Lesson for the Border Mail, club and players

EVERYONE makes mistakes – it is how you respond to them that tests your character.

The Border Mail made a humiliating error in Tuesday’s newspaper by printing a photograph of Albury footballer Elliott Powell exposing his genitalia at a Mad Monday premiership celebration.

We subsequently copped a barrage of criticism and published an apology to our readers the following day.

For some that is not enough with The Border Mail whipped by those who argue Powell’s act was a case of “boys being boys”.

This ignores the fact he knew he was being photographed at 11.30am by a media organisation and is a 22-year-old man.

Imagine the outcry if a woman behaved similarly, you can guarantee there would be not be the same tolerance.

That brings us to player Brayden O’Hara who was filmed by a Tigers’ colleague urinating into the 2016 premiership cup at Albury hospital on Sunday night following the grand final win.

After initially brushing aside his behaviour, O’Hara on Thursday read a broad apology at a media conference held at the Albury Football Club’s social rooms.

It was apparent the gravity of his misbehaviour had fully dawned upon him and how he had tarnished the celebrations for the Tigers’ 21st premiership. 

The club’s president Stuart Hodgson, a former Tigers coach, expressed regret to the Ovens and Murray Football League, members and supporters, The Border Mail and the hospital.

He indicated any punishment would involve a fine to be donated to the hospital.

The Ovens and Murray has also aired its disgust at the behaviour of the Tigers’ players and acted to penalise those involved.

It is regrettable that details of the sanction are not made public.

It would add real weight to their words of abhorrence if the community knew the size of the penalty and also may deter footballers from further stupidity.

The Border Mail takes no joy in the affairs of this week, but at the same time it cannot ignore scandals involving a football club that prides itself as being a respected and responsible organisation.

We are still smarting from our blooper and aim to ensure it is not repeated.

There’s little doubt the Albury Football Club, Powell and O’Hara would have gone through a similar trial this week and will hopefully learn just as much as we did. 

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