Double Standard Saints

In what is likely – (unfortunately) – to turn into one of those messy “nobody wins” situation, two players from AFL club St Kilda have been accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a schoolgirl – who also claims she is pregnant as a result of the relationship(s).

I have no intention of delving into this case in any particular detail, however I did find a statement made today in relation to the matter by St Kilda coach Ross Lyon to be interesting:

“We’re not into naming players … once it’s concluded, we will make a statement.”

Not into naming players? Even though St Kilda was more than happy to drop Andrew Lovett into the mire in a very public fashion in regards to an as-yet unproven rape allegation?

I have no love for Andrew Lovett – (as an Essendon supporter, I was more than happy to see him leave the club) – but when the rape allegation against him was made, the Saints dropped him in the shit immediately, and completely suspended him from the club. Yet in relation to this latest scandal, they won’t name names, and they certainly haven’t suspended anyone.

It is true that if the players involved today are shown to truly be involved with this schoolgirl, they may not have done anything illegal – but this doesn’t mean that they haven’t done something illegal either, so if the club was consistent, they should be naming and suspending the players until the matter is resolved. Just as they did Andrew Lovett, who is also yet to be shown to be guilty.

Double standard much?

UPDATE 7:39pm: Seems that the players have been cleared, but I believe the point remains that St Kilda treated what for all they knew at the time were very similarly serious cases in a completely different manner.

  • Did he say they wouldn't be named until the situation is concluded or until their investigation had concluded? Big difference! SEN is reporting the full quote as:
    “The investigation is ongoing and once that is concluded, we will be making a formal statement”. Big difference. I could be wrong, but I would imagine they will name the players in the next day or so as otherwise there will be speculation and media hunting out the story. Not fair to the complete list.

    I think the media reporting on this (not the whole story but parts of it) is completely out of control! 3aw breakfast doing a bit saying “This will only be the facts” (or something to that effect, then speculate that they heard the girl was 12, and then ended the segment saying “okay, thats only the facts” (insert double take here).

    Then other stations suggesting (probably once they relised the chances these guys did anything illegal was close to zero) the players got the numbers at the footy clinic! If they did, the players should throw out the players as it would show the players as complete idiots. I don't think that happened.

    Then the suggestions that they should have known that they knew the girl from the clinic. Now that could be possible but its not a stretch to think that the players meet 100s probably 1000s if not 10s of thousands of people at footy clinics and the chances that they have no idea the link is not out of the question.

    PS. I am not a Saints fan either.

  • I completely see your point, however I do think that they were extremely quick and very happy to name Lovett the moment the story reached the media, yet they seem very reluctant in this instance.

    That could mean that the players involved are particularly high profile, and they feel naming and suspending them might seriously harm their ongoing chances this season. It could also mean that they have changed their policies in regards to something like this in the wake of the Lovett situation.

    However, I don't see that it is fair in any instance that they hung Lovett out to dry, and in this potentially similar instance that they have thrown the shutters up around whichever two players are involved.

  • I think it was more a situation where they had done the full investigation by the time it hit the media with Lovett and they have been caught out by this one as there is little evidence to say why anyone involved would think there was anything to report to the club.

  • Sure – that's entirely possible as well – but any “investigation” by St Kilda could never be given the same weight as a police investigation. Lovett may still be found to be innocent, as may these players. That to me is the problem. Lovett will be tarred with this forever, whether he is innocent or guilty. Whether the players involved in this incident are found innocent or guilty, they won't have faced the same public scrutiny as Lovett.

    As you say – at this early stage, details are going to be sketchy – only in the fullness of time *might* the full story come out.

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