You might have seen it. On Sunday afternoon, during the first international match at Perth’s new stadium, a naked man jumped the fence and got in about a minute of big-grinned, jubilant streaking before getting clotheslined by security. The guy’s name was Ben Jenkins. And he’s now facing a $5,000 fine.
"I talked the talk so I had to walk the walk," the 23-year-old plumber told Nine News, shrugging, and seemingly without regrets.
In the exclusive to-Perth broadcast, Ben describes sitting nervously in the stands and eyeing off security before finally making a dash. "I sat there for a long time, I was looking at every security guard and the path I was going to take and I was just thinking, 'I really don't want to do this anymore'," he said. "But peer pressure won. When the time was ripe and the clothes came off, there was no turning back."
Video footage shows Ben leap onto the pitch to the supercharged delight of the crowd. He wore nothing but his girlfriend's number written on his arm so he could call her from lockup. He ran, jogged, ducked, and was then tackled to the ground by a security guard with a medium-sized job and no imagination. Ben Jenkins was then wrapped in a towel and escorted from the pitch.
Optus Stadium CEO Mike McKenna later voiced some boring anti-streaking sentiment to Fairfax. "I think it's dangerous, it's a dangerous practice, no one likes that sort of thing,” Mike said, apparently overlooking the fact everyone loves it. "It was disappointing he got past security, and it was disappointing he made it past the boundary.”
Ben was later banned by Cricket Australia from all cricketing venues for the next 36 months and fined $5,000. But this is where the best part of this story comes in. Because Ben later posted a GoFundMe page to recoup his losses, and he’s now made a $100 profit less than 24 hours after posting.
“Hoping the good people of Western Australia can throw a couple bucks my way to help pay my 5000 dollar fine,” he wrote. And help they did.
Also if Optus Stadium CEO Mike McKenna wanted a true gauge on how cricket fans feel about streaking, reading some comments on Ben’s post could serve him well.
“You sir are now WA's hottest property,” writes a guy named Turkey. “Get a job on TV now while the iron is hot. As far as WA legends go, it's now 1. Ben Jenkins 2. Mad Dog 3. Ben Cousins.”
“An essential and brilliant addition to such an important moment in Australian and WA sport,” writes someone else. “CA and WA ought be paying Ben, not fining him. Failure to organise for a streaker on such a momentous day was clearly an oversight, and Ben saved the day with his spontaneous jog.”
According to Fairfax, close to 54,000 fans attended the game.