I received a letter recently from passionate Broncos fan and knowledgeable League supporter, Cherie Alexander, who wondered when someone was going to do something about the bad language being used by Storm coach, Craig Bellamy, during televised games.
The clash that prompted the note was The Storm versus Manly (but it could’ve been any other). Melbourne won but not before enough perceived grievances to send Craig into “R” rated territory. Problem being the league is in family viewing time and all participants should be aware of that.
It’s a very interesting point and Cherie would not be the first to ask the question.
Let it be said up front that Craig Bellamy is a terrific bloke, a fine coach and one of the most articulate and professional of the League elite. And, during games, swears like the proverbial trooper. So, is it a problem?
Fair to say that on the Richter scale of life’s concerns it probably doesn’t register highly, but do coaches have a responsibility to be more aware of the audience’s sensibilities or should broadcasters — aware of some coaches’ colourful vocabulary — be self-censoring and keep the camera off them? Or doesn’t it matter anyway?
Bellamy could easily argue that he is in his work place and if the cameras want to intrude then they must accept responsibility. The broadcasters would say they have paid huge money for the rights, which includes regular close-ups of the coach’s reactions. Craig isn’t alone, of course, but is the most theatrical.
There are all kinds of limits on language and its use (particularly in the media and public places) so is it fair to have a “coaches exemption”?
Perhaps as an experiment the outstanding coach could, for a short time, impose the same discipline on himself that he asks of his players?
Craig’s response would probably be unprintable.