Australian Cricket Player Commits Suicide After Police Questioning
Former Australian cricket player Peter Roebuck was questioned by police last week about an alleged sexual assault on a 26-year-old Zimbabwean student, Ital Gondo - then jumped to his death.
The local authorities are now investigating the suicide and are talking to 16 young men who stayed at the athlete’s South African home.
The Daily Mail reports that Roebuck was paying for the educations of the young men while they lived with him in his eight-bedroom house. A number of the men came from a home for abandoned boys of Harare, Zimbabwe, and ranged between the ages of 18 to 26.
The former Somerset captain was previously slapped with a suspension sentence in 2011 for hitting three teenagers across their butts with a cane.
"The problem was not so much that he caned us but wanted to examine the marks," one of the teens told the New Zealand Herald.
Gondo claims that Roebuck asked him to take his shirt off and then pinned him to the bed and assaulted him. The student also claimed that the sports star called the young men his "sons" and they referred to him as "dad."
Officials say that Gondo did not fight back when Roebuck attacked him because the young man panicked. The police also say they are going to search thoroughly Roebuck’s bedroom to find any DNA evidence that will back up Gondo’s allegations.
"Because I didn’t fight back or hit him, I felt like a coward," Gondo said. "I still feel like a coward. I was thinking ’what are my friends going to think about me?’ That I’m chicken and did nothing about it.
"I was in shock and told myself that this couldn’t be happening. I was so dumbstruck that I couldn’t do anything."
One of the young men associated with Roebuck has called out Gondo, blaming his whistle-blowing with the authorities for the cricket player’s suicide.
"And as far as I am concerned he took his own life because he didn’t want to face the law," Gondo said in his defense. "He didn’t want to face up to what he did. So it’s not my problem. He is the architect of his own demise."
The Australian reports that Roebuck’s English family has hired a lawyer and is requesting a second autopsy. Additionally, the cricket player’s mother wants his body returned to England. As of now, it is in a Cape Town funeral home until further notice.
Unlike American professional sports, games traditionally associated with Great Britain seem to be having an easier time of dealing with some of their teammates being gay. Back in March, British cricket star Steven Davies came out with no apparent consequences.
Previously, in 2009, however, when Wales rugby star Gareth Thomas came out,it made international headlines. Thomas was jeered by some opposing team fans, but the uproar died down and Gareth continued his career unabated.