There is not a lot of support pouring in for AFL players who have threatened to stand down if their families are not permitted to join them under the AFL’s worst case scenario for its proposal to use a hub system in order to get the Toyota 2020 AFL Premiership competition restarted.
Most of the criticism took the form of other athletes from other codes pointing the giant finger of foam at the AFL players.
“Lucky they weren’t cricketers!! We stayed overseas 3-4 months at times without families!” Thus tweeted former Test cricketer Dean Jones.
Australian golfer Scott Hend resorted to sarcasm with, “Imagine having to travel away from home, family and friends to get paid to play sport for an extended period of time, it’s unfathomable.”
Were we footballers, because there have been some NRL players who have expressed similar sentiments, we would take a dim view of golfers and tennis players slinging barbs in our direction.
We are not footballers, though, and earlier, when we first learned of NRL and AFL players balking at the unusual suggestions that may help to preserve their livelihoods; we compared them to NBA players, where outsized egos are the rule, rather than the exception.
We have yet to hear of any NBA players complaining about potential plans to return, but all that means is that we were not guilty of not trying hard enough, we were not trying at all.
The boss of the AFL Players’ Association, Paul Marsh, said that his group places the mental health and wellbeing at the fore, while trying to supply perspective to distance the players from the label of “sooks’ that some would place on them.
“From our perspective it’s a significant issue for the players with families,” Marsh said on SEN radio.
One perspective might be that it is time for the players to put on some long pants and stop acting like entitled man-children.