Tracee Hutchinson writing in The Age last Saturday (Infidelity is just not cricket, Shane) rightly points out that Australian criketer Shane Warne’s off field behaviour has seriously affected many womens’ ability to enjoy the games in which he is involved. Hutchinson richly describes how Warne typifies the architypal male and how his behaviour strikes at the very heart of the relationship between men and women. In this way Warne’s actions remind many woman of the betrayal of trust they have felt in their relationships with men like him and the fundamental fragility in relationship that, she argues, most women feel.
It’s not just women, however, who find their enjoyment of cricket tainted as long as this attitude to women and relationship goes without sanction. Many of we men also find it repugnant. We seek to build long term relationships built on trust and understand the privilege of emotional intimacy that we can receive in return. When others of our gender show such scant regard for these values as well as for their partners and children we feel pain too.
In line with our consistent stand against the disrespect shown for women by many ‘star’ sportsmen (cf Let’s never let it happen again), joins with Hutchinson in calling on the Australian Cricket Board to give us back a game we can be proud of. It must do this by demanding that its players demonstrate they understand that women are not just sexual playthings and that treating them so demeans all women.