The federal government has announced new guidelines designed to curb the spate of negative incidents involving professional footballers and members of the Australian public. And the draft document has already received strong backing from prominent figures in the game, including an NRL touch judge who cannot be named for legal reasons.
The Footballers: Why The Fuck Can’t They Just Be Normal draft contains a slew of recommendations detailed over a mammoth 300 pages. The paper advises the public on how to negotiate scenarios when one unwittingly finds themself in the presence of an elite athlete. It also suggests appropriate behaviour in more delicate situations, such as the tactful removal of a drunken footballer from your teenage daughter’s slumber party and the recommendation that one must always allow an NRL player to move directly to the front of any taxi rank in the early hours of the morning.
Soon-to-be ex-Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the paper had received unanimous bipartisan support. “Tony Abbott and I finally agree on something apart from [shadow communications minister Malcolm] Turnbull being a smug twat, and that is something must be done to make sure it is us grabbing the headlines, not Todd Carney,” she said.
The guide offers specific advice to civilians and industry, including:
To publicans – “Do not serve them alcohol – it is arguable whether even serving one beer to a professional footballer can be deemed ‘responsible service’.”.
For young women – “If you invite one of these gentlemen home with you at any stage, they are going to have sex with you whether you like it or not. Ensure you are 100% committed to the act.”
To cab drivers – “This is not ‘taxi-cab confessions’, if you transport a public figure at 3am, it is not your responsibility to call their boss the next day – this would in fact ruin your industry.”
Young men – “If somebody punches you because you are acting like a dick, suck it up and stop acting like a dick.”
And to all – “It’s O.K. to shoot at Jarryd Hayne.”
The document also contains an addendum on public urination, which Gillard said was an act “endemic to rugby league.”
The federal government is calling for submissions to the draft document by 27 August, with the view of it rushing it through parliament in time for the 2011 “Mad Monday” sessions.
By Al McClintock