Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been caught on camera guzzling a glass of beer in seven seconds amid raucous cheers from onlookers.
His feat of swift consumption in a crowded bar impressed some people but annoyed others. And observers were quick to point out that Abbott had previously criticized binge drinking in Australia.
Abbott was in a Sydney pub on Saturday evening when a group of Australian rules football players invited him to have a drink with them.
The Prime Minister accepted and even gave a short, impromptu speech, one of the football coaches, Simon Carrodus, told The Australian Woman’s Weekly.
“Then he proceeds to reach down and grab a schooner and he drank from head-to-toe the entire schooner, dribbling little bits on his shirt … tipped it upside down on his head. And he was proud as punch,” Carrodus said.
A schooner holds about three-quarters of a pint.
Video of Abbott making short work of the beer as the crowd around him chants “Skol! Skol!” drew plenty of attention on social media.
Some commentators focused on Abbott’s drinking technique.
But others suggested he was setting a bad example.
Abbott had attacked binge drinking as recently as last year.
“Like most Australians, I enjoy a drink on social occasions,” he said in January 2014. “However, as a father and as a citizen, I’m appalled by the violent binge drinking culture that now seems so prevalent, especially at “hot spots” in our big cities.”
Casting those concerns aside, some social media users belittled Abbott’s beer swilling.
They said his effort was a pale imitation of the legendary drinking exploits of former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who is credited with drinking two and a half pints in 11 seconds.