Posted by Andy “Bay 23” Bell
And though he did provide some delight to us Western Bulldogs supporters it is not a moment too soon.
Jason Akermanis had to go.
The Brownlow medallist’s relationship with the Dogs was never an easy one. The on-field body language was awkward to say the least. But he was a great player. The trouble was he wasn’t a great team member.
That’s how it was in Brisbane. Ditto at Whitten Oval.
His relationship with the Bulldogs was strained to breaking point last month when he suggested gay footballers should ‘stay in the closet’.
That it was over these statements is something to ponder.
That the playing group expressed its exasperation with Aker over these remarks reflects, I hope, their mature approach to matters of sexuality.
I have blogged about my love for the Bulldogs.
That the “gay issue” was a final straw makes my respect for the players deeper.
I don’t care if there is or isn’t a gay Bulldog or two. That’s not the point. The point is that the playing group thought Aker’s comments were plain stupid and wrong.
To close, some predictions.
Jason Akermanis will claim he was a victim.
He will claim there are dark forces at work against him.
He may even allege some pink mafia – either in the Whitten Oval dressing sheds or elsewhere.
He opened his trap. He let his team mates down.
He should take the consequences.
Aker says he was left devasatated by the WB decision to let him go.
He’s told Melbourne radio station MTR that he’s disappointed that the Dogs playing group hadn’t approached him about their concerns before matters came to their somewhat inevitable conclusion.
Aker also says that he “cried for a good 15 minutes” when he was given the order of the boot.
Well I’ll go to the foot of our stairs – as my paternal grandmother was prone to exclaim when things surprised her.
The best summation on all this kerfuffle comes from a non-TFC Tim.
He emailed me this: He feels let down by those Bulldogs team mates he’s forged such an unshakeable bond with, such as “whatsisname”, “that big fella with the beard”, and “the one who plays my position”….