'Time to stamp out NRL’s dobbers and hypocrites'
I'm old enough to remember when it was accepted to give someone a smack in the mouth for being a dobber.
Not only accepted, but expected.
Now we live in a society where dobbers are not only accepted but celebrated.
It really is shameful when you actually stop and think about the hypocrisy that rules the social double standards today.
And it's not strictly social media causing all the problems, but society in general.
How so-called good blokes can give up others so easily, as long as they don't get given up themselves.
And in turn how these anonymous cowards hiding behind keywords can also invent and circulate disgusting and often unfounded allegations about anyone - when there's no way of holding them to account even if it's untrue.
The fact is because of this intense scrutiny the majority of NRL players today are far better behaved than at any time in the game's history.
But they rarely receive credit for it.
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In comparison, some of the stories that have become folklore about the goings on in the 60s, 70s and 80s would almost land individuals in jail if they were to happen today.
Yet back then there were no mobile phones and pretty much all of it was swept under the carpet.
So it became the stuff of legend as you sat around with mates sharing a beer and a laugh.
But today we jump on these young players for what are often the most minor indiscretions, like literally going for a haircut, or a bite to eat.
And this growing army of do-gooders out there hiding and waiting for someone to slip up just makes me cringe.
Yet this is how innocent it can be.
A couple of weeks back young Parramatta five-eighth Dylan Brown and Maika Sivo took themselves off for a haircut at a barber shop at Rouse Hill - and they put a picture of Dylan up on the website to promote the business.
But instead of it being a good deed, someone who obviously doesn't have a life demanded Dylan be investigated.
"I am concerned for other young players," they wrote.
"I believe they have a game tonight and it puts a lot of the NRL at risk - they should get COVID tested immediately as the players are meant to be in full lockdown can you please confirm ASAP?"
It turned out Brown wasn't breaking any rules, and the person who sent in the tip was a Wests Tigers supporter.
Now if a player was seriously doing the wrong thing it could be justified.
But not for getting a haircut.
And remember, it wasn't a simple 'spotted' either, they wanted Brown "investigated".
Like the coach who also got caught out walking his dog as his wife got a coffee, or another who was apparently sprung at a junior league game.
I'm telling you now, I have seen a series of incidents that were COVID bubble breaches with my own eyes.
But there is no way I am going to dob because it is not how I was brought up, and I truly don't believe any were endangering anyone.
But when someone dobbed in Wayne Bennett for breaking the rules and the Souths coach copped a $20,000 and a two-week suspension for going to lunch, did they think he was endangering the game - or was it more about settling a personal vendetta for someone else because he has a lot of enemies?
Yet the $20,000 fine and two-game suspension still wasn't a tough enough punishment for some.
They wanted a public stoning.
Seriously, we have to get some perspective on this - because the double standards by which we live our own lives compared to what we expect from those inside the NRL bubble have become pathetic.
I understand completely that Peter V'landys and the NRL have had to put strict protocols in place to satisfy governments.
And as a result of this the easy justification is to say the survival of the game depends on the standards set by those in the bubble.
But what accountability do the dobbers and do-gooders put on their own actions in their lives, because the health and safety of the entire society depends on how seriously we all treat this COVID crisis.
The protocols our NRL players have been living under since as far back as March go way beyond the simple guidelines we, in NSW and Queensland, are asked to live by.
Yet how many of us could put hand on heart and say they haven't broken the rules on at least a few occasions?
But while this hypocrisy is allowed to spiral out of control, at some point this is going to have serious repercussions.
And it's not just the COVID cops causing the trouble, but some who are just awful humans.
The scandalous rumours that circulated about Anthony Seibold and his private life this week have just pushed this beyond the limit.
There was a time in Australia that if someone was going through a tough situation at home you would back off and give them space.
Yet when Seibold was forced to leave the Brisbane bubble last weekend to attend to a private family situation, some low-life started this series of vicious rumours.
Even if you're not on social media you couldn't escape it because it was forwarded to mobile phones across the country.
But even though Seibold has now employed a lawyer to try and investigate how it started, we all know there is a fat chance the police will track down the culprit/s.
Yet as everyone dined out on these unfounded rumours, how many actually stopped and gave any consideration to what it would be like if it was their family facing this same horrible situation before they forwarded it to the next person?
Perhaps as a society that's what we need to do.
Maybe drawing your own line in the sand is the only way we can all put a stop to these putrid social standards.
Originally published as Time to stamp out NRL's dobbers and hypocrites