A devastating record for Australian sport

When you hear that another soccer player is involved in a scandal, it’s easy to shake your head in disbelief.

Often times, this disbelief is not caused by the criminal or salacious acts, even if they are themselves of serious concern, but disbelief still does. another star has become embroiled in a scandal.

The list of recent incidents grows every week, there have been so many that you would be forgiven for not following.

But as the articles sell newspapers and gain clicks on sites like ours, the damage they do to Australia’s national passion could be devastating.

Nicole Reaney, public relations expert and founder of InsideOut PR, told news.com.au that the growing list of scandals could hurt our sporting codes and impact Australia’s ability to generate players from world class.

“The climax of the scandals is hurting the sport and seems to emerge as the players gain notoriety,” she said. “While it’s generally based on an individual, from a brand perspective, the impacts are widespread.”

This widespread impact, she says, is starting to infect the sport financially.

“Current and potential sponsors get nervous about an association, and the focus on real sport is clouded,” she said.

“There is also the future generational impact with families who may choose to avoid their children playing or supporting clubs that are synonymous with these acts.”

Here are some of the incidents that have rocked football lately.


Jarryd hayne

Former NRL star Jarryd Hayne was sentenced earlier this month to five years and nine months in prison for sexually assaulting a woman on the night of the 2018 grand finale.

In March, a jury found Hayne guilty of two counts of sexual assault which the victim said left her feeling “dirty, scared and ashamed.”

Hayne must serve at least three years and eight months.

Sam burgess

The 32-year-old former South Sydney captain was recently released for a month in a rehabilitation center after having stood himself from his club late last year.

NRL and New South Wales police are investigating allegations of drug use and domestic violence, which were brought against him in The Australian. Burgess quickly denied the allegations.

Last week he escaped a driving conviction with cocaine in his blood after being pulled over in an unregistered BMW on the Hume Highway in February.

Jamil Hopoate

Hopoate’s rugby league career is in limbo after the former Broncos back rower was accused of hitting his partner to the ground before getting in his car and walking away from the stage.

The son of famous former Manly player John Hopoate and Bulldogs star’s brother Will Hopoate reportedly punched his partner Shae Beathe to the ground before getting into his car and walking away from the stage.

He faces two charges of common assault linked to allegations that she hit Ms Beathe in the parking lot of the Panthers Club licensed room in Port Macquarie on December 28 of last year.

Hopoate was reportedly kicked out for spitting on safety after he and Ms Beathe – the mother of a 10-month-old – got into an argument.

Dylan walker

Walker escaped half-heartedly after admitting drunk pushing a man outside a pizzeria on Sydney’s North Beaches.

He was sentenced to an 18-month conditional release order on Friday after pleading guilty to one count of common assault linked to an incident in November.

Tristan Sailor

Aspiring NRL star Tristan Sailor is set to plead in his upcoming court trial over allegations he raped a woman at her home after a drunken night out late last year.

The 22-year-old son of international doubles Wendell Sailor was charged on October 10 with aggravated sexual assault causing actual bodily harm following an incident the previous weekend.

A court has already been made aware of allegations that Mr Sailor organized a “predatory and planned” attack on a woman he met at the Bondi Road hotel on October 3.

Police allege Mr Sailor assaulted a 24-year-old woman after they returned to the woman’s home in South Sydney.

Sex Tapes

At the end of last month, the NRL fined Parramatta Eels player $ 5,000 after footage of him having sex with a woman in a public restroom cubicle emerged.

The four-second video circulated on social media, with Eels later confirming that one of their players was involved.

Tyrone may, for the Panthers, narrowly avoided a custodial sentence after pleading guilty to four counts of intentionally recording an intimate image without consent.

The 24-year-old who has played 35 games for the Panthers since his debut in 2017 was sentenced to 300 hours of community service for the incident, at the local court in Parramatta in January last year.

Matthew Lodge

The Brisbane mainstay Broncos reformed his image after a violent New York home invasion in 2015.

Catharine Lumby, NRL Gender Advisor, said 7:30 the case was among the most disturbing she had ever examined.

Lodge was arrested at gunpoint. He was sentenced to community service and treatment for anger and alcohol abuse in Australia, avoiding jail time.


Willie rioli

The west coast player has his career on the line, he was caught with cannabis at Darwin airport last month following a two-year doping ban.

Northern Territory Police released a statement last month confirming that a detection dog was carrying out tracing operations at Darwin airport when 25 grams of cannabis were reportedly found in Rioli’s pants. He was to fly to the Tiwi Islands.

He escaped with good demeanor after being in court on Wednesday.

Elijah taylor

Former Sydney Swans striker, 19, was banned from the AFL in 2021 after pleading guilty to assaulting his ex-girlfriend Lekahni Pearce.

The teenager was fined $ 5,000 for the domestic violence incident, in which he “lost self-control” and hit Pearce with a belt in a Perth hotel room in September .

It came after he hit a mid-season ban for violating COVID-19 restrictions while Sydney was in quarantine at a Perth hub.

Jonathon patton

The former AFL No.1 draft pick retired with immediate effect in April and apologized for his “totally unacceptable” behavior towards women.

Patton was removed from his post by the Hawks in January when at least four women accused him of posting sexually explicit photos and videos of himself via social media.

Tyson stengle

Stengle officially separated from the Adelaide Crows in March after being dismissed from his post last year.

The small forward was released from all club functions following “his last off-court affair” in December – his third indiscretion of 2020.

Stengle was sentenced to a four-match ban after being caught drunk while driving in April last year, pleading guilty to all charges in October, resulting in a fine of $ 1,671 and his license suspended for six month.

He was slapped with another four-match suspension after being arrested by police in September and found in possession of an illicit substance.

As the list grows every week, public relations expert Ms Reaney said it was time for things to change if we are to see Australian sport thrive.

“It has become part of the culture and sporting codes have to tackle it head on,” she said. “Much more proactive measures need to be put in place so that players understand and meet their obligations.

“It is definitely time to change the way players are inducted and employed.”

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