By now you’ve heard that the charges against Curtis Scott have been dropped (as reported by Steve Zemek of the the Daily Telegraph). These charges were incredibly serious, including the assault of a police officer, and they were thrown out by the Magistrate. After a difficult year, Curtis finally has a win, and a pathway to a more stable, and more normal, existence.
We’re genuinely happy for Curtis. 2020 has been an absolute shit of a year, for so many reasons. I genuinely can’t understand what he would feel like today, but I assume it would be a massive relief. Without wanting to delve too far into pop-psychology, one can’t help but think that Curtis’ performance on the field, and the seeming cratering of his confidence at different points this season, was affected by this process. How could it not be? When so many days are spent wondering about whether you’ll be going to jail, I would think it would take remarkable resilience to focus on anything else, and that includes footy.
While I hope the clearing of his name has an inverse impact on Curtis’ on field performance, that feels remarkably secondary at this point. More than footy, this gives Curtis a chance to get his personal circumstances on track. After three-quarters of a year not knowing whether he would (possibly) be going to jail, let alone losing his career as a footballer, he can now actually just go back to doing what normal 20-somethings do (within the quarantine bubble of course!). One may want to speculate what will happen to his form; I wouldn’t presume to know. I hope the removal of this dreadful distraction gives him the peace and quiet to pursue his profession.
This will also allow him to finally ingratiate himself as part of the Canberra culture. After the incident, many Raiders’ fans were sceptical of Scott. Even in these pages we said the Milk had every right to be angry with him. Turns out we couldn’t have been more wrong (our sincerest apologies Curtis, we try not to judge, but we got that wrong). Then his form took a downturn, and things got downright nasty for a bit. He’s been in and out of the side since because of injury, and the culmination of factors have prevented some from warming to him.
From the moment the charges were laid, Scott’s lawyers were clear about his innocence, and it was pleasing to see Ricky Stuart publicly supportive of him. While some were robust in their defence of his, we as a community should have been more supportive – or at least waited for the legal process to play out. Curtis will be in Canberra for three more years, and maybe now he can begin to become part of the furniture so to speak. I hope Raider nation responds accordingly.
So we’re very glad for Curtis. Here’s hoping he takes a moment to celebrate; his freedom, his relief, and mostly, the ability to just focus on getting better at footy. The sword of Damocles has been removed, replaced with clear eyes and a full heart. He can’t lose.