids shouting and supporting Smith. After the media eruption regarding his illicit drug story, I thought to myself, “What impression is this man having on these young fans?”

Jordan De Goey’s behaviour in Bali further showed that these players are flaunting an inappropriate lifestyle and tarnishing the AFL as an organisation and a sport. The AFL needs to crack down on this type of behaviour and use its platform as a means for positivity for current and aspiring AFL players. Players need to set better examples and hold themselves accountable when they make a mistake or break the code of conduct.
Daniel Senior, 17, Balwyn

Why are players not being punished more severely?

The “Collingwood Three” – Jordan De Goey, Jack Ginnivan and Isaac Quaynor – are getting off very lightly. So far, the latter two do not appear to have been punished. And De Goey’s $25,000 fine is suspended through to the end of the season and dependent on good behaviour. What a disgrace. What happened to respect for women? If this were not so serious, you would say the AFL is a joke.
Robyn Lovell, Epping

The media’s hypocrisy on footage it condemns

If the television media, including the ABC, proclaim that the actions of Jordan De Goey and other footballers are degrading and disrespectful to women, why do they repeatedly show their actions in their news bulletins? Shame.
Carole McDonald, Ivanhoe

Taking action to protect players, and our game

The excellent photograph on your back page (Sport, 21/6) is highly illustrative. Bulldog Tim English – now suffering delayed concussion – is marking the ball while an opponent’s arm appears to be hitting his head. This is a frequent occurrence in marking duels, which may contribute to concussion problems suffered by players.

Traditionalists are sure to be appalled by this proposal: however, the rules will have to be revised to protect the player trying to take a mark. The change is needed because the damage being done to players’ brains will increasingly loom as an existential threat to the game. Punching or attempting to punch the ball in a marking contest should be outlawed. The AFL needs to take decisive action, and this will involve removing some components of the play that have long been taken for granted.

Besides, the most boring thing that now happens in a match is where the ball is deliberately punched out of bounds as players compete for the mark. Allowing this action is an anomaly that contradicts the other rules which aim to keep the ball in play. For the health of the players and the aesthetics of the game: stop the “spoil”.
Philip Cassell, Malvern East

Why so many of us are opting for our armchairs

News that AFL attendances are down to their lowest levels in 26years (COVID-19 years excluded) has the clubs lamenting the lost revenue from crowds and memberships. How is this possible if a club like Richmond has over 100,000 members?

Given that television and streaming ratings are up, the answer may lie in the fact that COVID-19 years have changed people’s viewing habits. Also, given that the AFL counts a member as someone who has provided “a name, contact information, spends more than $50 on membership, and receives a membership pack”, then there is little incentive to leave your armchair.
Robert McIntyre, Richmond

Surrounded by noise when you go to a match

The noise during breaks at the footy (not to mention the Big Bash cricket) is a nightmare. I would be surprised if it is not having an effect on attendance figures.
Chris Birch, Surrey Hills

LETTERS

Arts for all students

The news that schools may cut their visual arts and food technology programs, leading to “stale and beige” education (The Age, 21/6), is most disturbing.

The recent program Space22 on the ABC showed the remarkable changes visual art and music exercises made to the mental health of the participants. Government, educators and parents should make this program essential viewing.

Arts programs should not be tacked onto the curriculum at the whim of parents’ voluntary contributions, but built into it. The end result will be engaging happy and creative children. Maybe funding to non-government schools could be wound back, then arts program funding would be available to all.
Ron Reynolds, Templestowe

Offer a range of subjects

Why is it that when schools do not have enough money, visual arts is one of the first subjects to be cut? More funding is needed for all subjects, libraries and extra activities.
Chris Hooper, Castlemaine

Easing parents’ load

Well said, Erin O’Dwyer – “Choosing part-time work helped me keep sane” (Comment, 22/6).

It is a mental and physical juggling act for parents keeping all the balls in the air. That is not to mention the scramble for out-of-reach housing affordability, plus maybe sick kids needing TLC.
It is wise to remember the old adage – the most precious gift you can give your child is your time.
Teresa Grace, Leopold

Bridge’s no-flag policy

I have visited Manly a number of times and thoroughly enjoyed the slow ferry ride to Circular Quay, among other things. There are splendid views of the harbour the whole way, as well as the Opera House and the harbour bridge in the final minutes – spoiled only by the huge Australian flag flapping away at the top of the latter.

I have nothing against the Aboriginal flag, in fact I would happily see it replace the one with the Union Jack in the corner. But neither flag should be displayed on the bridge, whatever the cost.
Lindsay Zoch, Mildura

MPs, listen to the people

Gladys Liu expressed what is a real concern about the motives of many of our politicians. She says her “political career” was terminated prematurely.

I, and I am sure, most others want people in our parliaments who represent the interests of us and our community. We do not want people voted in who just see it as a job, a career. It appears too many of those in politics only know politics, and not what is important to the people in their electorates.
Russ Newton, Black Rock

Clarifications only

Replying to your correspondent (Letters, 22/6), the prefix “cis-” is not an insult. It means “on this side of”, and “trans-” means “on the other side of”. These prefixes are used for clarification, not as value judgments.

To complain that it is an insult to use “cis-” is itself insulting. To request that one prefix not be used when the other must be is discriminatory.

Also, I am not sure what “natal men” are. At birth, my sex was “male” and this is unchanged. My gender, broadly “man”, is what I grew into.
Richard Moore, Melbourne

Our ambiguous gender

Your correspondent – “FINA just the beginning” (Letters, 22/6) – should get his facts straight. One in about a thousand babies are born with ambiguous genitalia. Also, every baby is born with ambiguous gender, as none can yet tell us if they feel like a boy, a girl, or something in between.
Dr Molly Williams, paediatrician, Warrandyte

The great con revealed

Does anyone still think that the privatisation of electricity has been a good idea? Maybe the old State Electricity Commission was Slow, Easy and Comfortable for some of its employees, but for all its faults, it would never have tried to “game the system”. The people of Victoria have been conned.
Rod Andrew, Malmsbury

Explaining complexities

Chris Uhlmann – “Rhetoric won’t keep the lights on” (Comment, 22/6) – may be right in saying that storing energy is “a tad more complex” than storing water. But to maintain that “storing water involves digging a hole in the ground” is simply silly.

A farmer with a bulldozer can dig a dam in a paddock, but if the huge dam systems that supply our cities are any guide, large-scale water storage is itself “a tad more complex” than Uhlmann chooses to think.
Anthea Hyslop, Eltham

The duty to govern well

Perhaps the respective governments are finally realising that an essential service is for the population, just that. I, like many others, am tired of the government’s typical approach which is to throw “fairy dust” pressure to the industry and expect it to “do the right thing”.

Politicians are there to represent the wishes and expectations of the people, and our expectation is to pay a fair price for resources that belong to us.

What the outside world might like to pay for those resources is not our problem. Government is there to make the rules and set the system, not limply negotiate. If you are in government, govern.
Don Relf, Mentone

Population and ecology

Re “Fertile times for modern families” (Comment, 22/6). Treating children as commodities is one of the reasons we have so much inequality, social problems and environmental degradation.

Our economic system relies on continuous economic and population growth, yet this is unsustainable on a planet struggling with climate change and loss of species and biodiversity.
Also, most of the top 10 countries with the best quality of life have low population growth.

Children are sacred, but we can no longer expect them to enjoy a better quality of life than their parents as our health system is failing, housing is becoming unaffordable and our land is increasingly being covered in concrete or otherwise degraded to provide the resources for an ever growing population.

Our economy relies on a healthy ecology in the longer-term, something our Indigenous people have understood for millennia.
Jennie Epstein, Little River

Ramp down incentive…

To add to “incentivise” and “going forward” (Letters, 22/6), what about “ramp up”? Everything “going forward” has to be “ramped up” these days. A horrible phrase. We forget that all ramps also go down, but when did we last hear of something being “ramped down”?
Jerry Bell, Malvern East

…and drop the upticks

More irritating word usage: “uptick” for increase, “life hacks” for tips, “dropped” for released.
Christine Hinton, Glen Huntly

In praise of our Auntie

A reader asks “if the ABC news service is as respected, factual and objective as claimed by your correspondent, why does it rate so low compared to other news broadcasts?” (Letters, 22/6).

A recent book by two journalist-academics, Matthew Ricketson and Patrick Mullins, concerning the ABC tabulated the years from 2002 to 2021 and found a variation from 71per cent to 83per cent for news and current affairs judged accurate and impartial.
Shirley Videion, Hampton

Wrong clue and answer

Oh dear, another totally inappropriate clue and answer set in the cryptic crossword (Puzzles, 22/6): “Explained past partner got punched”, with the answer “expounded”.

Just. Not. Good. Enough. Whoever edits the puzzles pages is letting us all down – again. Surely The Age can do better.
Anthony Clifford, Wendouree

Famous, forgotten words

I was lifted by a feeling of lightness and potential decency, thinking of the prime minister’s statements on Julian Assange prior to the election. The rose-coloured glasses are beginning to slip.
Vaughan Greenberg, Chewton

Waiting, still waiting

I refer to your interview with Sally Capp (Insight, 18/6). By chance I bumped into her roughly two months ago and asked her to look into an issue for me (a nearby house with a lot of debris that encourages mice, some of which have come into my property). She promised to look into the matter and jotted down a few notes.

Two months have passed. I even managed to take an overseas holiday but yet I have not heard anything back from Sally.

She told Insight that a bout of thyroid cancer prompted a major shift in her life and that having cancer crystallised for her that she could be “an advocate, a champion for issues and people”. Well, I am still waiting and am very patient but I won’t hold my breath.
Paula Yeo, North Melbourne

Our shameful record

The World Health Organisation’s data lists Australia on the list of deaths in the last seven days as fifth in the world This is higher than other geographically smaller and more population-dense countries.

The number of people losing their lives to the pandemic is higher now than in 2020 or 2021, with hundreds of deaths each week. So why don’t more people care? I agree with Dr Lorraine Baker (Letters, 17/6) who supports a mask mandate in retail, theatres, cinemas and galleries.

But we also need to see more reporters who are in the field, politicians and other officials leading by example and wearing well-fitted masks when they are around others.

Wearing a mask could mean that Australia, a small country (population-wise), does have some sense of responsibility and wants to get out of this mess. No wonder our health system is struggling.
Dr Wendi Kruger, Croydon South

AND ANOTHER THING

Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding

Politics

How can a flagpole (on the Sydney Harbour Bridge) cost $25million? Can someone please provide a breakdown of the costs and tell us who is milking the system.
Rod Eldridge, Derrinallum

It’s a goods thing Gladys Liu isn’t in parliament. She’s either naive or entitled. The good people of Chisholm certainly deserve to be better represented.
Frank Flynn, Cape Paterson

Assange needs an Emile Zola. Someone to argue his case with courage, truth and integrity, and not be afraid to state: J’accuse.
Maria Millers, Emerald

I’d like to think Jeff Kennett receives a gas or electricity bill and cringes (but I expect he doesn’t).
Jae Sconce, Moonee Ponds

What does Bandt think about the comment by Germany’s economic minister, a Greens MP, that temporarily reopening coal plants is “a sheer necessity”?
Garry Meller, Bentleigh

AFL

Memo to the silly footballers: don’t film and certainly don’t post. Better still, don’t do it.
Elaine O’Shannessy, Buxton

Collingwood must be really angry with Jordan De Goey.
Andrew Walker, Wangaratta

I am sure all those sportspeople behaving badly are all very sorry. Sorry they were caught.
Wendy Poulier, Ferntree Gully

Make room for Tasmania as the 18th team by removing the perennially embarrassing Collingwood Football Club.
Tony Andrews, Seacliff, SA

Furthermore

Re the quick crossword (22/6). LR, Mexico is not located in Central America. It is firmly anchored in North America.
Ken Feldman, Sandringham

I have never really understood what TikTok is. A time bomb by the look of it.
John Rawson, Mernda

Memo to Lisa Wilkinson (22/6): Justice delayed is justice denied.
Bruce Thomas, St Kilda East

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