Upfront: The League Express opinion – Mon 1st Feb 2021
We all have a tendency at times to be overly critical of our sport.
Everybody is prone to it, some more than others of course, but it’s easy to fire bullets with no repercussions.
Rarely, however, will those criticisms be rescinded or amended, even when it is warranted.
Now is a time when the Rugby Football League does indeed deserve some apologies.
During last season they were scolded for banning celebrations. The RFL was goaded and heckled in several quarters for what some said was such a ludicrous decision.
Yet here we are, around five months later, and Premier League football is now taking similar action as it’s feared Public Health England could crack the whip on elite sport should they continue to be seen as not making an effort to abide by rules that the rest of our society is doing its best to abide by.
It comes after a heavy spike in cases compared to when Rugby League implemented them, too.
Similarly, the decision to remove scrums was chastised. Why should a sport so physically demanding get rid of a scrum, asked many Rugby League supporters.
But they did it, and now rugby union games have been called off at a frequent rate of knots due to close contact at scrums.
Rugby League doesn’t look so dumb now, does it?
In reality, the sport, Super League as well as the RFL, have combated Covid as best they can. The tight Covid bubbles seen in football haven’t been implemented due to crippling finances, but our sport didn’t do too badly, especially when you consider the flexibility of fixture changes from both governance and club level.
Hopefully, in the not too distant future, many of these concerns will be a thing of the past.
But with the season drawing closer, the game should have developed enough confidence to be backed by its supporters, whatever decisions they make ahead of the new season.
Let’s cut down the cynicism, although then again pigs might fly.
But sometimes we should give credit where credit is due.
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