PETER DAY: “Crucify him! Crucify him”

This  Good Friday there will be two Passion ‘plays’ proclaimed throughout the world: The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to John, and The Passion of Our Lauded Cricket Captain According to Us.

One just hopes that the baying mob doesn’t do to our  captain what it did to the young Jewish carpenter.

Mr Smith has made a terrible mistake and must accept the consequences of his actions, but let us not crucify him.

Indeed, hopefully this second Passion ‘play’ will also have a good ending: the redemption of an inherently decent young man from a dark place.

Peter Day is a former backyard cricketer and priest from the archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn.



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6 Responses to PETER DAY: “Crucify him! Crucify him”

  1. Tony Ryan says:

    I have yet to hear of anyone who puts the ball-cheating saga into real world context. This was not just a few good blokes who succumbed to cheating in an amateur game. These guys were in big business and cheated to win, in a ‘game’ that pays the millions of dollars in personal income. How this can be called a game beats me. Ergo, this was criminal and fraud/embezzlement or whatever, but definitely criminal.

    That Christians should not see that as criminal surprises me not one whit.

    I say, crucify.

  2. Ted Egan says:

    To err is human, to forgive – divine. Yes, best wishes to Smith after he has served his time gracefully and gratefully. Ian Chappell has a lot to answer for, so may this dark era of almost fifty years of sledging and now cheating be over for ever.

  3. R. N. England says:

    We have a system that over-rewards people when they excel, and under-rewards them if they are just ordinary human beings. When people with a reputation for excellence turn out to be just ordinary human beings, the system is foolishly outraged, but at least it stops rewarding them excessively. Professional sportsmen, sports administrators, journalists, and company directors make a fat living out of stupid hype. The solution is to play cricket in the back yard and always find something more useful to do than to sit there being exploited by “entertainment”. The excellence of cricketing nations, that is, the level of majority participation in cricket, peaks just before the majority is able to afford TV.

  4. Joan Seymour says:

    Fair go. You’re right – we shouldn’t crucify Steve Smith. But to line him up with Jesus as two innocent young guys who just made a mistake isn’t helpful either. Steve did something objectively wrong – cheated – and he did it knowingly and willingly. Maybe he’s wondering now how he could have done it, what he should have done differently about his own inner anger and brokenness. If so, he’s on the road to redemption, and we should all be able to learn from him. But Jesus he isn’t.

  5. Jim KABLE says:

    I agree with your sentiments Peter – an entirely apt metaphor of sorts, too. I must say that as a very distant observer of cricket I was astounded myself at how quickly I was caught up in the shock, horror judgement of the matter. (Please don’t put me into a mob which might rush off down the promenade baying for blood!) Nevertheless several sensible commentators brought me back to my senses – Helen Razer I think was one, Ross Gittins another. No-one endorses cheating – but these lads did not lock up Indigenous people and torture or kill them by abuse and neglect – nor did they put the asylum-seekers out on distant unwatched islands to likewise be abused, tortured and murdered. Nor did they try to give $65 billion to bloated BIG BIZ using the long discredited “trickle-down” theory as justification while scandalously constricting social services. I saw two young men Cameron BANCROFT and Steve SMITH face up to the hardest thing of all – full and proper apologies for their behaviour on international television – almost unable to breathe – tears uncontainable – and my own starting when Steve SMITH’s Dad stepped forward to reassure him that he was by his side. Neither of these young men – nor the other two holding themselves partly responsible, too – David WARNER and Darren LEHMANN made mealy-mouthed statements along the lines of politicians of recent days – Michaelia Cash most springs to mind – “Well I’m sorry if you’re upset by that!” And, Peter, I too thought of that word redemption as I watched Cameron and Steve. Thanks for your little reflective piece here.

  6. Jock McLaren says:

    Better still, let’s not get too excited about the mote in our brother’s eye but look instead at the rotten capitalist system that led him and so many others up the garden path. And while we’re knocking commercial sport, a pox on the so-called Games taking place shortly at our latter-day Gomorrah on the Fool’s Gold Coast. For the record, I can’t bowl a cricket ball and couldn’t name a member of the current team.

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