Streaking at Australian sporting events has long been a sport in its own right – and 23-year-old plumber Ben Jenkins ensured his place in the history books by being the first to get his gear off at Perth’s newly opened Optus Stadium.
This wasn’t just a spur of the moment event either, Jenkins told 9News, explaining that his scandalous act was very much pre-meditated.
“For a couple days, I was just saying, ‘Look I wanted to be the first streaker at Optimus Stadium. I really want that title,'” said Jenkins.
But what’s truly incredible is that those who appreciate Jenkins putting in the hard yards to achieve his great victory have come together to crowdfund his $5000 fine – with a GoFundMe campaign seeing 262 people going above and beyond to contribute $5415 in the past 48-hours.
That’s right: Jenkins actually came out top, at least temporarily.
Jenkins on-field act was cheered by the rowdy crowd – with the former soccer player comfortably giving stadium security the run-around before eventually giving himself up – and many more have voiced their support in the campaign’s comment section, but not everyone was amused by his trespass onto the newly minted pitch.
Chief amongst them is Optus Stadium CEO Mike McKenna, who described Jenkins’ act as a “dangerous practice” and that “no one likes that sort of thing” to WA Today.
Cricket Australia was also far from impressed, smacking Jenkins with a $5000 fine and banning him from all matches for the next three years.
Initially, it looked as if the extra cash raised was likely to stave off any feelings of guilt for Jenkins despite missing a few years of cricket. However, PerthNow is reporting he is set to front a magistrate after being charged with trespassing, an offence which carries a maximum penalty of a $12,000 fine and up to 12 months in prison.
Lead image: Tony Ashby /AFP/Getty Images (left); David Woodley/Action Plus via Getty Images.