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The Guardian - Jason Robinson


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4 hours ago, gingerjon said:

That really doesn't help, does it?

Looking into the background of the handful of black players from our past and noticing that a high proportion of them didn't have anything to do with the heartland communities - in fact, were only welcomed into those communities once they'd proved to be useful with a football but not before.

Not sure, there were Ellery, Dessie Drummond, Barry Drummond (played at Fev) Frannie Jarvis, Roger Simpson, Hendereson Gill, Leon Pryce and his bro, does Ikram Butt count?   Roy Powell, Anthony Farrell Sonny Nickle, Owen Simpson.  All "heartlands" players who played in the nineties.

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“Few thought him even a starter.There were many who thought themselves smarter. But he ended PM, CH and OM. An Earl and a Knight of the Garter.”

Clement Attlee.

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There is a great danger that we rely on our great history too much and become complacent/oblivious.   History isn't a get out of jail free card, that we can throw out when anything gets uncomfort

No it doesn't. It's not his job to come up with a plan. It's RL's job. 

A few months ago some of our most prominent black players such as Vinny Finigan, Ashton Golding, Michael Lawrence and Jordan Turner spoke out in the media about their experiences of racism in Rugby Le

19 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Thanks for completely missing my point. Its not about complaining about the whys and wherefores or nuances of those, its about using the big picture to link the game's past with its present to legitimise an actively inclusive stance going forwards. Arguing over the nuance does have a place but its far less important than building upon that going forwards. Thats not to say its not of value.

You’ve missed mine. There is zero value in recruitment now in history lessons.

You might as well promote rugby league based on the fact that Great Britain were World Champions in 1970.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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7 hours ago, Number 16 said:

Maybe it's simply that black kids choose soccer, basketball and athletics over Rugby League, ice hockey and swimming. 

Only 3% of the UK's population is black, though a slightly higher percentage in England, however, many RL towns have a low black population -  Warrington, St Helens, Wigan, Castleford, Wakefield, Hull, Widnes, West Cumbria, Leigh, York and others. 

I want more of everyone playing and watching RL, and whilst I acknowledge that there are the occasional unacceptable acts (which, short of Pol Pot-style measures, will never be eradicated) I don't believe our sport has a major problem in this regard. 

Go enjoy your bout of self-flagellation. 

I think you are largely right on this.

RL participation levels in England stood at 44,900 in 2017, that’s a 39% drop from 10 years ago.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/2017/02/15/popular-sport-england/rugby-league/

Given that 3% of the population are black, a drop in playing numbers of nearly 40% means that the black figure will drop accordingly. Therefore I don’t think it’s a race issue with RL (if it was it would be reflected across society and other sports, it isn’t). It’s a decline in RL playing numbers across the board, and a decline in an already small black proportion makes their playing numbers minute.

I touched on what has happened in the Rangi Chase thread. RL has changed as a game. It’s less open and attacking, less eye catching (the very style of Offiah and Hanley). The wrestle from Australia has ruined RL in England. English RL should be ignoring what Australia does, for what works in Australia (an aggressive biff loving nation) doesn’t work here. The open, attacking free running games Offiah and co. were involved in, those games don’t exit today. They would get shut down and stifled. The English game has been Australianized, and that turns off people in England who prefer skill, flair, attacking open play.

While RL numbers have fallen 40%, football numbers continue to grow (over 2 million), so it isn’t a sports wide decline in participation, it’s a RL decline. Unfortunately RL is a very inward looking sport with the same voices, and no-one address the biggest issue which is the way the game is played. An Offiah run inspired the like of Robinson to play (and people like me (mainly a football viewer) to watch), he couldn’t do that today. The 2017 RLWC final, an 80 minute attritional arm wrestle consisting of Australia vs an Australian style England coached by W.Bennett, that inspires no-one. If that was a one off Aussie style team that would be ok, but it isn’t. The game in England is unrecognisable from what it was, and the result is the vast decline in playing numbers.

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2 hours ago, gingerjon said:

You’ve missed mine. There is zero value in recruitment now in history lessons.

You might as well promote rugby league based on the fact that Great Britain were World Champions in 1970.

English football still brings up 66? So what?

The point is to use our current non "white and northern" voices in the game to make the game feel as open and inclusive as possible. The history and heritage provides a greater legitimacy for that message, amongst naysayers and doubters. 

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13 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

English football still brings up 66? So what?

The point is to use our current non "white and northern" voices in the game to make the game feel as open and inclusive as possible. The history and heritage provides a greater legitimacy for that message, amongst naysayers and doubters. 

I’m not aware (honestly) of any England/soccer campaigns that have been overtly based on 1966 in years. But that’s a digression.

We’re not an inclusive and welcoming sport which is why we have a hard time selling ourselves as one. That’s it. That’s the reality.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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24 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

I’m not aware (honestly) of any England/soccer campaigns that have been overtly based on 1966 in years. But that’s a digression.

We’re not an inclusive and welcoming sport which is why we have a hard time selling ourselves as one. That’s it. That’s the reality.

I take it you've had great success just saying something is terrible, never finding a positive solution and feeling smug about it's self-fulfillment?

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26 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

I take it you've had great success just saying something is terrible, never finding a positive solution and feeling smug about it's self-fulfillment?

No, not remotely. The solution isn't to get a bunch of non-northern, non-white voices to speak - not least because we can probably between us list all the players that would cover. The solution is to do the hard work of development officers in schools, outside traditional communities, and by proactively going to places where we don't normally get participants and supporters of our game. *And then* we can put up some non-white, non-northern voices.

Until then ... we are an unwelcoming and uninclusive sport. And, to go by how most of these threads go, most of the supporters don't have a problem with that.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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20 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

And, to go by how most of these threads go, most of the supporters don't have a problem with that.

Being unwelcoming and non-inclusive is not the problem for our sport but you can always do more.

You're right about the threads though and the conclusions you reach.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Dave T said:

No it doesn't. It's not his job to come up with a plan. It's RL's job. 

The RL doesn’t have the resources to promote the game as it is . My point is if Jason Robinson feels there is an issue with grassroots rugby league , he’s in a better position than anyone to help . Just lumping the problem an the government or the RFL is not going to solve it . I’m not being rude to him I’m just saying with his profile he could make a real difference . 

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44 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

No, not remotely. The solution isn't to get a bunch of non-northern, non-white voices to speak - not least because we can probably between us list all the players that would cover. The solution is to do the hard work of development officers in schools, outside traditional communities, and by proactively going to places where we don't normally get participants and supporters of our game. *And then* we can put up some non-white, non-northern voices.

Until then ... we are an unwelcoming and uninclusive sport. And, to go by how most of these threads go, most of the supporters don't have a problem with that.

Use the voices to help get people interested and break down stereotypes that are discouraging people from joining. Its not mutually exclusive either or, indeed they are mutually reinforcing.

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4 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

What issue? Jason Robinson in my view is not looking at the bigger picture, numbers of ethnic people have always been very slim in RL in both the pro and amatuer game, we have less player's of every colour and creed starting out on the conveyor belt, there is the issue just get more people playing everthing else will follow, it is not just a problem with the ethnic player's in our sport, but it is the flavour of the month so every Jack and is dog is jumping on the bandwagon to find issues were there is nothing to find in the first place.

The issue is not being perceived as particularly open and welcoming, which is partly due to RL in the UK having some very narrow demographics. Race is an obvious visualisation of this, but class is another and it can be very intimidating. Gone are the days where you had to join local sports teams to make friends so you were semi-forced into it and got broad representation that way. I agree that this is a cross societal problem RL, which surely means we should be doing more to get as many kids involved and interested in our sport.

That means doing what RL has been uncomfortable doing and recognising our flaws and reaching outside our comfort zone; be that for young white or black british kids, asian kids, Eastern European kids.

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16 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Use the voices to help get people interested and break down stereotypes that are discouraging people from joining. Its not mutually exclusive either or, indeed they are mutually reinforcing.

A central campaign using these voices is doomed to fail because the folk at the clubs don’t think it’s a problem that everyone looks and sounds the same.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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22 hours ago, Bedford Roughyed said:

There is a great danger that we rely on our great history too much and become complacent/oblivious.  

History isn't a get out of jail free card, that we can throw out when anything gets uncomfortable.  

Spot on

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12 hours ago, Rupert Prince said:

White players mingle and play with and against fellow black players regularly so i do not see any racism there.  I can agree that some fans will give racial abuse, but i would say its a small ignorant minority.  

Its not for RL to put the world to rights ... or RU for that matter ... I dont believe our game or indeed our country is racist.  From what I see I do not see Asian footballers or swimmers or rugby players.  Or golfers. Or tennis players.  We might expect them in squash and badminton and hockey and cricket.  Why should we in the RL community beat ourselves up thanks to an inevitable Guardian article. 

I await the Guardian article on RFUs non selection of non black players until rel recently...

that said - this is an important article- RFL must become relevant for anyone and everyone- players coaches administrators 

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21 hours ago, Celt said:

It is not continuing though. That is the point of the article. Black people don't feel included in the sport. 

We do more community work then ever before - but less minorities playing our game. Our values have not changed.

This matches to our much lower national - and even local - profile - and that football has taken over all sports pages. We need to do more - yes - - but this isn’t simple. 

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20 hours ago, gingerjon said:

No, not remotely. The solution isn't to get a bunch of non-northern, non-white voices to speak - not least because we can probably between us list all the players that would cover. The solution is to do the hard work of development officers in schools, outside traditional communities, and by proactively going to places where we don't normally get participants and supporters of our game. *And then* we can put up some non-white, non-northern voices.

Until then ... we are an unwelcoming and uninclusive sport. And, to go by how most of these threads go, most of the supporters don't have a problem with that.

Go to Mount Pleasant on a Sunday when Batley are at home.  As you walk towards the ground there are tennis courts, Asian kids are playing soccer and cricket on the tennis courts, right next to when pro RL is taking place.  The are clearly not interested.  On the adjacent Batley cricket pitch, Batley CC may be playing and you will note that the entire team is Asian.  I personally don't know the answer.

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“Few thought him even a starter.There were many who thought themselves smarter. But he ended PM, CH and OM. An Earl and a Knight of the Garter.”

Clement Attlee.

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Just now, Trojan said:

Go to Mount Pleasant on a Sunday when Batley are at home.  As you walk towards the ground there are tennis courts, Asian kids are playing soccer on the tennis courts, right next to when pro RL is taking place.  The are clearly not interested.  On the adjacent Batley cricket pitch, Batley CC may be playing and you will note that the entire team is Asian.  I personally don't know the answer.

Thing is, twenty odd years ago, you'd hear the line, "Asian kids just aren't interested in football" passed on as if it were fact. I can remember The City Gent having a fairly lengthy article (maybe more than one) about it - and given I haven't bought a copy since 1993 that shows that things change.

But somebody, somewhere, will have made the effort.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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23 hours ago, Poower Lad said:

No ones stopping anyone in this day and age , crack on but don’t blame your race or sexuality if you fail . I fail all the time it’s ok . 

The reality is very different in almost every sector of society. The available statistics completely contradict  your viewpoint.  

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On 10/10/2020 at 23:51, Futtocks said:

The sport has done good things as regards inclusivity. But, according to the article, RL has been resting on its laurels. And in a country that seems to be only getting more and more intolerant and divided, we've fallen behind by (at best) standing still.

And, let's face it, every sport needs as many people involved as possible, from armchair fans up to players and administrators, more than ever now.

intolerant and divided eh compared to what,whats the league table then. id say were amongst the most tolerant on earth as for not enough black kids playing the game  there arnt enough kids full stop delusional morons like mr robinson should open there eyes no teams in knottingley ponte airedale selby theres not enough kids of any colour

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3 minutes ago, gingdong said:

... id say were amongst the most tolerant on earth ...  delusional morons ...

Yup.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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A problem I see is that we have become experts at justifying everything and making ourselves feel smug and comfortable in our little bubble. 

We constantly excuse lack of diversity and geographical spread of our game as being due to people just not being interested. 

For me we have enough seemingly random segments of interested people to show this is BS. 

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On 11/10/2020 at 02:14, The Lad said:

We could always do more to reach out to minority communities, that being said at the end of the day the best players should always be the ones that make it into the team, Whether it be club or international. I would hate to see quoters in rugby league.

It is a major part of the forum, sorry to upset you by quoting you🤣

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www.twitter.com/flyingking2

 

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16 minutes ago, Dave T said:

A problem I see is that we have become experts at justifying everything and making ourselves feel smug and comfortable in our little bubble. 

We constantly excuse lack of diversity and geographical spread of our game as being due to people just not being interested. 

For me we have enough seemingly random segments of interested people to show this is BS. 

I agree that we shouldn't use our history and location as a "justification crutch" to lean on when facing big questions and our current limitations in answering them.

That said the past shouldn't be discounted off hand either. Use the past to support the efforts of the present so that the future will be different. That includes a whole range of different groups our clubs cover. Mikolaj Oledski for example should be recognised by the game as the first shoots of our relatively new Eastern European groups coming through and SL has the profile to help community engagement that local amateur clubs will benefit from.

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