There is no doubt professional sports people have a social responsibility, but should they be prisoners of their profile?
Given the bad press Andrew Symonds has received in the past regarding alcohol, it is probably not the smartest move to go out so soon after getting back in the Australian side. But whether it is smart or not, he is entitled to go out and should be able to do so like anyone else.
Of course with a public profile comes extra responsibilities, expectations and unfortunately chores. It would be nice to think that celebrities and sports stars could go out without having people constantly approaching them for acknowledgement or photos and autographs, but the reality is many people are over-awed in their presence and forget that the person they are admiring sometimes just wants a meal or a drink with their own friends, unmolested.
Many people are grateful for a quick photo or autograph, and promptly leave the "star" alone straight after.
From the various accounts of the night in question, it seems Roy was hassled by one patron- easy to imagine what a pest a half cut big mouth he may have been- that was asked to leave, and that Roy was composed and left early with nothing to answer to.
If this is true, what does it mean? Clearly this is a BIG MEDIA BEAT UP! With headline like, "Symonds under investigation", "Symonds in pub altercation" "Troubled all-rounder..." it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to see the media thought they could nail him up.
Now with the publican publicly stating that Symonds was provoked and had dealt with the situation admirably, the heat is off Roy.
Except for one big thing; how has this affected his head space and preparation? The media were so quick to attack and judge him it is plain to see they gave no thought to Symonds primary task... playing cricket! If he fails to perform at Adelaide there will be calls to cut him, even though his scorecard at the GABBA was good enough compared to other batsmen. If he does score, will all be forgiven? If he can lift, for mine it shows the mental fortitude Roy possesses and proves he can cop more than most off (and on) the field and still be a champ.