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Can the NRL's players rescue the game?


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As a matter of principle, I cannot support the new 'no fault stand down' policy the NRL has introduced. 

Players found guilty of serious crime should be punished. They should be punished through the criminal justice system and (as I have stated previously) I believe they should be punished by the game as we seek to remain a family focussed sport with a moral centre.

But I do not believe that punishment should be meted out before guilt is proven as that is an absolute mainstay in a civilized society. 

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I’ve said on the Australian forum I dont like the games governing body becoming a de facto judicial star chamber . We have a legal system . Explore allegations through that . That is our societies due process , fair to both parties . Let matters take their legal course without intervention from outside . Innocent until proven guilty , not guilty until proven innocent . It’s almost a presumption of guilt and could be perceived to prejudice due process inadvertently . It just seems wrong. I also think we need to look at anonymity both ways for fairness as a wider matter . Generally I think the NRL hierarchy is acting outside  it’s jurisdiction and isn’t handling this among other matters very well at all . We criticise the RFL but they down there need close scrutiny to as to their leadership at times

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We see football in the UK asking itself some serious questions at the moment due to a number of incidents, and virtually every time, without fail, the football pundits trot out that it isn't a football problem but a societal problem. In my view, this completely misses the point. The question for the NRL and football is not whether the participants/fans of the sport are merely a reflection of the societies in which they are played, the question(s) should be; is RL/Football a catalyst for people to behave outside of societal norms 

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Just now, scotchy1 said:

The answer to that is clearly not. There is nothing that is happening in RL or Football or any other sport that isnt happening in wider society. In fact studies generally show that athletes are far less likely to commit crime.

 

The answer may be a lot of things but one thing it certainly isn't is 'clearly not' to what I asked. Do certain sports provide a catalyst for people to do things that they would not normally do?

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2 minutes ago, JCXV said:

Do certain sports provide a catalyst for people to do things that they would not normally do?

I don't know what your agenda is here (I can guess), but this statement is absolute nonsense.

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1 minute ago, Dunbar said:

I don't know what your agenda is here (I can guess), but this statement is absolute nonsense.

Agenda? Lose the paranoia.

Football in the UK at the moment is doing its usual naval gazing and you appear to be in the same frame of mind. 

I'm reminded of the Steven Weinberg quote; “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion.” With a small tweak, you can replace religion with sport albeit with far less zeal. 

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3 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

I mean in the respect that without RL I doubt many people would be tackling each other in a field while trying to get an oblate spheroid from one end of a field to the other in 6 tackles yes, certain sports provide a catalyst for people to do things that they would not normally do.

In respect of sports being a catalyst for people to commit crime. No. Athletes commit crime at a far lower rate than the normal population and the moron fans fighting and invading pitches etc are the same ones fighting in pubs and streets at kicking out time.

 

You don't get the tribal element in pubs at 11.30pm. 

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9 minutes ago, JCXV said:

Agenda? Lose the paranoia.

Football in the UK at the moment is doing its usual naval gazing and you appear to be in the same frame of mind. 

I'm reminded of the Steven Weinberg quote; “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion.” With a small tweak, you can replace religion with sport albeit with far less zeal. 

So now you say 'sport' and yet a few moments ago you said 'certain sports'.  That is very different.  That is implying that there is something morally corrupt within certain sports that create this thing you call a 'catalyst' for people to behave how they normally would not.

I am not being paranoid, I am simply calling out that statement for the nonsense that it is.

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1 minute ago, Dunbar said:

So now you say 'sport' and yet a few moments ago you said 'certain sports'.  That is very different.  That is implying that there is something morally corrupt within certain sports that create this thing you call a 'catalyst' for people to behave how they normally would not.

I am being paranoid, I am simply calling out that statement for the nonsense that it is.

Jesus wept - read the OP ffs. 

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I wouldn’t want Martyn Sadler at a party at mine if that’s him “anticipating” a new NRL season.

Anyway, there’s a problem in Australia amongst NRL players. This off-season has been like none other for negative stories, though I wonder if some older stories coming to light now was down to the fact that there were so many so many of these kind of stories this year.  

I’m not too keen on Todd Greenberg from what I’ve seen so far. He seems to have taken his role with the NRL as “judge, jury and executioner” and whilst he needed to be seen to make a stand against idiocy, I’m not sure he’s gone about it the correct way at all and players are almost being criminalised before they’re being sentenced in a court of law. 

I don’t think the media help. They seem to be looking for scandal. Take the latest Ben Barba “incident” where he’s “threatened” a reporter. That’s a bloke being antagonised to me. Barba’s lost everything, he mentions that himself in the video clip, this off-season, he’s lost his career and had issues with housing due to adverse weather and he’s moved on, he’s got himself a job and he’s trying to resurrect his life, whilst providing for his family and some low-life journalist has followed him and prodded him whilst it looks like he’s at work. Leave the bloke alone. That’s gutter journalism at its finest and I’m glad to see people have highlighted this. 

As for the new season, I cannot wait. It’s the greatest sporting competition on the planet for me. 

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1 hour ago, JCXV said:

I'm reminded of the Steven Weinberg quote; “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion.” With a small tweak, you can replace religion with sport albeit with far less zeal. 

That quote, as presented, would be to say that without religion, there are no good people. 

All sports, just like all employment, all communities, all religion etc will offer opportunity for individuals to conduct both positive and negative acts they wouldn’t normally do. Rugby league is no more or less a gateway to criminal behaviour if that is what your veiled question is to infer.

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58 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

That quote, as presented, would be to say that without religion, there are no good people. 

All sports, just like all employment, all communities, all religion etc will offer opportunity for individuals to conduct both positive and negative acts they wouldn’t normally do. Rugby league is no more or less a gateway to criminal behaviour if that is what your veiled question is to infer.

You should read the quote again as you've misread it. 

I am just commenting on the article in the OP - there is no veiled anything. I did actually read the article before I posted. 

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6 hours ago, JCXV said:

We see football in the UK asking itself some serious questions at the moment due to a number of incidents, and virtually every time, without fail, the football pundits trot out that it isn't a football problem but a societal problem. In my view, this completely misses the point. The question for the NRL and football is not whether the participants/fans of the sport are merely a reflection of the societies in which they are played, the question(s) should be; is RL/Football a catalyst for people to behave outside of societal norms 

I don’t think RL is a catalyst for people to behave this way but I do think RL (and other elite sports) enable people to behave this way.

its a culture where very young, supremely fit, strong men, who are idolized by ‘normal’ people, are given bucketloads of cash - I just don’t think they know how to handle it.

they are put on a pedestal and think they can get away with anything - and often in the past they have, because when an incident happens, the club closes ranks, maybe pays off the complainant (in the case of sexual assaults), keeps it out the media and the player carries on like nothing has happened.

That action is telling players it’s ok to behave that way.

I understand the action the NRL have now taken as they needed to take a strong stance because their messages just don’t seem to be getting through to the players. The culture in the NRL has to change because right now it’s pretty shocking - you only have to listen to some of the comments from current/past people involved in the game about the recent sex videos to see the underlying problem 

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3 hours ago, JCXV said:

You should read the quote again as you've misread it. 

I am just commenting on the article in the OP - there is no veiled anything. I did actually read the article before I posted. 

Some posters on here are unfortunately insecure and feel the need to draw insinuations where there are none

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14 hours ago, scotchy1 said:

The game has no business trying to be some quasi-judicial system. It doesn't have the expertise, the power, the ability or the position to be so. 

Society makes moral judgements on offences and the punishments they deserve. Rugby league administrators are not in any position to add to that in any way shape or form. They are not judges, they are not philosophers, they are not religious or civil leaders. 

If RL wishes to contribute to the improvement of society it can do so in two ways. Offering a chance for rehabilition and offering a route away from criminality. 

Sport is the carrot. It is proven to be the carrot. We dont have, the expertise, the societal consent, the democratic mandate or moral standing to be the stick. 

They see themselves as the Australian NFL and have decided to follow exactly what the NFL have done in this regard. It beggars belief as the NFL have really struggled and had plenty of pundits,fans and officials saying it is not the right way to go.

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This isn't harmless drunken shenanigans, this is player after player being accused of serious offences against women. If true, these accusations are horrible. After all the rubbish the players union has carried on with over pay and entitlements and 'partnership' and whatnot, these idiot players are turning fans and sponsors off, let alone the rest of the community we should be trying to attract. The only answer is firstly to come down really hard on perpetrators, and secondly, drive a change in culture among players. No more excuses, no more 'but we do charity stuff too!' It's not just the rapists and wife beaters I'm talking about - it's their coaches and teammates who look the other way. If the good guys are embarrassed to be NRL players, good, so they should be. They need to change it, because this is not acceptable. Getting angry with the administration for not standing up for the 'good majority' is completely missing the point. Just about every club in the NRL has at least one player who has 'allegedly' assaulted a woman. Just think about that, before you next say Todd Greenberg shouldn't be appalled.

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9 minutes ago, ghost crayfish said:

This isn't harmless drunken shenanigans, this is player after player being accused of serious offences against women. After all the rubbish the players union has carried on with over pay and whatnot, these idiot players are turning fans and sponsors off, let alone the rest of the community we should be trying to attract. The only answer is firstly to come down really hard on perpetrators, and secondly, drive a change in culture among players. No more excuses, no more 'but we do charity stuff too!' It's not just the rapists and wife beaters I'm talking about - it's their coaches and teammates who look the other way. If the good guys are embarrassed to be NRL players, good, so they should be. They need to change it, because this is not acceptable. Getting angry with the administration for not standing up for the 'good majority' is completely missing the point. Just about every club in the NRL has at least one player who has 'allegedly' assaulted a woman. Just think about that, before you next say Todd Greenberg shouldn't be appalled.

I was surprised to see Gould’s comments, but obviously only directed at Panthers players.  

It comes as no surprise that the word ‘union’ was involved ?

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14 minutes ago, ghost crayfish said:

This isn't harmless drunken shenanigans, this is player after player being accused of serious offences against women. After all the rubbish the players union has carried on with over pay and whatnot, these idiot players are turning fans and sponsors off, let alone the rest of the community we should be trying to attract. The only answer is firstly to come down really hard on perpetrators, and secondly, drive a change in culture among players. No more excuses, no more 'but we do charity stuff too!' It's not just the rapists and wife beaters I'm talking about - it's their coaches and teammates who look the other way. If the good guys are embarrassed to be NRL players, good, so they should be. They need to change it, because this is not acceptable. Getting angry with the administration for not standing up for the 'good majority' is completely missing the point. Just about every club in the NRL has at least one player who has 'allegedly' assaulted a woman. Just think about that, before you next say Todd Greenberg shouldn't be appalled.

I don't think anybody on here is saying that the players found guilty of these type of offences should not be punished.  I would them to be punished to the full extent of the law and set the standard that the good majority (players, administrators and fans) wants to see.

It is just that some of us want the punishment to be handed out after guilt has been proven and not before.  Punish the guilty and set the tone you want to see.  The problem with the current policy is that it is also punishing those that may be found not guilty.

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14 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I don't think anybody on here is saying that the players found guilty of these type of offences should not be punished.  I would them to be punished to the full extent of the law and set the standard that the good majority (players, administrators and fans) wants to see.

It is just that some of us want the punishment to be handed out after guilt has been proven and not before.  Punish the guilty and set the tone you want to see.  The problem with the current policy is that it is also punishing those that may be found not guilty.

I was responding to old mate's article, not commenters here. The tired old line that 'players do heaps of good' really doesn't wash when we've got so many players on charges like this. That's what I was reacting to.

But to your point: sponsors are walking away, fans switching off, journos not talking about anything else. Something had to be done. Withdrawing these guys from the spotlight of the competition is right - the same thing happens in other professions all the time. Players being stood down are still getting paid, still going into training every day... it's not much punishment at this point, it's as much about stopping the game from being dragged (further) into disrepute by having them play.

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11 minutes ago, ghost crayfish said:

I was responding to old mate's article, not commenters here. The tired old line that 'players do heaps of good' really doesn't wash when we've got so many players on charges like this. That's what I was reacting to.

ok. fair enough

11 minutes ago, ghost crayfish said:

But to your point: sponsors are walking away, fans switching off, journos not talking about anything else. Something had to be done. Withdrawing these guys from the spotlight of the competition is right - the same thing happens in other professions all the time. Players being stood down are still getting paid, still going into training every day... it's not much punishment at this point, it's as much about stopping the game from being dragged (further) into disrepute by having them play.

I understand your point and it is well made. 

From my view though.  Players being barred from playing is a punishment whether they are training and being paid or not.  We punish players by barring them from playing for various offences - both on and off the field - but this is always done after guilt has been established.

I agree that the NRL needs to address the perception caused by multiple indiscretions and I realise how serious these are.  Again though, punish the guilty to the full extend (both judicially and in the game) but I do not like the potential punishment of the innocent and I would be happy for the NRL to explicitly state this as a policy.

I understand that you have a different view on this though and I respect that.

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