Sportspeople claiming homesickness as an excuse to switch teams

This is prevalent in the Australian Football League, to the point where there are usually one or two high-profile players who use this reason to return to teams in their respective home states in the off-season.

Is this common in any other leagues around the world, or are us Aussies just soft?

It’s happened a couple of times in major league baseball. One famous example is when baseball great Ken Griffey demanded to be traded from the Seattle Mariners because it was too far away from his family in Florida.
It’s not as much being soft as an excuse. For example, Griffey accepted a trade…to Cincinnati, which isn’t that much closer to Florida. (Rumor is the real reason he left was he hated the pitcher friendly park the Mariners moved into.) It’s just an attempt to not be seen as the bad guy.

Griffey was willing to go to Cincy because his dad played there (and I believe still lived there).