Give our sports heroes a break

Last updated 08:00 11/02/2014
Jesse Ryder
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UNDER THE GUN: Jesse Ryder and Doug Bracewell are under scrutiny from NZC following their night out before the beginning of the first test against India.

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Our sports stars, our heroes, the idols for us and our children are no longer so - these mere human beings with sporting ability are targets.

They are scrutinised at every turn of a corner and every sip of a beer.

With the power of social media, and the evolution of smart phone technology, no one is safe.

Ryder, who has battled with alcohol and drunken behaviour issues in the past is once again back in the spotlight.

First, it was for having too many beers after the tied one day international against what was the number one side in the world in the 50-over format, India. 

Now, it's for going out drinking last week, the night before the first test against India.

It's not every day the Black Caps put together five one day international games in a row with high quality batting and bowling without throwing out a terrible performance.

Praise goes to them for delivering such an emphatic series sweep.

Go out, enjoy yoursleves, this is a rare occurrence. Congratulations! Well done Black Caps! Our heroes! Our professional cricket team, always in the spotlight for one thing or another on or off the field - but I feel this was one of the highlights for the Black Caps in the last 10 years.

However, next we hear about Ryder being intoxicated, stumbling around and being assisted to a taxi. It may not be the greatest look, but this only comes about after footage shot on a phone surfaces to the media.

What happened to people actually respecting our heroes and treating them as the idols we perceive them to be?

Is the Kiwi binge-drinking culture taking its toll? Especially when I see headlines of bodyguards being issued for the NRL Nines players for when they are out and about. That's just absurd.

Why can't we just appreciate those who serve us so well in our beloved sports? We are forever putting these human beings on a pedestal, admiring them and praising their success - but when it comes to seeing them out on the drink we all of a sudden stop being fans and change to monitor their behaviour, when ours is not so different.

Give these guys a break, they are still heroes and idols for children and adults alike - they always will be.

Let's not worry too much about what they're doing, and worry about what we're doing.

FOOTNOTE: Ryder was dropped from the New Zealand squad for the second test against India after a separate incident - going out drinking with team-made Doug Bracewell in Auckland the night before the first test last week. Ryder has been stood down pending completion of an investigation into the incident. Bracewell has a broken bone in a foot and was not considered for the test. 

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