Runner sets bad example by… um… running

If the stoush between Eric Hollingsworth and Sally Pearson was an episode of Judge Judy:

Judge JudyJudge Judy: Mr Hollingsworth, what do you do as head coach for Athletics Australia?

Hollingsworth: Well, I provide support to athletes and coaches as they prepare for domestic and international competition.

Judge Judy: (Frowning over her glasses) Support?

Hollingsworth: That’s right.

Judge Judy: And how would you describe your support for Sally Pearson?

Hollingsworth: Well, lately I’ve had to communicate with Sally through a discrete third party.

Judge Judy: The media.

Hollingsworth: It’s the best way to get my message across to her.

Judge Judy: That message being that she — let me just read from your statement — “sets a bad example to the entire national team”.

Exhibits A, B, C and D: Aussies setting a bad example.

Exhibits A, B, C and D: Aussies setting a bad example.

Hollingsworth: Yes.

Judge Judy: Wow, the entire national team. She must have done something really terrible for you to say that. What was it? Did she go on a Stilnox binge and wake up all her teammates?

Hollingsworth: Um…

Judge Judy: Um is not an answer. Did she pose in a picture with firearms?

Hollingsworth: No, your Honour.

Judge Judy: Did she assault a teammate? Get drunk and trash a few shopfronts? Publicly attack team officials?

Hollingsworth: No, no, nothing like that.

Judge Judy: Well she must have done something to get your head all full of steam.

Exhibit E: Eric Hollingsworth's idea of setting a bad example

Exhibit E: Eric Hollingsworth’s idea of setting a bad example

Hollingsworth: She ran in a race.

Judge Judy: The nerve of her.

Hollingsworth: I know!

Judge Judy: I ought to throw the book at her.

Hollingsworth: Would you?

Judge Judy: (Theatrical sigh) Of all the courtrooms in all the towns in all the world…

Hollingsworth: Gin joints, your Honour.

Judge Judy: I beg your pardon?

Hollingsworth: In the movie, the line is ‘Of all the gin joi—

Judge Judy: Don’t talk to me about Casablanca, sir. I can recite it in my sleep. Every line of it. All you need to know is that on your best day, you’re not as smart as I am on my worst. Let me show you just how smart I am. Sally Pearson’s an athlete, right?

Hollingsworth: A hurdler, yes.

Judge Judy: So isn’t it her job to (pulls a face) run in a race every now and then?

Hollingsworth: I can see why you’d think that. But she was supposed to be at a team training camp.

Judge Judy: Why?

Hollingsworth: To help build team morale.

Judge Judy: Another of your areas of expertise, I assume?

Hollingsworth: I think I know how to unite a team, yes.

Judge Judy: You sure do, Mr Hollingsworth. Right now they’re all united in thinking you’re an idiot.

Hollingsworth: (looking around the courtroom) If I can make an observation, your Honour, I notice Ms Pearson hasn’t even bothered to turn up to resolve this matter.

Judge Judy: She’s running a race, Mr Hollingsworth. Setting a bad example again.

Hollingsworth: Oh, that’s right. The hurdles heats.

Judge Judy: She ran 12:69.

Hollingsworth: Good time.

Judge Judy: Must have been great for team morale.

(Hollingsworth looks confused)

Judge Judy: I’ve heard enough of this crock of baloney. I’m ready to make my ruling. I sentence you to the ridicule of the Australian public for a period of their determination.

Hollingsworth: That’s harsh, your Honour. I’m appealing.

Judge Judy: No you’re not, Mr Hollingsworth. Take it from me, you’re not remotely appealing.