SPARE a thought for Cronulla Sharks supporters, they are going through a pretty tough time.
They are dead last on the NRL ladder, struggling for sponsors, have been plagued by ASADA investigations for the past two seasons and after almost 50 years in the competition they are still without a premiership.
Just when you thought it could not get any worse, their star player decides urinating into his own mouth would be a pretty funny party trick.
Although it had been a while, seeing Todd Carney in trouble after a night on the booze is something rugby league fans are all too familiar with.
In 2008, Carney was sacked by his original club the Canberra Raiders, de-registered by the NRL and spent 2009 playing bush footy for the Atherton Roosters in Far North Queensland.
Strike one, but in 2010 he was given another chance by the Sydney Roosters where he won the Dally M Medal for best player in the NRL, played in a grand final and made his test debut for Australia.
But in 2011, off-field dramas got the better of his again and he was shown the door by a second NRL club, strike two.
Carney had managed to stay out of trouble since joining the Sharks and even played State of Origin in 2012.
Many hoped his days of being involved in Police chases and allegedly setting people’s pants on fire were a thing of the past, but alas a photo where he appears to be urinating in his own mouth appears on social media.
Strike three Todd, you’re outta here.
Many now feel Carney has literally pissed away his NRL career after the Sharks became the third club to tear up his contract.
Carney has claimed the photo was a prank and he did not realise it had been taken.
While it may be of some comfort to know he doesn’t actually indulge in his own urine, there is a bigger problem at hand.
“As a parent, trying to explain to my kids why their favourite player decided to urinate in his own mouth, is a conversation you’d prefer not to have."
When you are being paid great money to play the game you love, you need to be held accountable for your actions.
It may have been intended as a prank, but Sharks supporters are not laughing.
Local sporting identity Trent Boundy and his young family are avid Sharks supporters and it is fair to say he is not too impressed by the Carney incident.
Boundy said the most difficult thing about it is explaining it to his daughters, who look up to Carney as role model.
“As a parent, trying to explain to my kids why their favourite player decided to urinate in his own mouth, is a conversation you’d prefer not to have,” Boundy said.
“We’ve been up to games and had our photos taken with him.
“I thought he was very polite and couldn’t have been happier to be in it. “He’s not an aggressive player, it’s definitely the alcohol.”
Boundy believes players should be allowed to have a drink, but said incidents like this are very damaging to the image of the game and feels the Sharks were right to sack him.
Simon Hale is another local Sharks fan, who feels the club made the right decision, but only because he has had so many chances.
“With his record, I think they had to sack him,” Hale said.
“But I think he should have been able to put his point of view across before they did,” he added.
Hale said he thought a recent incident involving NZ Warriors player Konrad Hurrell was much worse.
Hurell received only a fine when a sexually explicit video of him appeared on social media and Hale feels if Carney had no history, then he would not have been sacked.
Boundy and Hale both said they will stick by the Sharks no matter what, but feel Carney should be de-registered and they cannot see him being picked up by another club.
Maybe we will see him running around in Group 7 next year.