In response to media reports Down Under, Swimming Australia today explained why it felt that Nick D'Arcy and Kenrick Monk deserved to be punished after posting photos of themselves brandishing guns even though the national swimming team visited a rifle range as a squad activity back in 2007.
The cases of D'Arcy and Monk, a federation statement noted, provided "a valuable lesson to the entire swimming community that social media is a public forum, which can bring with it public scrutiny, and all members need to be reminded of that, and the consequences that come with it".
Swimmers Nick D’Arcy and Kenrick Monk have been reminded of their responsibilities as members of the Australian Swim Team, following a meeting with Swimming Australia President David Urquhart and CEO Kevin Neil in Brisbane today.
Swimming Australia deemed their photos posted on Facebook and Twitter as inappropriate due to the manner in which the athletes were posing, and the ability for the photos to cause negative publicity and unnecessary scrutiny on the athletes involved, and the sport.
Swimming Australia acknowledges that members of the Australian Swim Team previously visited a rifle range in Canberra as a team activity in 2007. However, this matter involving Nick and Kenrick was not about visiting a gun shop, more the manner in which they posed in the photos, as well as past indiscretions which bring their actions into question.
“They showed poor judgement in posting what we saw as inappropriate photos, in which they appear to be skylarking with guns while in the US last week,” said Neil.
“While what the boys did was not illegal, posting the photos on social networks encourages public debate, and that debate can be seen to have a negative impact on the image of the sport and their own image.”
The athletes removed the photos as soon as they were asked to by Swimming Australia officials, and have apologised publicly to anyone they may have offended as a result of positing the images.
“This is a valuable lesson to the entire swimming community that social media is a public forum, which can bring with it public scrutiny, and all members need to be reminded of that, and the consequences that come with it,” said Neil.
Swimming Australia will be taking no further action on the matter and making no further comment at this time.