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The RFL have bottled it. Found guilty but given the minimum suspension based on the grading for what are very weak reasons The various “Tackle it” type campaigns need binning as they are cle

None of these mental gymnastics really matter.  Accepting that Clubb did this - based on being found guilty.  He used a slur that included a reference to race/nationality/ethnicity, and the

I'd go with the opinion and judgement of His Honour Judge Guy Kearl QC. I think he is more qualified, experienced and capable, with a proven track record than some posters.  I think also that the RFL

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In reaching its decision the tribunal, chaired by His Honour Judge Guy Kearl QC, considered submissions from both players and clubs, the match official’s report, broadcast footage and character references.

In his judgement, which will be published in full on the RFL website, HHJ Kearl noted:

“We have considered the evidence of both players and the circumstances surrounding the allegation and find that we are reasonably satisfied, taking into account the seriousness of the charge, that the words were said, albeit in the heat of the moment, but nevertheless were said.

“They do constitute unacceptable language based on [a player’s] racial and ethnic origin and therefore we find that this was serious misconduct which has brought the game into disrepute.

“On the other hand we have considered the character references placed before us by Wigan Warriors from those who know [Tony Clubb] well at the club. We do not find that he is a racist, simply that on this occasion he used unacceptable language in the heat of the moment.

“We have therefore reduced the penalty to take account of his character and good disciplinary record to a suspension for 8 matches and a £500 fine.”

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Just now, Hela Wigmen said:

Is eight games lenient? 

Depends on your perspective - 8 games is a lot undoubtedly, but it was also the minimum for the charge laid out.

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1 minute ago, Hela Wigmen said:

Is eight games lenient? 

 

It's the minimum suspension for that category of offence, I believe.

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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The RFL have bottled it.

Found guilty but given the minimum suspension based on the grading for what are very weak reasons

The various “Tackle it” type campaigns need binning as they are clearly paying lip service

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

Depends on your perspective - 8 games is a lot undoubtedly, but it was also the minimum for the charge laid out.

Eight was what Justin Carney got four years ago, I suppose given the prevalence and greater compassion and understanding of discrimination in all its forms in general society right now, I expected more tbh. 

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1 minute ago, LeeF said:

The RFL have bottled it.

Found guilty but given the minimum suspension based on the grading for what are very weak reasons

The various “Tackle it” type campaigns need binning as they are clearly paying lip service

Yup.

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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The RFL needs to drop all of it's anti-racist posturing from today, as they are clearly not interested when push comes to shove. 

What a missed opportunity for the sport. 

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Are we going to have a separate thread for every stage of this?

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"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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3 minutes ago, Leeds Wire said:

The RFL needs to drop all of it's anti-racist posturing from today, as they are clearly not interested when push comes to shove. 

What a missed opportunity for the sport. 

He’s been banned for over a quarter of the season, I wouldn’t say that’s not interested. 

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12 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

Eight was what Justin Carney got four years ago, I suppose given the prevalence and greater compassion and understanding of discrimination in all its forms in general society right now, I expected more tbh. 

I think the minimum tariff aspect, and as of yet no public apology or acceptance of wrongdoing, will jar many people.

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1 minute ago, Leeds Wire said:

The RFL needs to drop all of it's anti-racist posturing from today, as they are clearly not interested when push comes to shove. 

What a missed opportunity for the sport. 

I think we need to get off our understanding that sporting bodies are serious about racism, top football bodies Fifa, uefa the FA have all postured about fighting racism yet again and again issue punitive action against countries, clubs and players that act that way. Yet we seem to think the RFL will be any different. 

He got the punishment they think is the minimum they can get away with. 

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15 minutes ago, LeeF said:

The RFL have bottled it.

Found guilty but given the minimum suspension based on the grading for what are very weak reasons

The various “Tackle it” type campaigns need binning as they are clearly paying lip service

They’ve given him a 8 game ban, that’s a long but justified suspension, I don’t think it’s fair to say they’ve bottled it

Edited by Sir Kevin Sinfield
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2 minutes ago, Eddie said:

He’s been banned for over a quarter of the season, I wouldn’t say that’s not interested. 

8 games is alot in many sports..e.g. in pro hockey, football, basketball etc. 8 games is alot.

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15 minutes ago, LeeF said:

The RFL have bottled it.

Found guilty but given the minimum suspension based on the grading for what are very weak reasons

The various “Tackle it” type campaigns need binning as they are clearly paying lip service

As big a ban as Tom Lineham got for "accidentally" squirrel gripping...

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20 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Depends on your perspective - 8 games is a lot undoubtedly, but it was also the minimum for the charge laid out.

And on what grounds would it be more than the minimum? He has a good character and good disciplinary record which is taken into account. 

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2 minutes ago, Kayakman said:

8 games is alot in many sports..e.g. in pro hockey, football, basketball etc. 8 games is alot.

Its also the minimum, and is a catch all minimum for various beyond the pale acts.

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4 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

They’ve given him a 8 game ban, that’s a long but justified suspension, I don’t think it’s fair to say they’ve bottled it

I think you have put some perspective into your comment. Look at some of the bans issued for other offences upto and including 8 games, non would come close to the level of public perspective in looking at how a sport handles offences that reach across sporting boundaries. 

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Just now, Damien said:

And on what grounds would it be more than the minimum? He has a good character and good disciplinary record which is taken into account. 

Two aspects, 1 its an old minimum so is possibly outdated, and 2 its a case bringing the sport into disrepute - a point noted.

A third angle could be that as far as I'm aware no public or private apology has been made to Savelio either.

The QC suggests Clubb's previous record and character testimonies have lead him to reduce the severity of the punishment, which does indicate he considered a lengthier ban.

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12 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

They’ve given him a 8 game ban, that’s a long but justified suspension, I don’t think it’s fair to say they’ve bottled it

I mean they literally couldn't have found him guilty and given him less.

As I put in another post, 8 games is a lot, minimum punishment possible on the other hand doesn't seem as significant.

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

Two aspects, 1 its an old minimum so is possibly outdated, and 2 its a case bringing the sport into disrepute - a point noted.

A third angle could be that as far as I'm aware no public or private apology has been made to Savelio either.

The QC suggests Clubb's previous record and character testimonies have lead him to reduce the severity of the punishment, which does indicate he considered a lengthier ban.

The whole point of a grading system is to categorise offences and punishments. There is no reason for this not to be the minimum for that grade based on Clubbs record. He is missing a quarter of a season which isn't an insignificant punishment. 

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I wanted to wait for a verdict in the case before commenting.

As someone who has fired an employee for a racial slur similar to this, I think that Tony Clubb is very fortunate for a number of reasons.

1.  He is fortunate that the panel felt that 'heat of the moment' is a mitigating factor.  Seeing as though all actions in a game of Rugby are heat of the moment then why is this a factor?  The incident I spoke of was on a team night out and having a few drinks was not a mitigating factor so why is this.

2. He is fortunate that the disciplinary panel believed that in the current climate - and in the context of players of colour recently speaking out about their experiences - that the minimum punishment would suffice.

3.  He is fortunate that his employers decided to provide character witnesses to speak on his behalf.  They could just a easily have decided, based on an internal process, that using a racial slur against an opponent while representing their club was unacceptable and terminated his contract.  Instead, they have supported his case at the tribunal.

As you may imagine, based on the above, I would perhaps have come to a different conclusion.

Edited by Dunbar
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Racism is a big societal issue at present. For these reasons, other sports will watch incidents such as this and it will be seen as lenient. I'll look at the full reasons for the judgement, but if 'heat of the moment' is being used as justification for a minimum recommended suspension, this is very bad.

To save clogging up the whole thread with my thoughts, I'll just link to a blog I've just posted on the subject, for those interested.

 

Twitter: @TrylineUK
Latest Blog: Why punishment alone cannot eradicate racism

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