Mundine’s PR machine was in stunning form, as his manager and posse arranged an impromptu press conference centred around AFL bad boy Ben Cousins – the aim to spread an ‘anti-drug’ message and clear the air around the troubled Cousins – oh and to promote a little fight thats around the corner. In reality Ben Cousins didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know, Mundine and his crew got priceless spots on the evening news and it was all perfectly stage managed in the heart of a Redfern gym. More bums on seats for ‘The Man’ perhaps.
Was it smart for the Bulldogs to let SBW get involved with such a PR stunt? Sure, Sonny Bill isn’t breaking any rules by being involved – but the mere fact that Williams was seen in association with the likes of Ben Cousins and possibly even Mundine wasn’t a smart move.
Ben Cousins has been constantly in the news in the past 12 months, his drug addiction and his general attitude a blight on the game of AFL and even Australian sporting hero’s both locally and internationally. Hats off to Cousins if he is trying to rehabilitate, but really – Sonny Bill Williams should be miles away from this kind of thing and his club should probably tell him so.
While Mundine might be a teetotaler and portrayed as a messiah by his PR machine, his reputation amongst the majority of the Australian public isn’t too glowing. Sonny Bill’s management have probably made a poor choice in pushing this hookup. While they may think it’s increasing the SBW brand and potential, spending time with Mundine will probably do more harm than good.
While essentially the intentions might have been good, really it was a bad move. The SBW team should have supported the anti-drugs message in a better way and kept well clear of this Ben Cousins / Anthony Mundine circus act; especially at a time where the Bulldogs are in dire need of a new image. What it does show, is that Belmore management either don’t have a leach on their troops at all or their PR radar is in dire need of adjustment or replacement.