OPINION: Defending Hull FC’s player only meeting

Read the below statement.

You’re at work. It’s been a long, draining week. You’re overworked, grossly underpaid and unjustifiably undervalued. You have colleagues that share your grievances, and soon enough you strike up a mutual friendship due to your joint frustrations with work life.

Inevitably, from time to time the conversation turns into a moan about work and your shared resentment for your boss or company. Of course, you wouldn’t dream of saying it aloud, after all, that would be the most drastic case of biting the hand that feeds you going, but instead, you allow the situation to fester under the surface because it goes towards appeasing your frustrations.

Relatable? The likelihood is that it is, because it is in human nature to always want more, to just have that little bit extra and to think we are better than we are. When we don’t have the power to ensure that we fulfil those needs, we aim our frustrations at those around us. For many people, that person is their management.

So let’s go back to Thursday, when Hull FC kicked Lee Radford and his staff out of the changing room for a private meeting after their disastrous capitulation against Widnes Vikings.

The request of the Airlie Birds players has shocked and even outraged certain Hull FC fans, with Widnes head coach Denis Betts even criticising the decision.

It is unusual, there’s no doubt about that, in certain workplaces, it could be a very dysfunctional idea. But the sheer honesty of the Hull FC players in requesting some alone time would suggest there was nothing sinister being said in the confines of the away dressing room at the Select Security Stadium. If that group of players were so keen to whine about the credibility of their head coach, they could have all very easily chimed in on the team’s group chat on Whatsapp on the way back to East Yorkshire.

Instead, they were honest and open with their boss, and he duly accepted their respect. That doesn’t suggest disharmony, that demonstrates an appreciation for your colleagues and it shows a coach’s trust in his players to fix up those issues. It’s an open environment many of us could only wish to have in both our working and social lives.

The fact the move has been condemned speaks more about the nature of society than it does of the Hull FC squad. We live in a world where people are afraid to speak their mind for fear of the consequences or act on instinct because of the potential repercussions. If we lived in a world that replicated the trust an honesty shown on Thursday night, we’d live in a far better world.