Troubled former West Coast onballer Daniel Kerr dabbled in illicit drugs during his career but denies there was a deep-seated issue with drugs at the AFL club during his time there.
The premiership-winning midfielder, who has admitted to using methamphetamines, said a mixture of youthful ignorance and alcohol abuse were behind his poor choices during a 220-game career.
“I was a young kid growing up. There were times when I would get too intoxicated in a nightclub and would find myself mucking up,” Kerr told Channel Nine’s The Footy Show on Wednesday night.
“But I was quite surprised when I spoke to the guys behind stage today of the perception that there was a huge group of West Coast Eagles players doing that kind of thing, which wasn’t the case at all.
“I openly admit that I was no angel. During my career drugs was never an issue, was never a problem.
“I would get too many beers in me and find myself doing the wrong thing but not overly often during the season.
“My (problem) was drinking too many beers. After a few drinks, everything kind of led down that path.”
Kerr maintained that the Eagles did all they could to keep him on the straight and narrow and that he had never lied to former coach John Worsfold when confronted about alleged drug issues at the club.
In a wide-ranging interview, Kerr admitted he had consumed so much alcohol at one point of an end-of-season trip to Las Vegas that he was oblivious to the fact all of his teammates had left the city two days earlier.
He also said that he hadn’t had a long conversation with former teammate Ben Cousins since 2008.
Kerr found himself in trouble with the law during and after his AFL career, which ended in 2013.
He was fined and ordered to pay costs for a physical altercation at a party in 2007 and also received a financial sanction arising from a run-in with a taxi driver the same year.
The 32-year-old is currently before Western Australian courts on two separate matters – an alleged breach of a violence restraining order and a charge of threatening to unlawfully harm, for which he spent five days behind bars and to which he has since pleaded guilty.
“I called my mum and she didn’t come and bail me out,” Kerr said.
“I later found out that my mother and my ex-wife … thought that it would be best for me to experience that side of life.”
Kerr said that having sacrificed so much during his playing career, he felt he owed it to himself to enjoy some time off after his career ended. But it was during that time that he came into contact with Perth’s criminal elements.
“I say this probably to my peril, but there’s a lot of good blokes that are criminals. But there are not too many good people in the sense that they’re not really helping people,” Kerr said.
“They’re not people that you want your kids to grow up like. They’re not people who are role models or anything like that.
“I owe it to myself and to my family and my kids to try and become a good person.”
Kerr is currently working with Indigenous Services Australia, which runs a number of indigenous welfare programs across the country.