In these slippery times when a galaxy of inked fools parade like very special tools in social media, texting and bubbling their unmerry way into notoriety there are occasional great acts from elite players that restore one’s faith in what is possible.
David Pocock, openside flanker with the Brumbies and Wallies was caught exercising near, well actually on, a monster truck at the Maules Creek mine on the weekend.
Now every bum-heavy couch dweller knows that the Wallies run out of gumption and go in the last quarter of every match they have played this century. Whether it’s too many soft pillows and chardonnay showers I don’t know. But here is young ‘Poco’, a player who is working long and hard to build his level of fitness to a higher level. By climbing up onto a monster truck and lifting heavy chains to secure himself to same monster, ‘Poco’ has demonstrated that he is a man willing to go the extra yard. But what happens? He gets a burn notice from the pin-striped pinocchios.
As the Clever Chronicle reported “My parents were always clear with my brothers and I when we were growing up that you have to have the courage of your convictions and that when you commit to something you must fully commit. That’s why, this weekend I travelled to the Leard Blockade,” Pocock said.
He wanted to raise awareness about the plight of the community of farmers and local Gamilaroi people in the Leard Forest region, whose land and sacred sites he said the Maules Creek mine threatened to destroy.
The 26-year-old was one of nine people arrested at the protest and charged with offences including entering enclosed land without a lawful excuse.
The ARU Toady Unit issued the following press release shortly after. They were obviously running out of ink or ideas at the time.
“The Australian Rugby Union has issued a formal written warning to David Pocock following his arrest yesterday. While we appreciate David has personal views on a range of matters, we’ve made it clear that we expect his priority to be ensuring he can fulfil his role as a high-performance athlete. The matter is now subject to legal proceedings and we will now let the legal process take its course.”
What a cart load of sanctimonious tosh! At a time when a player texts a lewd, humiliating photo to a female employee of the ARU and then gets to play weeks later we get this piece of moral turpitude. Look we all understand about breaking the ‘law’ so don’t use that flimsy given. Here we are talking about enriching and newly defining the character of a sport that allows participants to express their personal view of the world without prejudice or fear. In the end Australian Rugby, by trotting out meek lines of not bringing the game into disrepute, player responsibility to the code and other toad-like simpers is simply reversing the game into irrelevance for most thinking and passionate people.
And why should we be proud of this bloke? Well quite simply he has shown great courage in risking his playing future and possibly ‘devaluing’ his long term corporate ‘worth’ to do what he considers is right. In a world that recognised players moral worth rather than their ability to simply conform to convenient and controlling codes of player behaviour then ‘Poco’ would be lauded rather than warned.
To the ARU, once gain you have shown a lack of courage, insight and imagination.
To David Pocock, well done fella, you have all of the above in spades.