Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Values, Sport and Tragedy

It is ludicrous.

No, it’s worse than that.

But first. I follow sport all around the world. I can become immersed in a battle between bat and ball at Lords, and don’t need a run to be scored to enjoy it.

I can marvel at the tactics playing out in American Football and since attending Ice Hockey at Madison Square Garden New York, have enjoyed the exploits of The Rangers. I can also deprive myself of sleep for 3 weeks following the Tour de France.

Be it professional Cricket, Football, Ice Hockey or Cycling, all participants are well paid, which only serves to help illustrate just how ludicrous our societal values are.

In Australia, our primary sports are Cricket, Australian Rules (AFL) and Rugby League (ARL). All governing bodies are in heated dispute with players over money.

All player unions want to lock in an increased share of revenue for player payments.  

Those paid the most, want to be paid more.

Until the last 48 hours, I was in favour of the new deals. I was firmly on the side of the players who produce the product that generates the income and pays the bills and develops the game.

I don’t care that much anymore. It all seems irrelevant.

I don’t care if a player earning $1.2 million a year will now earn $1.5 million. I just don’t care.

My lack of care, or jolt to realism is due to Rick Maddison.

On Monday, he (allegedly) shot and killed Brett Forte.

Brett is a Police Officer in Queensland. He has a partner and three children.  

Brett was doing his job and lost his life doing it.

Brett and his brethren Police Officers throughout the world protect me, my family and friends our way of life, and your way of life.

Without Brett, I don’t get to support my family, play my sport and enjoy watching sport, or go safely to work.

At work, I am not in danger of physical conflict. Very, very many others can do what I do each day, equally as well, and possibly better. Not many can do what Brett did, and his colleagues do. If we could, perhaps we would.

I get paid more than Brett did. Much more.

So, what do we as a sophisticated society value?

Do we value our sportspeople at a premium of say 10 times those who protect us?

A key reason I get paid what I do is to manage risk to the business. This includes our compliance with the law. The more responsibility I have for ‘risk’, the more I get paid.

Why is the risk our Police face so undervalued?

Our Government talks about a levy on this and a tax on that, to pay for this and pay for something else.

How about we re-align some values and better asses value.

We need to look at how we remunerate those that protect us and maybe, just maybe, levy us in order to do so.

To Brett Forte and his fellow officers wherever you are in the world, we thank you.

Rest in Peace Brett Forte.

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