Here’s something you won’t read on worldsnooker.com – Graeme Dott is today up before the WPBSA disciplinary committee facing the charge of making disrespectful remarks about a fellow player.
The player in question was Ian McCulloch but he was not the complainant. That person has not been revealed, neither has the make up of the disciplinary committee or even that the hearing is taking place at all.
Dott was riled by comments he had read from McCulloch following his 10-7 defeat to the Preston man in the first round of last season’s 888.com World Championship.
Launching the Grand Prix last August, he was quoted in Aberdeen newspapers as saying: “To lose to McCulloch at any time is disappointing. I don’t like the guy, I don't respect him and I don’t think he is any good.
“I couldn’t have played any worse. Honestly, you could have taken a guy off the street and he would have beaten me. Yet McCulloch only managed to win 10-7.
“After that McCulloch said that Anthony Hamilton was in a different class to me, which is disrespectful. No disrespect to Anthony, who is a fantastic player - but has he won the world title? No.
“It is not good etiquette to say something bad about a fellow player, but since McCulloch has I feel no reason to hold back. McCulloch has done nothing, and will do nothing in the game - so I find his attitude astonishing.”
Is this worthy of disciplinary action? I disagree with Dotty’s comments but I can’t see how he can be punished for them.
What happened to the principle of freedom of speech?
McCulloch is the sort of character who would shrug it off. He did the important thing, which was winning their match.
Graeme probably didn’t do himself any favours saying what he did but did it damage the game?
No way. People love a good row and it’ll add some spice to their next meeting.
There’s another issue here as well. All too often you’ll see the old line trotted out that there are “no characters in snooker these days.” Indeed, it is in a snooker feature in this week’s Radio Times.
Modern players do have strong personalities but many of them are frightened to speak out because of constant threats that they will be disciplined.
Snooker is a sport struggling for newspaper coverage. Punishing the players for having opinions isn’t going to increase it.