- Brandon Jack says players using cocaine shouldn’t be surprising
- The former footballer admits to having used drugs during and after his career
- It says more than a million Australians also use the substance
Former Sydney Swan Brandon Jack has confessed to taking cocaine and says it’s only natural AFL players are caught with the drug because it has infiltrated all sectors of Australian society.
Jack, son of NRL legend Garry and younger brother of former Swans captain Kieren, quit the game aged 23 after five seasons at the club.
He also criticized the “superficial” process that forces players who have been caught with the substance to enter rehabilitation programs.
Former Swan Brandon Jack has spoken out about AFL players’ cocaine use and criticized the way stars are forced to enter rehabilitation programs after being busted with the drug.
Cocaine trafficking allegations leveled at Demons star Joel Smith (pictured) prompted Jack to say the drug is so widespread in Australia no one should be surprised when football stars are arrested with it.
The 29-year-old’s message comes hot on the heels of Melbourne Demons star Joel Smith being charged with trafficking cocaine after allegedly recording a positive test for the substance late last season.
‘In light of the Joel Smith situation, “People have been asking if the AFL has a drug problem,” he wrote for Age.
‘As a former player, my response to this is that (male) AFLM players do cocaine. AFLW players use cocaine. Local soccer players use cocaine. Just like teachers, lawyers, doctors.
‘According to a federal government investigation, More than one million Australians used cocaine in 2019. Many people have touched cocaine at some point in their lives.
“I include myself in this, both during and since my AFL career.”
Jack says that when a player is caught with an illegal drug, he is forced to follow a superficial process to protect the reputation of the sport.
Jack doesn’t believe the AFL has a “drug problem” and people should get over it when players like Bulldogs star Bailey Smith are caught with illicit substances (pictured).
“A footballer is caught with an illicit substance (cocaine, it’s always cocaine), we get some superficial and simplistic comments about zero tolerance and club culture, and we hear about rehabilitation programs and off-field support that we can all (and we must) make it a reality. eyes,” he said.
Jack believes most of these players only deserve a slap on the wrist for doing cocaine, and there is no real “drug problem” within the AFL.
He said if people want to see real stories of addiction, they should attend a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and hear stories about how drugs ruined people’s lives.
“These are the effects of the drug problem,” he says.
“His suffering is not comparable to the stupidity of a young man in the public eye who is caught using a drug that a large number of Australians also use from time to time.”
Smith (pictured playing in 2023) is now being investigated by police over drug allegations raised by Sport Integrity Australia.
Jack went out of his way to make it clear that suspended Melbourne player Joel Smith’s situation is a little different to other scandals because he allegedly tested positive on match day and was accused of giving the drug to others.
“No matter how many bad things football players do, we will always find a way to shine a light on them and, more often than not, we prefer to live in ignorance of the things that are done behind closed doors,” Jack said.
“We say we want transparency, but it’s through fingers in front of our eyes.”
The National Drug Strategy 2022-23 Household Survey found that cocaine was the second most widely used illegal drug in the country, behind cannabis.
That report found that 4.5 per cent of Australians aged 14 and over had used cocaine in the previous 12 months.