Nick D'Arcy says sorry for gun pic
SUNSHINE Coast swimmer Nick D'Arcy has apologised for a photo of himself toting pistols at a US shooting range, saying he never meant to cause any offence.
"It was just a bit of fun,'' D'Arcy told reporters after landing at Brisbane Airport this morning.
"It was all meant to be a bit of fun.''
Gun Control Australia vice-president Rhonda Collins, who said she was terrorised by her former husband, said D'Arcy and fellow "bad boy swimmer" Kenrick Monk should be made to visit speak to the victims of domestic violence.
"I would like to see them visit a women's refuge and talk to the women who know what it is like to be on the other end of a gun.''
D'Arcy said he did not mean to upset anyone.
"If anyone has been offended, I deeply apologise. It was never the intent,'' he said.
Twenty-four-year-old Monk was reportedly holding the same pump-action shot guns used by Martin Bryant who murdered 35 people in Port Arthur in 1996.
"What would the Port Arthur survivors be thinking of that photo?" Ms Collins asked.
Swimming Australia demanded Monk remove the picture after he posted it on Facebook.
A Swimming Australia spokesman said there was no plan for further sanction against either athlete at this stage.
"Swimming Australia became aware of inappropriate photos posted on athletes' Facebook pages and Twitter accounts...," an organisation spokesman said.
"They instantly contacted the athletes involved to ask for them to be removed under Swimming Australia's Social Media Guidelines.
"The photos have been removed. Swimming Australia does not condone the posting of inappropriate content on Facebook, Twitter or any social media platform, and this is a timely reminder for athletes to be more responsible to themselves, the public with whom they engage through social media, and the reputation of the sport.''
Supporters of D'Arcy and Monk described the story as a media beat-up, saying the rebel swimmers were just having a bit of larrikin fun before heading back to Australia.
Gun Control Australia president John Crook, however, could not see the fun. He said yesterday the pair should be heavily fined or sent home.
"We don't see that as any (better) than 'having fun' firing from a moving car into a house. We just see it as callous.''
Mr Crook said he was sickened by the photo, describing it as childish, macho behaviour unfit for someone representing Australia.
He said the six to eight pump action shotguns being carried by Monk were used in some of Australia's worst gun violence.
The semi-automatic pistols held by D'Arcy were similar to those used by Virginia Tech Massacre.
In 2008, D'Arcy was charged over a king-hit on teammate Simon Cowley during a brawl on the night the Australian Olympic team was named.
D'Arcy's Coast family could not be reached for comment last night.