Sam On Kim On Nick

    Sam Mutimer

    The St Kilda Facebook ‘scandal’ slides into its third day and the trad media is popping Christmas crackers at their good luck: “Just what we need to fill both ends of the paper before the fourth test in Melbourne”.
    Kim Duthie is either a mercenary or a modern entrepreneur depending on your perspective. She is certainly no pushover. How many of us have been wronged before and wished we could react with the full force of our anger? Raise your hand. Thought so. Kim has done it and don’t we know about it. A victory for the little guy right?
    Social media and citizen journalism has forever changed the way sports clubs (and any organisation) meets their community. Your identity as a team of 20, a workforce of 200 or an army of 20,000 can now be shared with everyone you interact with.
    As an individual, your partner, your family, your friends are now interwoven within your private and your public life. Indeed its very hard to separate the two for many of us in (late) 2010.
    St Kilda has a Facebook community of 60,000+ fans and most of them add value to the club with their comments, photos, stories and support. It’s been a tough three years for the club after all. To have one person (or a handful) within Facebook (and beyond) doing the club harm should be no surprise and the club should be ready for such scenarios.
    A social media crisis plan with support from PR and the senior team within the club should be in place for all AFL clubs. I suspect a few don’t have them or have even thought about such a plan yet.
    To slap injunctions on Kim and lean on her heavily is naive. She is getting support, not for how she has pursued the club but that she has pursued the club and used all the tools at her disposal. A (new + old) media savvy team will recognise this and act accordingly. Sure Nick is a great guy and a model for all sportsmen but the look on his face in that photo suggests poor judgment can beset the best of us.
    If you are a ‘public’ person you must behave as such. Everything you do outside of your own thoughts is public. That’s public life today.
    The technicality of how the photos came to be in Kim’s possession will be debated but a club should not be surprised when men behave like boys and girls tag along (with cameras). To our mind it’s hardly a story. In a couple of years clubs will either be side-stepping these issue (nothing to say, seen it before) or embracing them.
    Does it even matter if we know what Nick looks like naked? I feel for him and his privacy but its actually not that interesting. Seen one, seen ’em all.
    Make no mistake, sports clubs have been sweeping these issues aside in private for decades and thinking of their players first and the women involved second. Looking at the big picture we should welcome a more equitable society where everybody has a voice, we are all more connected and like it used to be, we all know more about each other and how we live.
    Nick, we’re sorry for you mate – it’s a tough break but no harm done really. It’s a nice penis. Be proud. Kim, good for you. You have something to say and you’ve said it. Let us know how it’s going for you.
    Let’s all not see it as a cock-up but a stiff lesson in how the world really works in this wonderful age.