NRL Players Deserve Privacy And Respect When Out In Public

In the last 48 hours I have seen two different photos of two different players having a quiet beer at a pub. They were not doing anything wrong. They were not causing any trouble. They were just two people having a quiet drink.

These players were, without their knowledge, photographed during what I would consider to be private time away from the game.

One of the players in question is Blake Ferguson, who is no longer a Rugby League player. The other player I will not name but they have had issues with alcohol in the past.

What are we doing to out players if they can not even go out for a quiet drink these days? I can understand if a player is acting up or carrying on in public and someone gets a picture or a video of that. However, to get to the point where people are secretly taking photos of players private lives to try and catch them in a “Gotcha!” moment is just flat out wrong!

Put yourself in the shoes of an NRL player…

Most of us can go out and go about our daily lives in complete anonymity. Simple things like going to get petrol or picking up a loaf of bread are nothing to us. For some NRL players they know that simple acts like this will no doubt mean many sets of eyes will be on them. If people come up to them to say hello or ask for autographs, they basically have to be in “work” mode as a representative of the club and the game.

Add to that the fact that the public changes the way they react to some players based on what they do on the field, and sometimes what they do off of it. A mistake that costs a game can see a young bloke heckled as he goes about his daily life. Some people even confront players, looking to cause trouble or even start a fight.

The scrutiny comes with rewards, and every single player in the National Rugby League would point that out. You have to take the bad with the good, and even on a minimum NRL contract players get paid pretty well.

There needs to be a line however that people do not cross. There needs to be a point where common decency kicks in people realise that players are just regular people too.

We don’t want to get to a point where players need to shut themselves away for their entire careers and not interact with the public because it becomes more trouble than its worth. Being a professional Rugby League player should be a dream come true, not an invasive nightmare.

I know personally I see a number of Penrith Panthers players just going about their lives in Penrith from time to time. I don’t go up to them, I don’t say hello and I don’t ask for autographs. When ever I see them I often wonder how conscious they are of the people around them and that, no matter where they go, they are in effect on show.

The way I see it, I’m one less person they need to talk to. One less person that will take their time up. They play footy for me week in, week out, and for that I’m more than happy to let them have their own time when they are off the clock.

Rugby League players are overwhelmingly great when it comes to dealing with supporters. Most would say that if you see them out and about, by all means say hello. Be respectful of them though and realise that they are just people like you or I living a life that is in the spotlight and that no one prepares you for.

And please, let them have a quiet drink at the pub without worrying that they are under surveillance…

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2 thoughts on “NRL Players Deserve Privacy And Respect When Out In Public

  1. Becoming an NRL player or Better NRL Star removes large parts of your privacy. If you become famous then people aspire to be like you and in doing so become curious about you, about your life.
    The demand is fed by the media, who can generate sales revenue from invading your life and revealing the most intimate details about you.
    And they will do so to almost unimaginable levels, pushing every boundary of taste and decency.
    Not only will your life be invaded but you also take on the mantle of role model. You are expected to behave a certain way, to set a positive example, and you are condemned if you don’t.
    You aren’t given the same basic right to make mistakes like the rest of society, and every mistake that you do make will often be magnified to the 9th degree ala Monaghan and the poor doggie lol
    People will judge you, they will believe what the media says about you and on that basis they will think that they know you. People will form conclusions about you without ever having met you. Many people will justify any and all intrustions into your life on the basis that you earn a lot of money.
    They will say that it’s the ‘price of fame’, and you almost lose sympathy because of that.
    That is the price you pay in the NRL and only in Australia.

  2. You’ve totally missed the point on Blake Ferguson.

    Ferguson told the magistrate who convicted him of sexual assault that he was no longer drinking. That has since been proven as untrue.

    The photo of Ferguson has nothing to do with his status as a rugby league player. He’s a convicted sex offender who still thinks he’s the victim despite his web of lies.

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