Mitchell Johnson Calls For Sam Kerr’s Position As Captain Of The Matildas To Be Questioned

Former member of the Australian Test Cricket team, Mitchell Johnson, has publicly called for the Matildas captain Sam Kerr to have her position evaluated by Football Australia, in the wake of her criminal charges in London.

Sam Kerr made headlines internationally when it was revealed that she was facing criminal charges for allegedly calling a London police officer a “racist” slur in January 2023.

It was then leaked that Kerr had allegedly called the officer a “stupid white bastard“, however, her legal team stated that she actually called them a “stupid white cop“.

While Kerr will face the London court in April, the Matildas legend is currently facing the court of public opinion — and it seems former cricketer Mitchell Johnson has joined the prosecution.

In an opinion article published by The Nightly — the same outlet that published David Koch‘s opinion that renters should “love” landlords — the fast bowler expressed his belief that Kerr should be stripped of her captaincy.

“Regardless of the outcome of Kerr’s charge in England, her captaincy deserves to be called into question after hiding it from Football Australia,” wrote Johnson.

“More than just being looked up to by many young girls and boys, Kerr is the captain. Leaders need to lead from the front, and not telling the national body about her legal issues sends a terrible message, more so when you’re the captain.”

(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

News that Kerr was facing criminal charges caught the world off guard, including her team, her coach Tony Gustavsson, and Football Australia. It is this lack of communication that Johnson took issue with.

Johnson also argued that Kerr’s influence on children who look up to her, just as he looked up to his sporting heroes growing up, means it is important to send kids the right message about the consequences of actions.

“Sports stars are human and make mistakes but when you are the captain of any Australian team, you hold yourself to the highest standards,” he said.

He also pointed out the “recipe for constant criticism” that comes from sporting players on and off-field being put on a pedestal as role models to children. Johnson said that responsibility is the parents’.

“I remember always being told during my career: ‘Kids look up to you, you have to be an example to them’,” the fast bowler recounted.

“It’s a recipe for constant criticism. A player swears and the criticism comes hard that they should be a better example to the kids watching.”

Sam Kerr remains the captain of the Matildas, despite not playing for the team while she recovers from an ACL injury. She will not be joining the Matildas as they go for gold in the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics.