IT'S touching how many people are concerned for the welfare of Ms X. Sam Gilbert, St Kilda Football Club, the AFL, media, Derryn Hinch: all on her case, and without a thought for themselves. The latest is Ricky Nixon, so very touching.
The central issue is personal responsibility. All the adults in this weird saga are old enough to know what they are doing. She, despite appearances, and no matter how much she thinks she is, isn't - not in the shark pool in which she finds herself.
Part of her predicament is that her story is playing out in social media, a forum whose boundaries aren't established. Certainly, old media boundaries - defamation, taste, protection of innocents - do not exist. It means the story moves at breakneck speed, out of anyone's control, and often leaps ahead of itself.
It also means that a teenager, legally a minor, is leading the AFL a merry dance, even as she is led on one. Ideally for her - for the welfare all profess to have at heart - there would now be a moratorium. During it, competent authorities could deal with her and the AFL would deal with Nixon. Severely. But it won't happen.
It is also touching how many people are concerned for the welfare of Brendan Fevola. The Brisbane Lions remained concerned yesterday, even as they sacked him. That's tough love.
The difference between Ms X and Fevola is that he is 30, and has had plenty of time to grow up, and plenty of guidance - more than most troubled and troublesome teenagers get.
Carlton gave up on him and now Brisbane has, too. The timing is strange, but the decision is not. Football clubs are as responsible as all organisations for their people's welfare, but they are not welfare agencies. Their job is to win games. That does not excuse a lack of compassion, but it does not constrain them to act as charities.
Ultimately, a footballer has to take responsibility for his own actions, his own life. Peter Costello's populist posturing notwithstanding, most do. Now would be a good time for Fevola to start.