Here’s something I’ve been pondering a little bit over the last 12 to 24 hours: When did we forget about Wayne Carey?
Not the affair – I can put every cent of my full-time-student part-time-working wage on the fact you haven’t forgotten about that affair. How could you? Could there be a greater crime to commit as an AFL footballer than sleeping with your teammate and best friend’s wife at a party you were both attending?
It was a crime against loyalty, against friendship, against the football world as one.
So we kicked him out of the country. The backlash to the betrayal was so fierce, so overwhelming, so passionate, we physically forced Wayne Carey to resign from his job and to leave Australia.
Except that affair, the affair we remember, isn’t the greatest crime Wayne Carey has ever committed. But for some reason, it’s the only one we’ve committed to memory.
Last night was White Ribbon night. A night dedicated to a belief we must build a future for Australians, and in particular Australian women, free from violence and from abuse.
Last night was also Round 19 of the AFL season. If you sat down in front your television, flicked to Channel 7 and indulged in a very Victorian-style Friday night, you would have seen Wayne Carey front and centre of the commentary panel.
And if that affair was the only thing you remembered about Wayne Carey’s past, the irony of his presence wouldn’t have hit you as hard as he has harmed women in the past.
In 1997, Carey pleaded guilty to indecent assault after grabbing a woman’s breast on a Melbourne street, allegedly asking her “Why don’t you get a bigger pair of tits?”
In 2007, Carey’s girlfriend Kate Neilson told police he had smashed a wine glass in her face, cutting her mouth and neck in Miami.
When police made it to the scene, Carey lashed out and kicked a female police officer in the mouth.
He was convicted for assaulting the officer, while Neilsen decided not to press charges against him.
Watch Respect: Our Australian Government anti-domestic violence ad. Post continues after video.
And yet, last night, as thousands used their time, energy and money for a cause that seeks to protect women from the antics of men like Carey, Carey was lit up in the lights of your TV screen, illuminated by a world that consistently protects the men who commit these crimes.