The AFL’s Ben Cousins was arrested yesterday in Perth and charged with allegedly possessing unspecified illegal drugs. His arrest seems to have been pre-planned by police and news camera people were on hand to photograph Cousins, naked from the waist up, waiting in his car as it was searched and then as he was taken away. Cousins seems to have ongoing problems with methamphetamine. It is a tragedy for this good-looking, athletic man with an engaging personality to stumble in this way.
I can’t help thinking that earlier this month his buddy Chris Mainwaring died after what seems to be a bout of drug taking. Cousins was with him just before he died and was a pallbearer at his funeral.
The wolves are baying for Cousins blood. Caroline Wilson in the Melbourne edition of Pravda argues that Cousins’ career should now be permanently terminated – he should be sacked from the West Coast Eagles. Send him off to the Gulag, Caroline.
I am strongly anti-drugs but the treatment of Cousins seems completely over the top. The guy is recovering from a chemical dependency and relapses are almost inevitable due to ongoing cravings even after withdrawal has ended. There were additional pressures on Cousins particularly with the recent tragic death of a close friend.
Give this guy a break. Punish his illegal drug use and his refusal to take a drug test in the normal way. But leave it at that. How will a media-generated appeal for blood and a program of seeking to destroy Ben Cousins’ career help anyone?
Update: Cousins was in possession of a valium-type drug. How ridiculous! This is a widely-used, though, addictive tranquiliser. That Cousins was using it is consistent with my view that he was under pressure from the death of his recent friend and from his cessation of use of amphetamines. He was sacked from his club yesterday and denounced everywhere in the media. What a tragedy.
Update: Police admit they were mistaken in arresting Cousins but the Eagles say his sacking will stand. He was never convicted in a court of any offense. I hope Ben sues the pants off these people. Totally outrageous, immoral and unfair.