BLAME GAME: Cameron Smith had a particularly tough week.
BLAME GAME: Cameron Smith had a particularly tough week.

Are we too quick to judge our sporting stars?

IS IT possible that we are just a little too harsh on our sport stars?

We've heard it before: they have the world at their feet, so there's no excuse when they stuff it up for themselves.

And it's true.

When it all boils down, the life of a professional sportsman would be pretty hard to top.

But, having not been in that position myself (believe it or not), wouldn't it be a little presumptuous of me to judge?

Because for Cameron Smith, Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic, that world of elite athletes became a tad tougher this week.

For Smith, it was particularly tough, as he had comments taken out of context by some pretty harsh "journalism".

But that's a story for another column.

The fact that Cameron Smith is even being mentioned in the same breath as perennial bad boys Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic aside, it's hard to deny that all three have endured the same level of public scrutiny over the past week or so.

Kyrgios was accused of deliberately tanking after a series of run-ins with Wimbledon umpires who, apparently, don't have as solid a grasp on the laws of tennis as he does.

Yes. Maybe a little public criticism is warranted.

Tomic was dropped from the national Davis Cup team for making inflammatory comments about the coach who also just happens to be one of the few Australian sportsmen with a squeaky clean record.

Yes. Maybe a little public criticism was warranted.

And Smith was accused of showing no concern for a critically injured Alex McKinnon while he disputed the penalty for the tackle that changed young McKinnon's life.

Yes. Maybe a little public criticism was warranted.

That all said, the level to which the Australian public has hung out their stars to dry is nothing short of appalling.

It seemed only yesterday that Nick Kyrgios was the next big star of Australian tennis, Bernard Tomic was the tenacious deputy snapping at his heels and Cameron Smith was one of the living legends and all-round nice guys of sport.

In seemingly the blink of an eye, we now have a pair of "spoilt brats", a couple of people who should "go back to where their parents come from" (thanks for bringing in completely irrelevant points, Dawn Fraser) and an Australian captain who "doesn't care" about Alex McKinnon and his family.

Not for a second am I condoning the actions of these young men.

But hopefully they don't either.

It's about whether or not they learn from mistakes such as these that defines what type of people they are.

Heck, I'll be honest: Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic hardly seem like the types of guys I'd like to have a beer with.

But let's just remember that while we mere mortals make mistakes and mature around our family and friends, these guys have the whole world watching them.

It's easy to sit in our armchairs accusing them of being horrible people.

But name me one young man or woman that hasn't done something regrettable.

I'm first to put my hand up.

I'm just lucky the media isn't going to be able to sell papers on the screw-ups of Jack McGovern.


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