Home Aussie ALL THINGS AUSSIE: Players Who’ve Damaged The AFL’s Reputation

ALL THINGS AUSSIE: Players Who’ve Damaged The AFL’s Reputation


Every sport has them – those guys that make the sport look bad even though their club and league had nothing to do with their actions. Usually this involves guys having too many drinks and breaking a window, or someone getting a speeding ticket when they took their brand new Ferrari out for a spin. And while we shake our heads at them we know that everyone makes mistakes and besides, everyone loves a bad boy, right?

Well… to a point.

You see, there is a difference between getting a couple tattoos and fighting with some drunk guy outside a bar… and becoming Stephen Milne. And to prevent myself from ranting about the Milne fiasco, I will recount some of the AFL’s worst bad boys.

Ben Cousins

I almost didn’t include Benny on this list because, to be honest, even in his most drug-filled days he was still a phenomenally good player (seems unfair, doesn’t it?  I can’t even form proper sentences when I’m upset about the outcome of a book I’m reading – I can’t imagine playing 80 minutes of football while on crack) and look at that face!  But the bottom line is, Ben Cousins is one of the most well-known, and saddest, sports-star-falls-to-drugs stories in Australia and it’s associated with the AFL.  Even when he got arrested in 2012, two years after he left the game, the AFL was mentioned.  Ah, Benny.  Can you imagine how good you would have been if you stayed away from drugs?  AFL Jesus, I’m willing to bet…

Billy Nicholls

While he didn’t play very many games in the AFL, he is considered one of the AFL’s fallen stars.  He could have been a great but we’ll never know because he took drugs, got mixed up with some bad people, and has now been charged with two shootings in Melbourne.  Talk about a long fall.

Wayne Carey

One of the most unlikeable guys on this list, Wayne Carey hooked up with teammate, Anthony Stevens’, wife in the bathroom at a party.  While it’s certainly not as bad, or as illegal, as some of the other things that got the guys on this list, the bottom line is that sport is a brotherhood.  And hooking up with your co-worker’s wife is uncool.  It’s even worse if it’s your friend.  Wayne Carey resigned over the affair and while he did play two years with Adelaide… it wasn’t the same again.

Brendan Fevola

Now Brendan.  Is it weird that I still kinda like him?  He was always a bit of a bad boy – fighting with barmen in Ireland, and getting just-a-bit-too-rowdy at the casino.  But then, in 2010, he started sending out nude photos of Aussie model Lara Bingle, that he took when they were sleeping together, who sued him for breach of privacy.  It also didn’t help that she was dating Australia’s golden boy, Michael Clarke, at the time.  Things went downhill from there and while charges have mainly been dropped, Fevola basically went off the deep end and

Stephen Milne

The guy was just busted for rape. And while he is innocent until proven guilty (I make no judgements here), everyone has to admit that the drama surrounding him and how long this has been dragged out is terrible for the guy, the club, and the league.