Ben Te’o has every right to refuse to talk to certain journalists. I am one of the few people that support Darius Boyd when he refuses to talk to anyone at all. We live in a free country, and you are not forced to speak to anyone you don’t want to.
Like him or hate him, Danny Weidler is a representative of Channel 9, the free to air broadcaster of the NRL. In paying for the NRL broadcasting rights Channel 9 expects access to clubs and players. That is fair enough too, they paid a lot of money for that access.
In refusing to answer Danny Weidler’s question, Ben Te’o may find himself at the center of the ongoing debate about media access to players.
The last thing Channel 9 wants is to have players across the NRL refusing to talk to them. Ben Te’o is just the first to openly refuse to talk to a Channel 9 reporter. As the games free to air rights broadcaster, Channel 9 does not want to see the access it has paid for diminished because players don’t like certain reporters.
I would not be surprised if Channel 9 put in a complaint to the NRL about Te’o’s refusal to answer Danny Weidler’s questions. If that happens the NRL really has to act in some way. After all, Channel 9’s money pays a lot of the bills.
I am not saying action should be taken. I am not saying its right. Time and time again I have supported players who refuse to talk to the media. All I am saying is, I wouldn’t be surprised if Te’o gets some sort of action taken against him for his outburst.
Across social media it has been a case of overwhelming support for Te’o’s stance. Neither of them need me defending them. I look at this more as an interesting case regarding media access to players and the accountability of journalists for what they write.
I support Ben Te’o’s right to not talk to Danny Weidler, and to be honest with you I think Danny Weidler won’t make much of all of this himself.
Lets hope nothing more happens. The last thing we need is to see any of this blown up by people overreacting.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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