What you need to know:
- Truthfully, back home in Kenya, there are many more ‘Mendys’ in the sporting sector who are not fulfilling their potential due to a lack of discipline.
- Mendy’s predicaments should be a lesson to all sportspersons to always remain focused on fulfilling their potential and not be sidetracked by the pleasures of the world.
The past week witnessed one of the biggest news of the year in the sporting world when former Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy was acquitted on counts of rape against three women.
It is an incident that had brought the Frenchman’s career to a screeching halt as he was immediately let go of by Manchester City as he fought to clear his name in the corridors of court.
He walked away from court on Friday a relieved and speechless man.
“Alhamdulillah” was all he could say as he was overwhelmed with emotions, relieved to have finally been loosened of a burden he has had to bear on his conscience for close to two years.
Many sportspersons across the world — especially footballers — have stood with him in moral support. Even back home in Kenya, there are many more sportspersons who sympathise with Mendy and how his career was wasted by these allegations.
Nonetheless, as ‘we’ support him, it is also important for every sportsman and woman to draw lessons from this debacle.
It is crucial to always remember that you are a professional to whom society looks up to, not only in terms of sporting inspiration but even in other aspects of their lives.
During the trial, Mendy’s life was laid bare — of the parties he would hold at his house where these sexual escapades allegedly occurred — and truth be told they make for a grim reading.
Even the player himself testified to having held these parties where he would occasionally sleep with different women in one night.
To people who desire a good role model, such a wild lifestyle paints the picture of an irresponsible man who can lead others down a path of destruction.
From a sporting perspective, such escapades distract, and can lead to physical harm or injuries that prevent an athlete from performing well on the track or field.
Secondly, many family-friendly brands will not want to work with an athlete who embodies recklessness and promotes anti-societal values.
This means a lot of lost revenue in terms of endorsements. Luckily enough for Mendy, he has just been signed up by French side Lorient although it remains to be seen whether he will recover his mojo from his days at Monaco and City.
Truthfully, back home in Kenya, there are many more ‘Mendys’ in the sporting sector who are not fulfilling their potential due to a lack of discipline.
Mendy’s predicaments should be a lesson to all sportspersons to always remain focused on fulfilling their potential and not be sidetracked by the pleasures of the world.
Korir is the Chairman of Athletics Kenya’s Nairobi Branch. [email protected]