posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 12:57 PM
All sports and much of human endeavour is dangerous, Experience has taught us that if we apply certain procedures, practices and standards to those
things then we can minimise the danger - but you can't totally eliminate the danger (indeed in sport if we totally eliminate the dangers then often
the sport no longer has any meaning or interest - down-hill skiing without the hill?)
Obviously, the officials involved in the standards and practices of motorsport and those that are required to come up with some expanation for
people's deaths will examine all the data available and reach a conclusion. Without pre-empting those people, I think that in Brocky's case it
might well come down to Brocky having made a mistake. Fair enough - we are all human. However, had Brocky operated outside the accepted practices
and safety standards of motorsport, then there would be criticism of him and his practices and quite rightly so, because he was (in part) a model held
up for safe and sober driving. Of course, if he is found to have been under the influence of alcohol, then there will be heaps of criticism and quite
Equally, Irwin is open to criticism (whether dead or alive) for operating outside the accepted standards when dealing with dangerous animals. That it
was entertaining for some is beyond doubt, but that still doesn't make it a good example. To put it another way - if Steve Irwin had done everything
he did without a TV show then you could say that he was just an individual doing his thing, but by putting his antics before the public as a visible
example of how to behave around dangerous animals, then you enter a quite different world of responsibilty. There is a quite different perception of,
say Sir Richard Branson (an 'adventurer') wrestling a crocodile and Steve Irwin (animal expert) wrestling a crocodile - a different level of
responsibilty if you like.
I don't know how up to date you are on football in Australia, but there has recently been a number of players suspended or sacked because of drunken
behaviour. The major problem here is that the teams for which they play are sponsored by organisations against drink-driving. So while their
behaviour may be viewed in a very human way, they cannot afford such human traits because they publically represent the counter view, whether they
like it or not.
The fact of the matter is that because of their public personas they influence public opinion with their behaviour.
Yes, Steve Irwin's death could be described as a freak accident, but if you continue to minimise the safety margins when dealing with dangerous
situations (and I don't know if this was the case - and presumably neither does anyone else here), then the odds get rather nasty. To be stuck by a
stingray while innocently swimming about could be described as a freak accident, I'm not at all sure that the same could be said of deliberately
swimming in close proximity to a stingray for the camera.
Just as Brocky's death should not be included within normal road accident statistics (because of the nature of the event), then Steve Irwin's death
cannot be included in the statistics regarding death by stingray barb, and equally the stats relating to both events (running off that particular part
of road, or stingray caused deaths) cannot be applied to the situations.
[edit on 12/9/06 by The Winged Wombat]