Thursday, 14 June 2012

Wild Wednesday - Robert Lui (2012)

Today we have been angered by the news of yet another player misbehaviour related incident, but this time, the punishment is nearly as horrendous as the crime itself.

Robert Lui, the new North Queensland recruit, was dumped late in 2011 after he was charged for the second time in 12 months for bashing his girlfriend. Charges arising from a domestic violence incident in 2010 were eventually dropped in April 2011, but Lui has pleaded guilty following the latest incident in September of last year.

The Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) reported that the court was told how Lui kicked Taleah Rae Backo in the temple and headbutted her on the night of the Tigers' mad Monday celebrations. Lui initially denied kicking Ms Backo and later said he admitted headbutting her only because he was scared of being "locked up".

Why did he attack her? Who knows. But then again a coward needs no reason, they just act in their own self-interest and deny any wrongdoing.

Did he get locked up?

No. He got a two year good behaviour bond and $2000 fine.


You'd think given the amount of effort and importance the NRL rightly gives to women and families in the Rugby League community, that they would take serious steps in this case.

No. He has been temporarily stood down.

Brett Stewart was temporarily stood for a month over an allegation which turned out to be false.

Harsh step, but it was fair. It showed that the NRL was serious about acts of abuse or violence against women.

In 2004, Melbourne Storm player Danny Williams king hit Wests Tigers back rower Mark O'Neill. Williams was suspended for 18 games.

In 2008, Sonny Bill Williams fled the country to play Rugby Union in France while still contracted as an NRL player. The NRL suspended him for five years.

In 2009, Danny Wicks was found guilty of drug trafficking and sentenced to a maximum of three years in jail.

In 2010, Ryan Tandy was found guilty of match-fixing and is currently looking at facing a lifetime ban.

All of these players have been served harsher penalties than what Lui copped today and not one of them resorted to the utterly cowardly, self-obsessed, dog act committed by Lui on the now mother of his child.

When you look at the severity of the suspension handed down to Ryan Tandy, which in my mind is just, to that of Lui, you can only shake your head.

How many people were physically and mentally assaulted by Tandy's actions? How many lives did he endanger?

Compare that to Lui and tell me how on earth Lui hasn't been sacked already.

The NRL cannot go and preach to the world how much they are doing for women in rugby league when the likes of Lui are given what I believe to be, a soft punishment.

He should have been immediately de-registered and banned for life from the game.

By standing him down indefinitely, as much as they stupidly don't realise it, the NRL will be seen by some as condoning Lui's actions.

Welcome to the NRL, where you can treat women like some sort of deplorable sub-species without losing your job.

Just don't try and make money out of it by match fixing. That's a no-no!

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