Excellent article this morning by Caroline Wilson from the Age
That Ricky Nixon is not fit to work as an AFL player manager is beyond doubt. That he has not resigned already from that position is reprehensible. That his behaviour has tarnished him alone and not the code as a whole is an unrealistic assessment of this shocking situation.
And the longer Nixon resorts to his crazy protestations of innocence the more damaging he becomes. The AFL’s Andrew Demetriou will publicly go nowhere near this story and St Kilda’s chief executive Michael Nettlefold, a close associate of Nixon, has gone to ground.
But both men entrusted him to help handle the problematic teenager who entered the AFL landscape one year ago as a 16-year-old schoolgirl and who continued her narcissistic trail of destruction yesterday exposing a major gap in this state’s child-protection services as media outlets continued to lap her up.
Both the AFL and St Kilda CEO knew that Nixon’s lifestyle and health had become major issues for him, a situation surely not lost either on the AFL Players’ Association, which has no choice but to remove his accreditation this week. Hopefully all will learn from this.
Still it should not have come to that. Nixon has, in his delusional state, badly misread the play. He is damaged goods and whether or not he had sex with the 17-year-old as she claims, his admitted behaviour has been more than enough to remove him from the AFL landscape.
And he is not only the responsibility of the AFL players’ union. The accredited AFL agents have gone strangely silent while the AFL itself has described Nixon’s behaviour as ”disappointing” but is watching the saga play out.
This is most uncharacteristic of the all-controlling governing body, particularly given Nixon’s role as a recruiter for clubs in Ireland. He was due to fly there this week, his position in AFL Victoria as the instigator of the V-Squad, which works to nurture schoolboy talent and his pivotal role in handling a significant number of Greater Western Sydney 17-year-olds.
Nixon’s weird and questionable behaviour continued yesterday. As the AFL and St Kilda continued to publicly distance themselves from the man with whom both have worked so closely in the disturbingly recent past he continued to insist that both were supporting him in various ways. He said on Sunday he had received a sympathetic call from Demetriou and that Nick Riewoldt had called to offer his support.
As is often the case with Nixon, his responses during a number of radio interviews yesterday were nonsensical, as were the briefings he conducted with newspaper journalists over the weekend. He claimed he never took alcohol into the girl’s hotel room. He agreed to the term ”inappropriate dealings” because the Herald-Sun insisted upon it. Why? The airwaves’ ”He said, She said” could have been retitled ”Dumb and Dumber” if it wasn’t so sad.
Nixon said he would never again help a young person in trouble. He did nothing wrong but he was very, very sorry that he did the wrong thing. There was no cocaine involved as far as his own hand was concerned. His wife and family have been the ones hurt, but not, apparently, by him.
His players had all been contacted and offered their support – at least three players and one senior AFL coach denied any contact with Nixon over the past two days. Nixon accused the girl of craving attention and said she had spent yesterday calling in on radio stations.
Nixon for his own self-respect, for the game he loves – not to mention his family – must go now.