Sport AFL Mumford & Sins: The AFL can’t shake its bad boy culture

Mumford & Sins: The AFL can’t shake its bad boy culture

Shane Mumford GWS Giants
Shane Mumford's comeback is in limbo. Photo Getty Images
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Well that didn’t last very long.

Shane Mumford’s embryonic comeback plans have been blown away – and I used that turn advisedly – after a video went viral yesterday of the former Sydney Swans premiership star and Giants wrecking ball apparently snorting a huge line of white powder.

Mumford, now 32, is still a ruck coach at the Greater Western Sydney Giants.

His AFL career was thought to have been ended in 2017 by a series of ankle and knee injuries and a navicular fracture in his left foot.

The club says it’s investigating the matter, but it is clear that the ‘Sausage’ – as his buddies call him as they chant his name in the video – is well and truly cooked.

Football has to ask itself why it’s almost always men who end up in mug shots and memes due to their bad behaviour.

The video is believed to have been taken in 2015 after the then GWS ruckman was injured in a game against Collingwood.

That will matter little to a football public that is sick of seeing players indulging in the kind of white line fever that has nothing to do with free kicks and footballs.

Fans are sick of the hypocrisy of players preaching virtue and sacrifice when it comes time to flog memberships, only for them to indulge in avarice and vice when they clock off.

At the time the video is alleged to have been shot, Mumford was a key leader in an emerging team chock full of the nation’s best footballing talent.

Young, brash, gifted and bold, this team required a number of strong figureheads to lay down the law, not break it.

All those homilies about setting standards and understanding the sacrifices needed to achieve premiership success spouted by the AFL’s leadership coterie suddenly ring as hollow as the cylinder inside the $50 note that Mumford uses to hoover the stash.

The Mumford video landed at AFL House on the same day that the league was hosting the AFLW draft just a few hundred metres away at Marvel Stadium.

That another instalment in the AFL’s long list of incidents of men behaving badly had gatecrashed one of the women’s game centrepiece events would have added to their angst.

The AFLW draftees on Tuesday, with No.1 pick Nina Morrison centre. Photo: The New Daily

The difference between the two editions of the game couldn’t be more stark.

Mumford was a highly regarded, handsomely paid AFL star at the top of his game when he the video was filmed, in the company of a battalion of meatheads who you’d change postcodes to avoid.

Contrast that story with those of the young women who took one step closer to realising their dream to play footy at the highest level on Tuesday.

Women like Alyce Parker, who was drafted by the Giants.

A few years back Parker’s parents drove more than 92,000 kilometres in a single year to help her pursue her sporting ambitions.

And then there’s former Australian volleyball star Rhiannon Watt.

She gave up international representation in her late twenties to have a crack at playing the game she always loved but for so long was told she wasn’t allowed to play.

All the while these women did it for nothing more than the odd free tracksuit and a fistful of petrol dollars – if they were lucky.

Football has to ask itself why it’s almost always men who end up in mug shots and memes due to their bad behaviour.

Until blokes admit that we’re the problem, “The Mummy” won’t be the last horror show we’re likely to see.

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