His NRL club, the Cronulla Sharks, have sacked Todd Carney. He has yet again brought the game into disrepute with his off field antics that typically involve alcohol.
Todd Carney is an excellent athlete- he has been given so many chances over the years, given more opportunities to better himself once the dust settles from his latest act of impropriety. But not this time. After a ‘lewd’ photograph picturing Carney at a urinal, urinating into his own mouth was spread on Twitter, the Cronulla Sharks acted swiftly, terminating his $3.5 million dollar contract and severing all ties with him. This is not the first time he has fallen from grace- whether it’s his multiple drink driving convictions or urinating on a man’s head in a club, sending nude ‘selfies’ to young women, public vandalism or setting a man’s pants on fire, literally, at a party: this guy has proven he can’t be trusted to behave in a manner that upholds the values of the code.
This is the second team to sack Carney, after the Canberra Raiders also dismissed him after trying to get him substance abuse counselling, imposing an alcohol ban on him- it seems that Todd can’t be trusted around alcohol.
Not many First Grade NRL players have been sacked from not one, but two clubs. Whilst the NRL itself hasn’t terminated Carney, it remains to be seen if any other clubs are willing to pick him up, given the PR liability/nightmare baggage he brings with him. Let me be clear in stating that the NRL made genuine, concerted efforts to get Carney help and to support him through difficult times. But he repeatedly threw that assistance away with his poor decision-making and drunken displays of zero self-control.
This latest chapter in Carney’s NRL career is slightly different to those that have preceded it. Although what Carney is depicted doing in this photo is certainly vulgar, it doesn’t directly affect anyone else. Yes, he’s drunk and being a dickhead, but he’s not behind the wheel of a car, he’s not assaulting members of the public, he’s not harassing anyone. So was this a knee-jerk reaction from the Sharks, or were they justified in sacking Carney within hours of the photo being released on Twitter? Whether or not he likes it, he is a role model to young fans and up and coming NRL players. He has to set an example- it comes with the territory, the celebrity status, the multi-million dollar contract.
Have the Cronulla Sharks been too swift in sacking Todd Carney? Should he be given another chance? Do you think he should have been sacked over this particular photo?