A Question of Priorities

I’m a cheater. I have cheated lots of times. Probably more times than Steve Smith and David Warner combined. I played Cricket for the Deaf cricket team many times.  It was kind of crazy because when we played umpires were players from our own team. So when I batted the umpires, more often than not, were other deaf cricket players. So hearing bowler steams in and bowls me a rank long hop which I try to pull over mid on. There is the faintest of snicks that goes through to the keeper.

The hearing opposition go up as one, “HOOOOOWWWWWZAAAAATTTTTTT”. Of course the deaf umpire cannot hear the snick so asks me if I hit it. Hell, I’ve yet to score and I am not going anywhere. I shake my head in denial. “Not Out.” says deaf umpire. Meanwhile hearing opposition have gone hysterical and are calling me every name under the sun. Do I care? Nope, I just wanna bat some more. Is it bad? Of course it is but in the scheme of things I am hardly a mass murderer am I?

So the Australian Cricket team cheated. They tried to rough up the ball a bit so that their bowlers could make the ball do reverse swing. I wont bore the reader with a scientific explanation of reverse swing suffice to say it makes the ball go in the opposite direction as to what it should.  You know roughing up the ball probably only gives the bowler as very small advantage. It’s  no biggie really. But the problem is they tried to do it on the world stage with television cameras everywhere. They got caught, OOPS.

A bit naughty really but they are not the first nor will they be the last. A fine and a slap on the wrist was probably all that was needed. But OH NO! Australia and the world went mad. Every newspaper, every comment on Facebook and every news item on television leads with it.

” He is livid because Peter Dutton, that leg of mutton, has had the gall to let white South African’s come to Australia on protection Visa’s

SACK THE LOT OF EM people cry. The Prime Minister even has something to say about it. James Sutherland, CEO of Cricket Australia, emails every registered cricketer and fan in Australia to apologise. The captain is stood down, fined and suspended. The Vice Captain is stood down and the nation is in shame. OH MY GOODNESS it’s the world’s end!

Meanwhile David Marr is on Insiders, the ABC’s Sunday morning political review of the week. He is livid because Peter Dutton, that leg of mutton, has had the gall to let white South African’s come to Australia on protection Visa’s.  Apparently white South African farmers are being killed and this warrants protection. In Marr’s view this is racist because Black, Islamic or Syrian refugees are being denied entry to Australia and sent to Manus Island even though their need is just as great. Marr believes that white people are being given favouritism. But let’s forget that because the Australian Cricket team cheated and are a national disgrace.

“Surely this warrants a higher level of outrage than cheating cricketers. SURELY!!!

Apparently, according to Marr, there are literally tens and thousands of people in other countries in similar danger as the white South African farmers. These other people have a greater need but their requests for help are being ignored. Marr is angry because children are still on Manus Island who have self harmed and are being denied entry to the Australian mainland. Why don’t these important, tragic and compelling humanitarian circumstances raise the anger of Australian people in the same way as cricketers cheating? Why doesn’t a clearly racist immigration minister who addresses his critics by announcing that the said critics, “…are dead to me…”, raise the same level of response? Surely this warrants a higher level of outrage than cheating cricketers. SURELY!!!

In this sports obsessed country of ours a little bit of yellow tape down your pants is more important than refugees dying. Sticky in my Dicky reads the headlines and meanwhile George Pell is in court on child sexual abuse allegations. Sack the captain they say but ignore Michaelia Cash threatening to spread salacious gossip about innocent women who happen to work for Bill Shorten. I don’t see the country screaming for her head when they should.

Meanwhile people with a disability can’t get work and 45% are living in poverty but a cheating cricket team warrants more attention.  All over Australia people with a disability are being abused and even killed. In some cases the courts seem to endorse it calling it compassionate killing. Where is the nations outrage about all of this!

No question that the Australian cricket team did a bad thing. But in the scheme of things it’s just a game and really not that important. How is it that a bit of yellow tape and a roughed up ball can cause more outrage than real human suffering? I don’t understand it.

This is surely the nations shame!

We do not have a money problem in America. We have a values and priorities problem.

Marian Wright Edelman

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