OPINION: Melbourne star shows his class

Peter FiorenzaGeraldton Guardian
Norm Smith medallist Christian Petracca with Lucas Peters, 14.
Camera IconNorm Smith medallist Christian Petracca with Lucas Peters, 14. Credit: AFL

Our sportsmen and sportswomen are role models, like it or not.

There are those that say these people are merely blessed with athleticism and don’t ask to be moral guardians.

I understand the argument but I simply don’t accept it.

Because sport plays such an important part in the lives of so many Australians, I reckon it is part of a moral contract we all should take on board.

How we behave on the sporting field and in the confines of sport, in general, influence how we deal with life and situations in life.

So, if we elevate this to the next level, there is, undoubtedly, a responsibility that rests on our top sports people.

And there is no bigger example than the AFL.

Also, in many respects, the media also needs to play its part.

Yes, I know, we can’t get away from reporting on some of the negative stuff, but I believe a policy, and, perhaps, an onus, should also be on the media to equally portray the good things.

And this brings me to the recent grand final win by Melbourne.

Well, the emphatic victory by the Demons inspired so many of us but there was one story doing the rounds that grabbed my attention and my heart.

The story concerns Norm Smith medallist, Christian Petracca.

According to Caitlin Nobes, PR executive with the Melbourne club, Petracca wasted no time in touching base to celebrate with a special friend soon after the final siren.

Even though he was caught up in the premiership fervour, Petracca headed up into the stands to be with Lucas Peters.

In the past six years, Lucas, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, and Petracca have created a strong bond.

The two first met at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne back in 2015, where Lucas was undergoing treatment.

At that time, Petracca had not even played a game for Melbourne.

Nobes tells us that since then, the Peters family have created lasting memories by often travelling to games from Tasmania.

So, tickets had to be organised for the big dance in Perth.

“ If that wasn’t meaningful enough, Petracca made a beeline for Lucas after receiving histwo medals, ensuring they could celebrate the occasion together.”

And this is such a wonderful example of what I am talking about.

Sport and the game are tremendous but I think the bigger picture means so much more.

Onya Christian ...

Peter Fiorenza is host of Fiorenza on Sunday between 10am and noon on Radio MAMA

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