You knew this was coming…
The Parramatta Eels have lifted their ban (Ban? What was he banned from?) on drunken idiot Tim Smith and have listed a number of conditions he must stick to including rehabilitation, charity work and other very vague things.
Thing is, Smith was already supposed to be doing all of these things after his last two episodes and he clearly didnt do it!
In fact after being fined for his second last outing of public drunkenness Smith was shuffled off on a PR stunt where he handed over a cheque to a charity….and then that very same day was off again on his non stop boozing tour of life, which saw the club ban him, from nothing apparently.
Of course Parramatta isn’t the only club to take such a stance. We all fondly remember the piss weak stance the Penrith Panthers have taken over many years with the likes of Craig Gower.
A serial offender over almost a decade, and yet when reports of him getting drunk in Sydney, harassing people and even biting some bloke before running out of a club for dear life came to light last year, the club reserve judgment and claimed that as a public figure, people tend to target Gower with false accusation!
Don’t get me wrong, everyone has made mistake in their lives and sometimes a person can slip up. If that happens, fair enough, fine a player and get on with life.
However I have zero tolerance for serial dickheads who time after time show their true colours, causing problems, harrasing people, and, in some cases, being violent. Its those players that need to be kicked out of the game.
In my opinion its time for the NRL to step in when a player is constantly brining the game into the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Take it out of the clubs hands because they have a vested interest.
Players that constantly act like morons off the field should receive the same suspensions as players that use illegal drugs.
If a player has shown he is going to cause problems on a regular basis, ban him for 3 months to let him think about the direction his career is going in. If he plays up again, throw another 3 months ban on him. From there, knock it up to 6 months and if he still hasn’t got the message, tell him to look for a job outside of the NRL.
I have never felt that it was up to the governing body to try and regulate the lives of players, far from it. However I think the game needs to discourage certain cycles of behavior and have serious dis-incentives for players that act like idiots.
Lets hope the people running the game decide that this is an area in which to take a strong stance. The game would be much better off for it.
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