The attitude of the public and AFL fans seems to be reflected in Demetriou’s recent statement to the effect that the Saints girl is probably just a liar, after hearing her confession on 60 minutes that she wasn’t pregnant to Sam Gilbert.
The confession was made by the teenager when talking about the latest in a series of sex scandals, which has involved AFL players, police officers, and other AFL figureheads.
Ricky Nixon, the man at the centre of the most recent allegations, allegedly had sex with the teenager and supplied her cocaine.
He is symbolic of the problems which have plagued the AFL, namely the drug taking and other anti-social problems.
Ricky Nixon is probably the source of a lot of the drug-fuelled behaviour of players in need of help.
These are the types of problems that tend to plague other sporting organisations as well, depending on how aggressive they are at dealing with them.
Nixon has long been involved in procuring lucrative contracts and sponsorship deals to fund the habits of star players whilst, as a role model, consuming drugs himself.
Nixon has been plying his trade for a long time and must know a lot about the AFL. Perhaps this may explain why Demetriou and others in the AFL have been slow to condemn him. As AFL Female Directors and Board Members have stated, it is possible that Demetriou’s delayed response was partly attributable to the fact that his judgement was clouded by his association with Nixon.
What cards does Ricky Nixon hold on other AFL figures with something to hide? Was his arrogance in his reaction to the allegations just a part of who he is as a person or did he feel that there was some kind of cloak of protection around him by virtue of all that he has learnt about the AFL, having been so entrenched in AFL culture for so long?
Did he think that the AFL would treat him gently by virtue of the damage he could unleash on others with similar secrets to hide?
Ricky Nixon has proudly portrayed himself as a successful professional Public Relations Agent. In this case he has made the mistake of being his own PR agent in dealing with his own public relations mess.
It is well known that spin is an essential part of the skills of an effective PR professional.
However Ricky Nixon has proven himself to be a liar, a very practised and skilled one, in addition to being deeply corrupt.
He is the worst kind of person to be put in a position of power or trust for the important job as a mentor in charge of young players’ lives. He is part of the system of adult supervision AFL players and potential players need but clearly don’t have under his guidance.
Rather than discouraging and preventing players engaging in misbehaviour, he has probably been actively engaged in encouraging such behaviour, at the very least by the example that he has set himself.
It wouldn’t be unreasonable to suspect that he has long been supplying AFL players drugs. The AFL would have to suspect that this has either taken place or could potentially take place and act accordingly.
Ricky Nixon is a drug addict, but more significantly a liar and a thug, a person who pressures potential witnesses in pending criminal investigations to alter their versions of events.
When the allegations surfaced about him having had sex with the Saints girl and supplying her with drugs, Nixon’s strategy was to deny, deny, deny, threaten the girl and try to coerce to issue a media statement, a statement authored by him to the effect that she made everything up.
The statement he penned for her contained information he knew to be false. Was he so emboldened by the lack of consequences of intimidating and tampering witnesses in the past, that he didn’t envisage that there would be any consequences for his illegal behaviour? Clearly he is a powerful person within the AFL person that he seems to feel he can act with impunity.
The question is whether his habits can be solely confined to him as an individual or limited to this particular occasion. Both seem unlikely, and it is very doubtful that he is the only AFL figure who has acted in this manner. It has been a constant frustration that evidences suddenly go silent and evidence disappears in AFL land. Is it representative of the tenor of the broader AFL culture?
The AFL is a kind of bad neighbourhood infested by crimes which nobody every witnesses or is prepared to talk about. When the Saints girl steps forward to speak out she was met with thuggery and resistance. One has to wonder about the statement “I lied“. It is a classic unsolvable riddle, and like the AFL a Byzantine maze of conspiracies and lies. With the amount of pressure and clandestine meetings between the girl and AFL heavyweights, including a hierarchy stacked with self-styled PR people, I would be keeping an open mind on her retractions.
Channel 9 were reported to have had to hire guards to protect her from threatening texts which Nixon had sent her requesting she retract her statements about their sex relationship and the fact that he supplied drugs to her.
It is true that the Saints girl has possibly lied about some of the detail in this protracted saga.
She confessed to having lied quite dramatically and unexpectedly recently in media statements about her pregnancy to Sam Gilbert. A lie in a sea of facts may render prosecutions and adverse findings more difficult, although not impossible by any means.
However, she still looks like a Saint compared to the AFL and their lot.
However, it is now once again open season on her and the criticism of her has intensified and been unrelenting.
Why? It is because she has admitted she had made a statement which was hurtful and wrong, at a time when she herself hurting.
Her confession about not being pregnant to Sam Gilbert, if true, reveals what we already knew about her character from her past admissions at the end of last year.
She isn’t as practised at lying as AFL figures whose strategy is to be consistent and dogmatic in their lies, at least until caught out by hard evidence.
She also admits to being human and shows remorse for her actions where they have harmed other people. She has previously shown insight into her own behaviour and where she has regretted the manner in which she has presented herself, she has shown regret. She has always admitted to being human.
Victims commonly make misstatements, just as criminals tell the truth about some matters, a phenomenon which is hardly surprising.
This doesn’t make a victim any less of a victim, particularly a person of tender years who has endured the amount of trauma she has from a variety of powerful people in positions of trust who were supposed to be assisting her.
In her forthright manner she didn’t try to make her actions seem less culpable, describing herself as an immature stupid teenager.
The difference between the AFL and the Saints girl is that, if we are to believe she is now still free to be open about what happpened, she has shown a preparedness to admit her lies and further shown that she is prepared to show some contrition.
We havn’t seen that kind of contrition from anyone within the AFL ranks.
The Saints girl has never received her apology from Demetriou or anyone else for all that has happened to her.
By virtue of a concession against interest, which the teen didn’t necessarily have to make and could have left undisclosed, she is now, in the eyes of Demetriou and the AFL fans just a liar, and miraculously the players are suddenly innocent of any kind of wrongdoing.
We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the few things she has said she was untruthful about depend on her word, namely her being pregnant, which is immaterial to the egregious series of indiscretions she has suffered at the hands of several grown men within the AFL. We are left to conclude that the pictures of her pregnant were all just photoshopped, a question which some people may choose to keep an open mind about given the level of pressure which we are aware of that has been exerted on her.
The fact that the AFL see it as material, their leader immediately using it as ammunition against her, illuminates something about their thinking and mentality.
The AFL seem to have overlooked the fact that all this girl did was choose to be forthright about something which was not in her interests to do, at least legally.
However in doing so she showed she was prepared to take responsibility for her actions unlike anyone in the AFL apparatus.
It causes me to wonder how many indiscretions AFL players and leaders will take to their grave and bury rather than confront them.
The response of the fans and the AFL has been to punish her for that.
Perhaps it is easier to live in a black and white world of heroes and villains, where heroes never lie or expose chinks in their armour.
Her credibility isn’t at issue relatively speaking, compared to that of the AFL figures and others involved in the saga who dogmatically continue to adopt the strategy of deny, deny, deny, obstruct and destroy evidence and use your influence to pressure others to lie for certain members of the AFL fraternity.
Her part in the saga is that of a victim rather than a witness, and she is a witness only to the extent that she allegedly perpetrated theft of images according to the Saints and AFL.
This earlier accusation about breaches of copyright and defamation was nothing more than an accusation and went no further than the granting of an interlocutory order in the Federal Court.
The further allegation that she has breached the Surveillance Devices Act in taping Ricky Nixon has been automatically accepted as legal gospel by fans desparate to dwell in this black and white world.
Fans who inhabit the blogosphere focus obsessively on whether she illegally taped illegal behaviour. In what other sphere would the focus be solely on a person illegally taping acts of illegality. Were there statements made to blow up the MCG on grand finals day, would fans be so concerned about the illegality of the taping of the persons planning such an act? Would they be concerned about drug dealers supplying drugs being taped if it led to charges being laid to end the damaging effects drugs were having on minors?
Fans inhabiting the blogosphere seem obsessed with citing their legal opinions from YouTube videos of Sam Newman rendering his legal opinion direct from the Sam Newman College of law as support for their legal views that the girl has breached the law.
Whilst it is true that Sam, just like anyone, is entitled to their legal opinion, fans would have to appreciate that Sam doens’t have legal credentials merely by virtue of having been a former client of David Galbally.
On the other hand there is very strong circumstantial evidence that Nixon has committed egregious acts attracting harsh criminal penalties.
He is also symbolic of a corrupt system, whilst also being a very influential leader within it.
Meanwhile Demetriou continues to deny that Nixon and he were friends, or that he knew of Nixon’s drug problems. Many in AFL circles, even acquintances of Nixon, were well aware of his drug problem, and many in AFL circles viewed Demetriou and Nixon as being close friends.
Recently however Demetriou has suddenly distanced himself from the comments of Ross Levin, Ricky Nixon, Saints players and other St Kilda officials, condemning and criticising their actions as having potentially harmed and “chipped away” or eroded the AFL brand. Demetriou remained silent at the time however has elected to make such comments when criticisms have been levelled at the AFL for its handling of the entire affair involving the Saints girl.
Demetriou and other key AFL figures merely Nixon’s drug problem to fester and cascade out of control, with full knowledge that Nixon was acting as a mentor to players and other young people.
The AFL, with Demetriou’s approval, allowed Nixon to handle the Saint’s girls complaints early on with full knowledge of his drug problem.
Nixon is the touchstone of a kind of underworld within the AFL, supporting the anti-social and even criminal behaviour of others within the system, including players, coaches, trainers and his acquaintances within the AFL administration.
This is the culture that Jason Akermanis spoke out about which saw him expelled swiftly from the AFL for his honesty.
The harsh reality is that it is the other players in the AFL who conduct themselves with honesty and integrity, and the game as a whole which is tarnished by the misbehaviour of a few players which is allowed to flourish.
Many AFL players commit their time earnestly to performing acts of community service which enrich young people’s lives, yet the unfortunate reality is that there will be a lot of parents who will now be casting a suspicious eye over them.
A lot of people have looked up to Ricky Nixon, players needing help have conceivably been supplied drugs by him and in doing so, exchanged favours with him. He has helped them hide their misdeeds and he has returned the favour of hiding theirs, which has possibly contributed to their demise.
There isn’t any hard evidence of it, however it is fairly obvious that he has been engaging in this kind of behaviour a long time and is well versed in it.
The AFL condemn the Saints girl whilst wanting to rehabilitate Nixon and continue to trust his word when he has demonstrated that his word has meant nothing.
It was only when irrefutable evidence was presented of his misdeeds in the form of graphic tapes that he ceased to protest his innocence and pulled out the rehab card and checked himself into a clinic.
After being caught red-handed he started to construct excuses as to why his behaviour wasn’t so bad. He suddenly felt he required drug treatment as a the realisation seemed to be looming that he has used, bought and supplied drugs to other people. That makes him a drug dealer.
Not only has he lied, but he has also pressured and threatened others to lie. His problems are clearly longstanding and he has had a long history. It is apparent that drugs, money and womanising have been a large part of his lifestyle.
He is a symbol of the problem within the AFL, and by giving him a pass and a pat on the back for his miraculous epiphany that he needed drug treatment is giving a green light to that kind of behaviour in the future.
On balance the AFL is far better off without Ricky Nixon. It sends a very bad signal to all AFL players and the public to even consider allowing him to continue to operate.
Demetriou should have immediately come out strongly condemning his actions and the AFLPA’s Agent’s accreditation board suspended him pending the outcome of any kind of investigation.
Nixon’s company Flying Start will apparently continue to operate as Nixon insisted it would, through other accredited agents, irrespective of the findings of David Galbally QC.
This situation should be investigated as it wouldn’t be permitted in any other profession or in respect of a company director who was stripped of their right to be a Director.
Nixon was earlier adamant he was going to continue to play a part in the company’s activities, albeit behind the scenes.
Given Nixon’s track record in being honest taking him at his word that he will relinquish all responsibilities, whether in the capacity of player-agent or in any other capacity is inherently unsafe.
Although Nixon has agreed to co-operate in Galbally’s investigation he hasn’t given any formal indication to the AFLPA or the head of the Board Ian Prendergast that he intends to step aside as a Player-Agent.
It is foolhardly to suspect that a stay in a rehab clinic will salvage his ailing business and players should be free to make alternate arrangements with other player-agents without penalty, based on the fact that their agent has been engaged in a gross breach of trust.