SANCA takes swipe at Gibbs
Johannesburg - The SA National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (SANCA) said on Monday it was "disappointed" that Proteas cricket player Herschelle Gibbs had released the content of his controversial book to the media ahead of publication.
The book, titled To the Point, was released on Monday, but Sunday newspapers carried excerpts the day before.
SANCA said Gibbs' reported statements were "of great concern" as large numbers of the nation's youth were cricket fans who looked up to sportsmen as role models.
"Such cricket enthusiasts revere Herscelle Gibbs and other players, but the message they now receive is that it is acceptable to use excessive alcohol, smoke dagga and indulge in sexual orgies," the body said in a statement.
In the book, Gibbs tells of sexual escapades while on tour with the national team, as well as his troubles with substances like alcohol and dagga.
"Dagga is a gateway drug that frequently leads to more serious drug addiction," SANCA said.
It was also regrettable, according to SANCA, that the top order batsman's stay in a rehabilitation facility for alcohol treatment seemingly failed to give him the insight to realise the potentially devastating impact alcohol addiction had on family members and large sections of society.
The orgies he and teammates particpated in would fail to provide under-aged cricket fans with messages about the dangers of HIV/Aids.
"Given the important role sportsmen and international cricketers fulfill in shaping a world view and value system among many young people and scholars, SANCA urges Cricket SA to take whatever action it is able to in order to restore the credibility of international cricket as a game of honour in the eyes of the youth."