If an entire country, includes its sensationalist scummy tabloid media, behaves like schoolground bullies, vilifying you just because you’re England, it’s enough to drive anyone into a negative mental spiral, yet alone if you’re already vulnerable. Being hostile towards the opposition is one thing, but in a sport increasingly aware of the mental well being of its top performers, can they really get away with being so vile? I know for a fact that if someone is saying you are weak and scared, it subconsciously ruins your psyche and confidence. So, by extension, that is bullying, is it not? I know Trott’s illness was pre-existing, but it should still raise serious questions about whether Australia’s verbal tactics could actually permanently damage the mental health of those who fall victim of it. I really hope someone with more of an audience than myself will draw attention to this worrying issue, be a former player, journalist, or mental health charity.
And another thing. If a kid at a school threatened to break someone’s “fucking arm”, I’d like to think they’d through the book at him. What if they were a prefect or something, would they now be stripped of that responsibility? I’m not saying Michael Clarke should be sacked, far from it, I’m merely highlighting how awful what he said to James Anderson was. That is absolutely no way to speak to a fellow professional and I would hope Darren Lehmann or someone other Cricket Australia suit gave him a dressing down afterwards, rather than a high five, which to be honest would have been just as likely!
This won’t stop them (under the circumstances this seems pretty unacceptable and childish to me), but how long before they really do drive someone to depression, and the horrible places that can lead? I fear what it could take to shut the bullies up.