Former AFL player Alastair Clarkson has been appointed to lead National Sorry Day due to his penchant for apologising and affinity with Indigenous Australians.
Clarkson received yet another nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame recently after uttering one of the worst apologies in history.
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 Manase Fainu 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.
The current North Melbourne coach told reporters he ‘can’t give a guarantee’ he won’t repeat the threat of ‘your time will come’ that he made to Channel Nine reporter Elisabeth Moss. The threat was made after questions about Kangaroos player Tarryn Thomas, who allegedly made the same intimidating threat to a woman.
Clarkson reportedly apologised to Moss at Channel Nine, but then told Channel Seven:
“…I saw something that was unjust and untoward, and I felt like I needed to defend our players and our staff – and I can’t give a guarantee that I won’t do that again in the future, because I think that’s important.”
The person he was defending has been accused of multiple counts of terrible treatment of women.
Clarkson truly is the master of apologies.
The controversial coach was also selected to lead National Sorry Day due to his affinity with the Indigenous community. He is still under investigation for allegations of shocking and systemic racism at his former club Hawthorn, where he and other staff allegedly forced Indigenous players to break ties with their families, leave their partners and even force a partner to have an abortion.
Despite this, Clarkson joked about having spent time at Hawthorn when addressing the Kangaroos team in the lead up to the 2023 season.
Truly a master of apologies, with an affinity for Indigenous Australians, who can unite this country.
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