Putting Reputation Before The Presumption of Innocence

Thursday, February 25th, 2010 at 12:41

At G Media there are many of us who follow Australian Rules Football. Essentially, it’s a game of skill (and luck of the bounce – you’ll understand when you see how the football bounces!). Andrew Lovett, who was traded late last year to the St Kilda Football club, was sacked today for disciplinary breaches. There’s nothing spectacular about this news, except he was charged with rape a day before. The CEO of the club said the decision was not based on whether Lovett was innocent or guilty of the charge. Hmmmm….just a coincidence? Just the way the ball bounces??

Lovett’s disciplinary record was known to St Kilda before they traded away their first round draft pick for him. Only now the club has come to the realisation that he’s a problem? I question the CEO’s astuteness – he traded away a first round draft pick and his return on that investment amounted to zilch! But the more important question is: has St Kilda put its reputation before the presumption of innocence?

I wonder whether the St Kilda club would react differently if it was mid-season and the Lovett gamble was paying off? There have been many an occasion where clubs have stood by their player for both trivia and serious indiscretions. We live in a world where we all jump to conclusions too often. It creates a great story and sells more newspapers. At G Media, we know too well about people putting their reputation before the presumption of innocence.