Then, two years ago, a
20-year-old football groupie – half his age –
in his hotel room of a drugs overdose, while Ablett lay on the floor
next to her in a drunken stupor.
In the midst of the
subsequent media frenzy, the football star refused all comment. But his
conscience troubled him. Early last year he called the police and said he
wished to make a full statement. This he did, at the office of Moore’s
Legal, a Melbourne firm of Christian lawyers. The statement has just
I mean obv-, obviously ever since the incident - the alleged, you know, I -
I found it very hard, and it caused me a lot of grief and a lot of pain. And
I guess that ever since the hearing - the Coroner's hearing I felt that the
issue wasn't resolved properly. Ever since the incident, I intended to - to
give, or reveal the facts as things really did happen that night. I received
pressure from certain avenues not to give all the facts. But I - I just felt
it in my heart to - to reveal the facts as they happened
….And you know, it's
been something that’s weighed heavily upon my heart, not only since the
incident, but especially since the hearing. As a Christian, you know, I feel
that it's the right thing for me to do before God is to - to reveal the
facts as they happened.
Famed South African
cricket captain Hansie Cronje, also a Christian, was caught in a massive
match-fixing scandal which forced him out of the sport. Before a commission
of enquiry he delivered a
Words cannot begin to
describe the shame, humiliation and pain I feel, in the knowledge that I
have afflicted this on others. To my wife, family, and team-mates, in
particular, I apologise….I beg the United Cricket Board to reinstate
Herschelle [Gibbs]…to the National Squad. Herschelle lied to the UCB, his
employer, at my request. Herschelle, forgive me.
Australian cricket star Shane Warne, banned for a year after being caught
last month with a banned drug in his bloodstream,
described himself as “the victim of anti-doping hysteria”.
It’s reminiscent of
Warne’s appearance on Channel Nine’s “A Current Affair” two-and-a-half years
ago (on the same day that Hansie Cronje was before the commission of
enquiry), after being accused of harassing a British woman with lewd
telephone messages. He admitted it – he had little choice – and then made an
It was probably the
wrong thing to do but I thought it was a private matter, I didn't think it
was going to become public and now that it has become public I suppose it's
a mistake….If it had have stayed private then it wasn't a mistake.
I don’t want to make
too much of all this. You don’t have to be a Christian to have a conscience.
(C.S. Lewis saw the existence of a conscience - in all people - as evidence
for the existence of God.) And Shane Warne’s transgressions are minor
compared to those of the two others.
But in an increasingly
secular world, dominated by the cult of celebrity, it is encouraging to be
reminded that some celebrities are prepared to acknowledge their sins and to
recognise a higher authority.
Gary Ablett was for
some years on a
demonic downward spiral. Some
questioned his faith. His confession demonstrates without doubt his
sincerity. It also shows that he needs our continued prayers.
March 3rd, 2003