The scandal involves two former Australian Rules Footballer's, Billy Brownless of Geelong and Garry Lyon of Melbourne. It has emerged that Lyon was engaged in a long term affair with the ex-wife of Billy Brownless and that it has effectively destroyed the friendship between the two men. Further, in the fall out from the revelations, Garry Lyon has stepped aside from his gig as the host of "The Footy Show" a national weekly television program that talks all things footy citing mental illness. Brownless is also a panellist on that show.
Friendships Destroyed (image credit: News Limited).
Lyon has gone into hiding, leaving his representatives to make various vague statements publicly about his mental health in an effort to diffuse the situation that has already blown up around him.
I call bullshit.
Garry Lyon no more has a mental illness than I am an aquatic humanoid with gills.
I find it increasingly apparent that people in the public eye - especially those who have been caught out for their particulary tawdry behaviour, quickly throw up mental illness as defence in order to protect their reputation.
Having cultivated a certain image over a long period of time, ensuring that they only show the side of themselves that they want the public to see, when they transgress and expose their true nature, they do anything they can to explain away their actions. It's called damage control, harm minimization.
Let's get it on (image credit Uproxx).
Garry Lyon, the former AFL hero, the respected football commentator and all around "top bloke" gets caught in a salacious, sexual tryst with his best mate's ex-wife with all the froth and bubble of a Bold & The Beautiful plot line. It blows up in the mainstream press like a roadside bomb with shrapnel hitting the TV news, internet portals and print newspapers. To mitigate the damage to his oh-so-carefully constructed personal image, his people quickly strategize and throw out the mental illness defence in order to garner sympathy.
Mental illness is a serious issue, afflicting many thousands of people everyday. We struggle with it - often in silence - although many great strides have been made in growing awareness and reducing the stigma for sufferers.
When public figures default to the mental illness defence in order to explain away their shitty behaviour, it diminishes the gravity of mental illness, makes it a topic of derision for FM shock jocks and glossy magazines who all snigger at it with a wink-wink, nudge-nudge.
Gary Lyon is a shit head who couldn't keep his dick in his pants. He's destroyed two marriages and a friendship in the process and by engaging in this selfish act of damage control, deferring to the "mental illness" defence, he damages the credibility of a silent scourge that afflicts so many.
Garry Lyon should just front up and tell the truth - that he's an inconsiderate prick.