Popular AFL player Bailey Smith, who has made a name for himself with a huge social media following, has hit headlines in recent days after a video of him holding a small bag of white powder and sniffing an unknown substance went viral.
The Bulldogs player has since admitted “indulging” in the substance and has received a two-match suspension as well as a strike under the AFL’s illicit drugs policy.
— Adrian Sal (@adriansal80) June 11, 2022
“I have recently been made aware of the presence of social media content that shows me with an illicit substance,” Smith said in a statement released last Saturday.
“In confronting this, the temptation is to speak in vague generalities and avoid the issue. However, I am determined to learn the lessons of my past and be a better person in the future.
“After much reflection, I am now in a position to confess to indulging in behaviours in late 2021 of which I am deeply ashamed. I do not have an excuse for those behaviours, however the state of my mental health over that period post Grand Final dramatically deteriorated, and I spiralled out of control leading to poor decision making and actions at the time. All of this resulting in the leave I took from football at the commencement of pre-season training late last year.
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“The depth of my emotions over that period, coupled with some of my behaviours, have reminded me that, as a person, I am still very much a work-in-progress.
“I know I have obligations beyond myself, not just contractually – but in terms of the example I set through the decisions I make, and I will be better.
“I have made mistakes. I am very aware of that, and I fully own it.
“I unreservedly apologise to my family, my teammates, my club and its sponsors, the AFL, my supporters and my sponsors.
“I have made mistakes, but I resolve to learn from each and to do all I can to avoid letting myself down, and those around me.”
While Smith is a way established football player, he’s also gained a massive following on Instagram, with 374,000 followers. Footy and influencing aside – the 21-year-old has also carved out a career in modelling; he is the first menswear ambassador for Cotton On.
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