Well before Sonny Bill Williams signed with the Sydney Roosters the word was that he would not be playing the Canterbury Bulldogs at home as he didn’t want to give them an opportunity to get a big crowd to the match and basically put money in the clubs coffers.
When he played against the Bulldogs earlier this season at the Sydney Football Stadium, it seemed there would be no issues at all with “SBW” playing the Bulldogs. The Roosters emphatic 38-0 victory over the Bulldogs on the night overshadowed the Sonny Bill Williams vs Bulldogs battle.
Rugby League is a fast moving game and the attention of fans is always being captured by a new talking point.
As the Bulldogs home game against the Roosters drew closer, I would bet that no one was thinking about Sonny Bill Williams returning to ANZ Stadium. Everyone seemed to have moved on from Sonny Bill Williams vs the Bulldogs, not it was just the Roosters vs the Bulldogs.
If Sonny Bill Williams doesn’t play against the Bulldogs the 21st of June and then he turns out in the following weeks match against the Manly Sea Eagles on July the 1st, it is going to be a really bad look. Even when you account for the fact he would have a long time to recover from any injury, it will still look like he pulled out to try and hurt the Bulldogs financially.
That we are even thinking about any of this really says a lot about what people think of Sonny Bill Williams. That any player would allegedly fake an injury to hurt another teams bottom line is a huge one. I’m not for a second saying that is what is happening here….but with all the rumours going into this season, it is a really bad look.
I hope Sonny Bill Williams plays against the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium, and much like the previous match between the two teams this season, he plays the game and everyone just gets on with life. It will leave a bad a bad impression with everyone if he misses this match. Even if he is injured, fans will come to their own conclusions about why he didn’t play.
This is an environment Sonny Bill Williams has made for himself. He is a very good athlete, but fan bases will always question is motives because of what he has done in the past.