Friday, 2 March 2018

A Matter Of Common Sense (2018)

Back in 2015, a story appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald which covered the story of Matt Lodge pleading guilty to a series of charges. The lawsuit stated:

"The lives of five innocent people, including a boy of nine-years-old, were forever changed by the vicious and violent attacks by defendant Matthew Lodge, a professional rugby player with a history of violence and animosity towards women,"

Without going into the disgraceful, vile and sickening details of his actions, which have been splashed around in the media again today in sordid detail, attention again has turned to the NRL, with questions being asked as to why Lodge has been allowed back to sign with the Broncos.

Todd Greenberg responded to them by saying:

“This young guy made a horrible mistake. He has paid a significant price for that. He’s a young man and I believe rugby league is part of the solution to help him turn his life around,” Greenberg said.

Lodge didn’t make a mistake. Mistakes have an element of accident about them. Lodge was callous. You don’t mistakenly threaten people’s lives. You don’t mistakenly bash someone. You don’t mistakenly resist arrest. Matt Lodge has serious, serious issues.

To some extent, second chances are justified, no doubt. But we have a cut and dried case here. Rugby League is not rehab for someone like this. By allowing him to do what he loves, play rugby league, his actions are being, indirectly, rewarded.

Rugby League is a business and a sport. It is not a solution for violent behaviour. His contract should never have been registered by the NRL.

It’s more absurd that someone like Todd Carney was essentially booted out of the game for being a bit of a wanker while on the drink after he was caught urinating into his own mouth in one of many dumb acts he did while drunk.

The NRL had the opportunity here to right their wrongs after they allowed Robert Lui to remain in the game after the second time he was charged for assaulting his partner in the space of 12 months, who was pregnant at the time. He should have been deregistered and never allowed to return. Instead he signed with the Cowboys.

It’s not the NRL’s responsibility to help turn these players lives around. Someone like that needs to be punished with jail time, not a bit of bad press. That’s not punishment Todd. A fine, I don’t care how big, is not punishment in light of what he did. By allowing him to play on what will be lucrative contracts compared to what he’d earn if he wasn’t in the NRL, will essentially pay for his crimes. That is disgraceful.

Players who commit crimes that harm or threaten the lives of others, they don’t deserve second chances until after they’ve served their time in jail and proven that they deserve such a chance.

There was also the cases of:
*Ryan Tandy being found guilty of match fixing in one game, he was banned for life with no second chance and nor should he have been.
*A 17 year old player called Jordan copped a 25 year ban for his involvement in an horrendous on field fight which saw him trying to stomp on a fallen opponents head. Two other teenagers in that game received 20 years bans each. They received no second chances after their crimes and nor should they have been.
*A 16 year old player who viciously bashed fellow teen Miki Hughes’ face beyond recognition, copped a 20 year ban. He was also charged by police for assault. He too received no second chance and nor should he have been.

What’s so special about Lodge that he deserves a second chance after what he did, but these others weren’t afforded such leniency (rightfully so)?

This transcends consistency. This is a matter of common sense. Lodge should not be playing. He should be doing time. He should never play the game again.

It really is that damn simple.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.