NT Thunder Football Club (NTFC) met with Ben Taylor on Thursday afternoon to inform him of a club-imposed sanction following Sunday’s events, where he failed a random alcohol breath test.
In addition to any court-imposed sanction Taylor may receive in due course, the NTFC Disciplinary Committee met to determine the club’s next steps. The Committee reviewed and considered the following in coming to their recommendation:
– That Taylor communicated the incident to the club almost immediately
– Taylor’s recount of events
– Taylor’s mental wellbeing meeting
– Legal advice given to player by his lawyer of likely court outcome
– Extensive discussions and considerations of facts presented
– Consideration of previous similar incidents
– That Taylor has already made an apology to NTFC management and players and during this apology, indicated that he was extremely embarrassed that he has let down himself, family, football club, management and his teammates.
When coming to its findings, the Committee made it clear that they wanted to ensure the sanction reflected the best possible outcome, which in its eyes was that Taylor’s wellbeing remained healthy.
They wanted to ensure Taylor comes away with a clear understanding of the effects that drink driving can have in the community and that the possibility of him reoffending is minimised.
They also wanted to ensure Taylor understands that NT Thunder players are expected to be leaders in our community and display role model behaviour.
The recommendation they put forward to the AFLNT Executive to consider was that Taylor be stood down from NT Thunder playing commitments for two games (Round 15 vs GWS Giants and Round 16 vs Canberra Demons), along with;
– Completing further AFL Education sessions through AFLNT Wellbeing Coach
– Undergone internal communication and issue management education sessions
NT Thunder Manager Andrew Hodges said the Club and Taylor were disappointed with his actions.
“Everyone associated with the Club is aware of the risks associated with drink driving and take this matter very seriously.
“Ben’s failure to think before acting could’ve led to serious consequences and we will continue to educate him and the rest of the playing group on road safety awareness.
“He is embarrassed and feels like he has let his family, club and community down and is determined to not let himself of any of his NT Thunder teammates be in this position again,” he said.
Taylor apologised for his lack of judgement.
“I deeply regret my decision on Sunday morning. Driving after drinking was a terrible mistake, one that could’ve been a lot worse, so I am grateful for being given the opportunity to learn the lessons without it having a more serious impact than what it did. I feel like I have let down my teammates, my family and the NT Thunder club and supporters so I apologise and commit to not making the same mistake again,” he said.