…but I am fascinated by the Andrew Johns business. The Footy Show interview has been YouTubed:
First point is that he has not been taking performance-enhancing drugs, so this has nothing to do with being a “drug cheat”. But it does have everything to do with the fact that these people are human, and share in human frailties. I think we and the media do them and ourselves a disservice by elevating them to superhuman status.
If in reality someone is suffering from any one of the difficulties the human condition can bring, if despite “image” they know deep down they are not superhuman, while at the same time there is a culture that tends to turn a blind eye to more acceptable drugs like alcohol and an entire club scene that revolves almost totally around so-called recreational drugs, legal or otherwise, it is little wonder that an Andrew Johns might be drawn to this means of escape.
Sport — the cult of celebrity generally — can too easily turn inhuman. I think we really need to think about this. We need to think about drugs, obviously, but we also need to think about what we are doing to our “heroes”. Perhaps we need a bit more realism about sport and a bit less hype and adulation.
Some of the Newcastle fans on the news tonight were very commendable in their attitudes, I felt. That he has been a great player remains unchanged.
This seems very relevant to me: