Over the last few days we’ve heard some fun and creative defences of Dustin Martin threatening to kill a woman. Let’s look at these as like the incident, they’re hilarious!
“He’s unlucky, we wouldn’t even know about this if he wasn’t a footballer.’
Quite possibly true, although you could argue if he wasn’t a footballer and his work found out about this incident he’d be sacked.
I should mention that’s not me arguing that, I’ve spoken to employment lawyers and a head of HR for a major corporate and they all said that was the case.
He could also have been referred to police and been charged.
But it’s a fair point that if Dustin wasn’t a well known footballer this could have slipped away like so many violent episodes that go unreported. That really is just pointing out how prevalent and underreported violence against women is, it’s not a defence.
Really, all you’re pointing out is how spectacularly stupid he is.
“He wasn’t actually going to kill her.”
Considering he can’t remember what happened due to his consumption of alcohol not even he knows what he could have done so this is a pretty big assumption and therefore a poor defence.
“The guy was smashed and can’t even remember it happening”
Is that a defence all of a sudden? If it is then everyone would just say that, whether it was true or not.
If you are the type that drinks to the point you can’t remember anything and you threaten to kill people, you’re not arguing a defence, you’re arguing you’re a threat to society.
“We’ve all made mistakes. Don’t get on your high horse.”
We sure have all made mistakes. I bet very few of us have threatened a stranger in a restaurant with a chopstick, while telling them you’ll kill them and hitting the wall behind them though.
That’s not a ‘mistake’ it’s assault.
“She works for Channel Seven and wanted a story.”
Yeah, this woman went out that night just trying to bump into a crazed, alcohol-fuelled footballer and get them to threaten to kill her.
Women are so manipulative and they play such a long game! She then appeared on TV not showing her face and not revealing her name. What a publicity seeking trouble maker!
Let’s side with the person threatening to kill people though.
“People are overreacting.”
Yeah, that’s what people have been doing about violence against women for so long, overreacting.
I long for the day were our problem is overreacting to this scourge. We are so far from overreacting to violence against women you’d need NASA’s New Horizons probe to get there from where we are.
Even 12 months suspended is therefore not enough for me. You threaten to kill someone you’re out of the game, this isn’t some borderline case.
“Hodge only got two weeks, other players got this and that.”
Personally, I think you’re on really shaky ground if the AFL’s appallingly bad record on punishments are the centre plank of your defence.
What you’re actually pointing out is the whole problem. Footballers have never had the incentive to truly change their behaviour because deep down they know it’s not career ending.
The sad thing is they’re right.
Watch how quickly that all stops when one of them actually gets the punishment they would get in the real world.
“The public humiliation is punishment enough.”
It’s really not. In fact, the public condemnation has been weaker than American coffee.
Brendon Gale said he was a ‘goose’ and Richmond football manager Dan Richardson described the incident as “a bit of a hiccup”.
In fact, Dusty has received a fair bit of support from people, despite the fact he threatened to kill someone.
In conclusion, I’m resigned to Martin receiving some weak punishment like twelve weeks suspended (I’d loved to be proved wrong).
But Richmond and the AFL, let’s all remember the next time you ape support for ending violence against women that when actually tested to underpin those words with action you didn’t.