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'Bringing the game into disrepute’: the Ben Cousins saga, sports entertainment, player welfare and surveillance in the Australian Football League

journal contribution
posted on 2012-03-01, 00:00 authored by P Kelly, Chris HickeyChris Hickey
In 2007 the elite Australian Rules footballer Ben Cousins was suspended by the Australian Football League for 12 months for ‘bringing the game into disrepute’. Cousins was the first, and at the time of writing, the only player to be suspended by the AFL for actions and behaviors that were claimed to be damaging to the reputation of the game and the industry. The paper explores how globalized developments in the sports entertainment environment have changed the expectations that competition administrators, clubs, sponsors, fans and the wider public/audiences have about the behaviors of elite performers in these industries. Our focus is on the ways in which the Australian (Rules) Football League scrutinizes and regulates player behaviors in relation to the reputation of the game. Drawing on Foucault's work on the government of the self and of others, and Lash and Lury's work on the global culture industry we raise concerns about the consequences of this surveillance of all aspects of the person as elite performer, and the ways in which ideas about repute can be used to regulate and sanction player behaviors.

History

Journal

Asia-Pacific journal of health, sport and physical education

Volume

3

Issue

1

Pagination

35 - 50

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

1837-7122

eISSN

1837-7130

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2012, Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation