Seeing the ecstatic smile of Ash Barty as she clutched her French Open trophy close after her phenomenal victory at Roland Garros at the weekend, I felt myself feeling all warm and fuzzy. Not just for her, but for Australian sport.
Finally we can feel proud of Australian sport again.
This is the kind of champion our kids should blu tack above their beds.
This is the kind of sportsmanship, respect, and humility we should be celebrating.
This, in 2019, is exactly what we needed to drown out the idiocy that has been our sporting embarrassments over the past 12 months.
Take a minute, Australia. Breathe it in. Right now, we’re celebrating Ash Barty, Adam Goodes & Dylan Alcott – an Indigenous woman, an Indigenous man, and a man with a disability. These heroes have much to say. Time to sit quietly and listen. #AdamGoodes #AshBarty @DylanAlcott
— Nicole Hayes ???? ???? ???? (@nichmelbourne) June 9, 2019
Right now, Barty, Dylan Alcott and Adam Goodes are the heroes we’re celebrating – the names we’re reading in the sports pages, that also happen to represent diversity, inclusivity, gender equality and the kind of behaviour we want to cheer on, not hide behind our hands from.
It’s a far cry from where we were this time last year, watching our national cricket team apologise for cheating during the ball tampering scandal.
Or holding our breath for another rape, sexual assault or domestic violence allegation to hit the headlines involving one of our NRL players.
The Quicky did a whole episode on the sex sharing culture in Australian men’s sport. Post continues after podcast.
In 2018, the allegations were so bad and so constant – the National Rugby League had to introduce a “no fault stand down” policy which they enacted on State of Origin player Jack De Belin, after he was charged with rape.