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Australian News

Nick Kyrgios says he won’t play at the US Open over COVID-19 fears, warns players not to be selfish


Australia’s Nick Kyrgios has ruled out playing in this year’s US Open, saying he is making his decision for “my Aussies”, and for the people who have lost their lives in the COVID-19 pandemic.

He becomes the second high-profile Australian tennis player to announce he will be staying away from the New York-based tournament, following this week’s statement by women’s world number one Ash Barty.

The tournament is scheduled to start on August 31 — it will be held at its usual home in Flushing Meadows, Queens but will be played without fans to limit the risk of spreading of the virus.

Kyrgios posted a video on Sunday, where he read from a statement.

“I will not be playing this year at the US Open,” he said.

“It hurts me at my core not to be out there, competing in one of the sport’s greatest arenas, Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“It’s my decision.”

A tennis player stands with his head down and his fist in front of his face after losing a point.
Nick Kyrgios says he is sitting out the US Open for Australians, and for the Americans who have died from COVID-19.(AP: Adam Hunger)

Uncertainty remains around the tournament that is usually the last major of the year.

The tennis world has been largely shut down for months in response to the pandemic, and players have expressed concerns over safety.

While tournaments are just about to restart, there have been a number of exhibition events held — the most notorious being the ADRIA Cup, a tournament organised by world number one Novak Djokovic, held in a number of countries, but which featured poor social distancing.

Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric later tested positive. Kyrgios described the decision to go ahead with the exhibition as “boneheaded”, saying people had to stick to the protocols.

Kyrgios has also been drawn into online exchanges with Coric and former world number one Boris Becker over their approach to the virus.

“Dear tennis, let’s take a breath here and remember what’s important, which is health and safety as a community,” he said in the video.

The Canberra native said he had no problem with the USTA putting on the US Open, and that if players wanted to go, that was up to them.

“So long as everyone acts appropriately, and acts safely,” he said.

“No-one wants people to keep their jobs more than me. I’m speaking for the guy who works in the restaurant, the cleaners, the locker room attendants.

“These are the people that need their jobs back the most and fair play to them.”

Kyrgios called on players to act in each other’s best interests and work together.

“That’s just so selfish. Think of all the other people for once.



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Local News - Victoria

‘Selfish’ woman from border checkpoint video arrested, window smashed


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“During the arrest, police were forced to break the woman’s car window as she refused to speak to them, wind down her window, or step out of the vehicle,” the spokesman said.

“The woman has been released pending summons for traffic-related offences, failing to produce a licence, failing to produce name and address, and breaches of the Chief Health Officer’s directives.”

Victorian Police Minister Lisa Neville lambasted the woman’s actions last Friday.

“Let’s be incredibly clear, that footage shows an incredibly selfish person who deliberately attempted to cause issues for police,” she said.



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Fans demanding NRL and AFL players get back to work despite coronavirus epidemic are the ones being selfish


The cries of football fans demanding players return to the field under any circumstances have become shrill as the craving for lockdown distraction turns from stoical whimsy to rank desperation.

The major football codes are trying hard to cater for these demands and, especially, those of their media partners. You might even say they are pandering to them.

Pugnacious Pete V’landys continues to bulldoze the NRL toward the proposed May 28 start of a season that remains, without government approval, a figment of the fervent minds of those manning the endearingly optimistic Project Apollo.

Meanwhile, the once-cautious AFL is producing plans for isolation pods in luxury resorts so complex you wonder if they are intending to play a few games of football or gentrify the prison system.

Subsequently, the power dynamic in the relationship between supporter and athlete has been radically tilted.

Footballers once slavishly worshipped by adoring fans are now being lectured like distracted home-schooled children on their moral obligation to entertain a bored public and, at a stretch, even “save the game”.

NRL stars were immediately pilloried for their refusal to resume training on Monday until a pay deal had been settled, with Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith a popular target for his alleged recalcitrance.

This shift in supporter sentiment is even more evident in the AFL, where initial negotiations over the extent of pay cuts saw players accused of greed and self-obsession at a time when many club staffers had lost their livelihoods and the entire country was bleeding.

Now, it is the hesitance of some players to agree to enter hubs for extended periods that has caused some fans to turn on players they accuse of threatening their God-given right to watch the footy.

Footballers told to ‘suck it up’

Sam Groth all smiles after Davis Cup doubles win over Czechs
Former Australian Davis Cup player Sam Groth has described AFL players as “a bit precious” over their quarantine hub concerns.(AAP: Joe Castro)

The online and talkback vitriol spat at those such as Adelaide’s Rory Sloane and Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield, who questioned a hub system that could see them leave family for up to 20 weeks, could be summed up in three words: “Suck it up!”

“Everyone is hurting! Everyone is making sacrifices! Plenty of us would jump at the chance to travel to a resort with a golf course for a few months to make a fraction of what an AFL star gets paid!”

So, yes … suck it up!

Even Brisbane coach Chris Fagan uttered the “suck it up” mantra while also invoking the spirit of former star player and senior coach Neale Daniher, who has turned his personal affliction with motor neurone disease into a fundraising crusade, to suggest players do “what’s best for the game”.

Such belligerence from fans and the emotional appeal of Fagan represents a startling change in attitude toward AFL players who had previously occupied the most lavishly maintained mantelpiece in Australian sport.

Yet in weeks they have been demoted from feted heroes to mere court jesters whose role is to entertain without complaint the fans who now constantly remind them they “pay your wages!”

Or, as one tweeter put it: “Playing is a choice. They can stay home, sit in a warm blanky, sip decaf soy vanilla lattes with their families and watch their mates play footy. Just don’t expect to be paid, that’s all.”

But, despite the predictable and often irrational taunts, players didn’t “sign up for this”. They didn’t consent to a system that would take them away from their families during a time of unprecedented stress and uncertainty.

So, the inexact comparisons with soldiers who went to war for years on end, FIFO workers or, from the tennis player Sam Groth, claims that international athletes endured far greater hardship, are hardly relevant or helpful.

(For the record, in his final year on tour, Groth’s hardship included tournaments in Budapest, Estoril, Rome, Paris, London, New York, Newport and Las Vegas, where there were no reported pandemics, travel restrictions or isolation measures that kept him from climbing the Eiffel Tower or visiting The Met with family.)

The ‘play or don’t’ argument doesn’t stack up

People dancing
NRL players who broke social distancing regulations earned the ire of fans.(ABC News)

There is the obvious argument that those footballers reluctant to miss the birth of a child or a toddler’s first steps have a choice: “Play or don’t. Get paid or don’t.”

But even in these highly unusual circumstances, surely any system that demands multiple players make such a choice is flawed and matches played without even a small proportion of the best players will be devalued. It would be the return of footy, but not the footy.

Also lost on the most insistent fans and media is any sense of concern for the physical or mental wellbeing of players, although this is not new.

We are prone to fretting about those who have suffered debilitating head injuries while stoutly defending the violent aspects of our games that cause them; to shedding tears for those who suffer mental health problems while rubber-stamping the systemic problems at the heart of the issue.

The condemnation of NRL players who broke social distancing restrictions was telling. The concern was not that they might have spread the deadly virus, but that they might have hampered efforts to get the game restarted.

So, who is being selfish? Players who want to stay home with their families during a time of fear and uncertainty? Or fans who demand they light up our drab lives regardless of the cost?

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

What are the long-term costs of accessing superannuation early?



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News

Coronavirus Australia live updates: WA Premier slams ‘selfish, irresponsible’ traveller – NEWS.com.au


  1. Coronavirus Australia live updates: WA Premier slams ‘selfish, irresponsible’ traveller  NEWS.com.au
  2. Coronavirus crisis: Premier Mark McGowan confirms WA recorded only three new cases overnight  The West Australian
  3. View Full coverage on Google News



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News

Melbourne’s beaches could CLOSE after selfish people gathered and broke coronavirus rules


A popular Melbourne beach has been closed after hundreds of people broke social-distancing rules and gathered on the shore on Friday afternoon.

Police arrived at St Kilda beach and escorted people away from the area, officially closing it at 6pm.

Hundreds of people were seen at beaches in Melbourne enjoying the 28C weather on Friday – flouting rules designed to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus. 

Meanwhile at the same time Manly Beach, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, was flooded with hundreds of joggers, cyclists, surfers and sunbathers.

A popular Melbourne beach has been closed after hundreds of people broke social-distancing rules and gathered on the shore on Friday afternoon

A popular Melbourne beach has been closed after hundreds of people broke social-distancing rules and gathered on the shore on Friday afternoon 

Police arrived at St Kilda beach (pictured) and escorted people away from the area, officially closing it at 6pm

Police arrived at St Kilda beach (pictured) and escorted people away from the area, officially closing it at 6pm 

Hundreds of people were seen at beaches in Melbourne enjoying the 28C weather on Friday - flouting rules designed to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus

Hundreds of people were seen at beaches in Melbourne enjoying the 28C weather on Friday – flouting rules designed to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus 

Beachgoers are seen at Bondi Beach last Friday, March 21 despite the threat of coronavirus, leading to the temporary closure of the beach

Beachgoers are seen at Bondi Beach last Friday, March 21 despite the threat of coronavirus, leading to the temporary closure of the beach

Crowds are seen on Bondi Beach last Friday ahead of its closure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

Crowds are seen on Bondi Beach last Friday ahead of its closure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

The government has been urging Australians to stay home as much as possible and avoid busy areas to slow the spread of the virus, however, Manly residents still flocked to the beach (pictured)

The government has been urging Australians to stay home as much as possible and avoid busy areas to slow the spread of the virus, however, Manly residents still flocked to the beach (pictured)

Despite clear instructions to remain at home as much as possible and avoid crowded areas to slow the spread of the virus, people were spotted clustered together.

Former Married at First Sight star and Manly resident Dean Wells also shared footage of the area flooded with visitors throughout the day.

‘Literally thousands of people around,’ he wrote in a post on Instagram.

The shocking footage comes as Australia’s coronavirus cases skyrocket to 3,112, with 13 people killed and the economy brought to a shuddering halt.

Bondi Beach was locked down this week after thousands of sun seekers descended on the tourist hotspot over the weekend.

Sunbathers ignored 1.5metre social distancing guidelines on Friday and Saturday as they lay together on the sand and helped each other apply sunscreen.

People were seen flouting social distancing rules designed to stop the spread of coronavirus

People were seen flouting social distancing rules designed to stop the spread of coronavirus

Beachgoers were seen openly flouting social-distancing rules at St Kilda Beach on Friday despite a global coronavirus pandemic

Beachgoers were seen openly flouting social-distancing rules at St Kilda Beach on Friday despite a global coronavirus pandemic

Despite the clear instructions to remain at home as much as possible and avoid crowded areas to slow the spread of the virus, many people were spotted clustered together

Despite the clear instructions to remain at home as much as possible and avoid crowded areas to slow the spread of the virus, many people were spotted clustered together

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 3,168

New South Wales: 1,405

Victoria: 574

Queensland: 555

South Australia: 257 

Western Australia: 255

Australian Capital Territory: 62

Tasmania: 47 

Northern Territory: 13

TOTAL CASES:  3,168

DEAD: 13

Pictures of crowds soon emerged on Instagram showing a lack of concern for social distancing rules, with many of the young sun-worshippers even making jokes about the virus. 

The government has been urging everyone to keep at least 1.5m apart to slow the spread of the deadly virus. 

Extreme measures have been brought in as the number of cases continues to rise, including a travel ban, as well as a ban on mass gatherings.

Melbourne radio host Tom Elliott said he was concerned that the ‘message isn’t getting through’ after Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Australians to stop gathering in large groups.

June, a caller to 3AW radio, said she was ‘absolutely disgusted’ at the actions of people at the beach on Friday where groups of up to 15 were seen in close proximity.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews had threatened to close beaches if social distancing rules were broken.

‘No one has to go to the beach. I have closed the pubs, because no one goes to the pubs. If I have to close the beaches, I will,’ he said.

Further restrictions on travel and movement have been put in to place as the federal government works to tackle the spread of COVID-19

Further restrictions on travel and movement have been put in to place as the federal government works to tackle the spread of COVID-19

All libraries, museums, galleries, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, shopping centre food courts, auctions, open houses, amusement parks, arcades, indoor and outdoor play centres, swimming pools are closed and indoor exercise activities are now banned

All libraries, museums, galleries, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, shopping centre food courts, auctions, open houses, amusement parks, arcades, indoor and outdoor play centres, swimming pools are closed and indoor exercise activities are now banned

Exercising outdoors alone is still permitted. Australia has more than 3000 confirmed cases of COVID-19

Exercising outdoors alone is still permitted. Australia has more than 3000 confirmed cases of COVID-19

Restaurants and cafes are restricted to providing takeaway only. Weddings will now be restricted to five people including the couple while funerals are limited to 10 mourners to stop the spread of coronavirus

Restaurants and cafes are restricted to providing takeaway only. Weddings will now be restricted to five people including the couple while funerals are limited to 10 mourners to stop the spread of coronavirus

Swedish tourist Amanda Ottosson, 21, said her and her three friends aren’t sick, so they have no problem going to the beach.

‘If hairdressers and cafes stay open, why should the beaches shut down? People are way closer in those places,’ she told the Herald Sun.

Melbourne resident Leo, 62, said beaches in the city needed to be closed.

‘People are not getting what is going on. They need to see what is happening in Italy and America,’ he said.

‘They think ”I am young and OK” – they don’t get it. It is most probably right to close the beach.’ 

People were seen breaking social-distancing rules at St Kilda Beach in Melbourne on Friday afternoon

People were seen breaking social-distancing rules at St Kilda Beach in Melbourne on Friday afternoon

AUSTRALIA’S ‘STAGE TWO’ COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

The government is looking to limit interactions between groups, particularly any event or gathering with 10 or more people.

The new restrictions, from 11.59pm on March 25, mean:   

BUSINESS

* Food courts in shopping centres will only be available for takeaway food. No sitting.

* Auction houses will shut. Auctions and open house inspections are banned.

* Outdoor and indoor markets are banned while rules around major food markets will be addressed by states and territories.

* Personal services such as beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlours (but not physiotherapy) are banned.

* Hairdressers and barbers can continue but must strictly manage social distancing

* Amusement parks and arcades, and indoor and outdoor play centres must close.

* Boot camps and personal training must be limited to 10 people and enforce social distancing.

* Social sports such as large groups of people playing soccer in a park are banned.

* Galleries, museums, libraries, youth centres, community halls, clubs, RSLs and swimming pools must close.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

* Weddings can continue to be conducted where it is just the couple the celebrant and two witnesses, no more than five people.

* Funerals are limited to no more than 10 people – but with some exceptions granted by states and territories.

SCHOOLS

* It is safe to send children to school up to the end of the term.

* But some pupil-free days will be needed to plan distance learning.

* Schools will reopen after the term break with a mix of distance learning and in-school learning for all “essential workers”.

* PM to meet with teachers and other sector representatives about keeping schools open and protecting staff.

ESSENTIAL WORKERS

* Everyone who still has a job is an essential worker.

TRAVEL

* The official “do no travel” warning is now an outright ban on overseas travel, with some exceptions such as aid workers and compassionate travel.

EXPORTS

* New offence of profiteering and seeking to export goods overseas, relating to such things as medical supplies and masks.



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Australian News

AFL players deny they’re selfish during pay cut talks after coronavirus suspends 2020 season


Posted

March 25, 2020 11:14:10

Richmond’s Jack Riewoldt has dismissed criticism of the AFL players in their ongoing pay negotiations with the league, saying they understand the financial stress the game is facing while the 2020 season is suspended.

Key points:

  • Jack Riewoldt denies the AFL players are being greedy amid pay negotiations during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Players have offered to take a 50 per cent pay cut but the AFL is pushing for a heftier salary hit
  • The AFL and its 18 clubs have cut staff numbers by roughly 80 per cent

Players have offered to take a 50 per cent pay cut while clubs are out of action, with the competition on hold until at least May 31 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But several media reports claim the AFL will push for at least a 75 per cent cut in the coming months, as the league faces the biggest financial crisis in its history.

Players would likely have to take even bigger salary cuts if the remainder of the season was abandoned altogether, which remains a distinct possibility.

AFL great Leigh Matthews said on Tuesday that he had “lost a lot of respect for this collective playing group over the last two months” in relation to the continuing pay negotiations.

Riewoldt said Matthews’s comments were “irresponsible” and “really disappointing”.

The two-time premiership winner said players did not want to make a decision on their pay beyond the current shutdown period, suggesting the AFL Players’ Association and the AFL “re-evaluate in 10 weeks’ time”.

“If the game isn’t going, we understand that there is a massive role for the players to take here if the game doesn’t get up and going in this year,” Riewoldt told Fox Footy’s AFL 360.

“There’ll be plenty of other cuts. We may see lists cut, we may see players’ jobs lost. So we totally understand that.”

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Riewoldt said players had been willing to push through a full 22-match season to shore up money for the whole game.

“It’s a direct correlation, $50 million to $100 million a round is lost when we don’t play footy,” he said.

“If we play five less rounds, say [that’s worth] $250 million, they’re the jobs that are being cut now.

“It’s a pretty simple equation. It’s more games, more money, more people have jobs.”

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire on Tuesday urged AFL decision makers not to “screw the players” in the pay negotiations.

The AFL and its 18 clubs have slashed staff numbers by roughly 80 per cent in a brutal phase of job cuts and stand downs.

Your questions on coronavirus answered:

AFL executives, including chief executive Gillon McLachlan, are taking a minimum 20 per cent pay cut.

All remaining staff at the AFL will have reduced hours during the season’s suspension, while casual workers have been let go.

What the experts are saying about coronavirus:

Geelong coach Chris Scott has offered to forgo his entire pay packet while the competition is shut down.

All 18 senior coaches had earlier volunteered to take 20 per cent pay cuts, while Brisbane’s Chris Fagan will reportedly take a 50 per cent cut until football is back.

AAP/ABC

Topics:

australian-football-league,

sport,

covid-19,

melbourne-3000,

vic,

australia



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