The public are to blame for badly-behaved 'role models'

George Calombaris is facing assault charges after allegedly shoving a fan at the football.

George Calombaris is facing assault charges after allegedly shoving a fan at the football.

Masterchef Australia judge George Calombaris is due to appear in court in Sydney on a common assault charge after an incident on the sideline during the A-League Grand Final at Allianz Stadium.

Footage of the incident appears to show a young man deliberately goading Calombaris, followed by the celebrity chef retaliating by pushing him.

The shove in question seems relatively weak, but the young man has obviously decided to press charges against the Masterchef judge because he is a well-known personality. Being forced to go to court makes Calombaris look bad, which will potentially cause outrage as he's considered a "role model" and should therefore be acting responsibly at all times.

Calombaris has since apologised for reacting, and probably regrets doing so, but the behaviour of this young man and those around him was far worse.

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Calombaris has said that this young man yelled abusive and derogatory comments about his family and that there were also others, who were Sydney Football Club fans, having a go at him for allegedly underpaying the staff in his restaurant.

This incident shows the perils of fame, especially in this day and age where social media is so prominent.

Although Calombaris knows he should have been the better person by ignoring the insults that were allegedly aimed at him, this young man and others involved will probably get away with the blatant provocation they engaged in.

There are people out there quick to cash in on opportunities to cause celebrities, sportspeople and organisations bad PR.

Chiefs player Michael Allardice has apologised for a ​homophobic slur.
Bruce Lim/Photosport

Chiefs player Michael Allardice has apologised for a ​homophobic slur.

Just last year a man overheard a Chiefs player making an alleged gay slur in a public place. The slur wasn't a good look, I agree, but what I didn't like was how the complainant claimed in the media that he usually doesn't take offence from those comments, but on this occasion he was offended.

It seems like this man saw a golden opportunity to cause the Chiefs and the New Zealand Rugby Union a major PR disaster, and he took it.

He knew full well that rugby players in this country are unfairly held up on a pedestal as role models and are expected to behave at all times without putting a single foot wrong. News of a gay slur from a rugby player was always going to provoke a massive public backlash once the media got hold of it.

A few days after the gay slur incident came to light in the media, the stripper involved in the Chiefs' post-season get together attempted to cash in on the outrage. The NZRU and the police both investigated her claims, but neither found any concrete evidence to back up her accusations.

Even if there was no evidence that the players had behaved inappropriately towards her, the accusation alone was enough to damage the integrity of the Chiefs and the NZRU. It forced them to look into the way they conduct themselves in public and around women, so the stripper got what she wanted anyway.

I think those who deliberately go out of their way to cause famous people and organisations bad PR, or those that deliberately abuse them in the hope they'll provoke a reaction, are in the wrong. 

It certainly puts unnecessary pressure on those in the public spotlight who - rightly or wrongly - have to tread carefully out there.

I don't believe they should have to just suck it up and deal with it just because they're famous.

 - Stuff Nation


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