Mitchell Pearce has been suspended for 8 matches and finned $125,000 for his behaviour on Australia Day which has been the subject of so many headlines.
The fine is the largest in Australian Rugby League history, and which $50,000 of that fine is suspended, I still think it is way over the top.
I think they got it right with an 8 match ban. Pearce has missed a chunk of the pre season and won’t be available to play for another two months.
However, to level a $125,000 fine at a player for being a non criminal act is ludicrous!
When you think back to some of the incidents Rugby League players have been involved in over the years, some of them criminal acts, it makes you wonder how a player who has not been charged with an offense can cop such a fine.
There is another way to look at this though…
This could be seen as a line in the sand moment for the NRL. With a fine this big (And even on Pearce’s salary, this will hurt) will be a wake up call to players across the competition. If a player can cop a fine this large for just being a general dope, how big will the next fine and suspension be for a criminal offence?
If the NRL allows all of its troubled players back into the game, it might be able to balance the budget at this rate!