Supporters of Sam Fisher are concerned about what he will do if he is not inducted into The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame later this year. Fisher earned his nomination after recently being charged with dealing large quantities of illicit drugs between state borders.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while NRL star Jarryd Hayne is the most recent recipient.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.
Teammates and people close to the former AFL player have suggested he turned to drug dealing due to personal issues including sporting injuries and the end of a romantic relationship, which sent him into depression.
‘The break-up f***ed him. She took the house, his superannuation, she got everything,’ a mate of Fisher’s told the Herald Sun newspaper.
Step 1 – Someone else has been blamed for a player’s downfall – in this case a woman.
Various articles in the media have also repeated the familiar tale that Fisher devoted himself entirely to football and was not prepared for life in retirement, and that the game, the club, his teammates and the players’ association should have done more to help him.
Step 2 – blame the game, the club, teammates and anyone else close to him.
Step 3 – blame the game for not setting players up for life after sport.
None of the articles mention the fact that Fisher is a grown man who earned a healthy income from professional football, and made the conscious decision to allegedly traffic drugs. Not just to buy or consume drugs, but to allegedly traffic them in such large quantities that police were apparently pleased to have discovered them.
Drug use and abuse is often prompted by trauma or personal setbacks, such as Fisher’s. Drug trafficking, however, required a degree of intelligence, meticulous planning, preparation and dedication. International drug cartels run like multinational corporations. Fisher was not (allegedly) El Chapo, but he was charged with trafficking a substantial amount of drugs.
If a romantic break up leads him to alleged drug trafficking, what will he do if he fails to win the greatest honour in Australian sport?
Maybe he’ll need to be locked up to be protected from himself.