Nathan Cleary of the Panthers is one of a number of stars found to have recently broken government social distancing restrictions. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)
Nathan Cleary of the Panthers is one of a number of stars found to have recently broken government social distancing restrictions. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

DEBATE: How should the NRL deal with those flouting rules?

THE PUNISHMENT FITS THE CRIME

 

Mitchell Keenan

 

AS ANOTHER week goes by, another scandal pops up for the NRL - but this time it's different.

Everyone knows rugby league players are great at finding their way into the spotlight, often for the wrong reasons, but what we are experiencing now is a whole different kettle of fish.

The usual drug use, assault and drink driving we are used to seeing have been replaced by a blatant disregard for the general public's health and safety amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Big names including Nathan Cleary, Josh Addo-Carr, Latrell Mitchell and Tyronne Roberts-Davis are among those under fire for breaking social distancing restrictions in recent weeks.

As usual, there are people calling for their heads. People wanting them to pay huge fines, face year-long suspensions and even serve prison time to make an example of them.

But I think that's absurd.

Yes, it's the wrong thing to do and given their status, it's incredibly stupid to think they could get away with it, but much worse things have happened and the NRL have simply swept them under the rug.

These players will be facing fines, short-term suspensions and will likely miss out on representing their side for the State of Origin and I think that's punishment enough.

We've been missing our footy and the last thing we need is for some of the most exciting players to be sat on the sidelines when it comes back. If they mess up again, that's when we get serious.

 

JURASSIC PARK XIII: THE NRL VERSION

 

Tim Howard

 

IT WAS only a week ago I wrote a piece likening the idea of the NRL restarting its competition early with teams in quarantine to Jurassic Park.

In the movie the massive park built to house the creatures scientifically regenerated from 65 million years ago has every safety feature modern humans can think of to keep the dinosaurs inside and the humans safe.

But before the park gets to its opening day, some creatures with brains the size of a pea and very large muscles make a break for it and chaos ensues.

Michael Crichton could have been writing the script for this episode.

The NRL's project Apollo members are doing everything in their power to convince politicians and medical officials, it's safe to get rugby league players back on the paddock in time for a meaningful competition.

Meanwhile, high profile stars Latrell Mitchell, Josh Addo-Carr were camping with mates, screaming around the bush on motor bikes and blazing away with firearms.

While Nathan Cleary was clearly having a lot of fun somewhere with people who obviously weren't close family, while the rest of us are huddled in lockdown, barely allowed to go outside.

People like NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW State of Origin coach Brad Fittler weren't impressed. The Premier cast doubts on the plan and Fittler said he wouldn't pick them.

All good thoughts, but should they have been surprised? I don't think so.



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