NRL Womens Adviser Catharine Lumby believes that Mitchell Pearce’s behaviour is unacceptable that and he should not be allowed to play in the NRL ever again.
Now before everyone loses their minds it must be stated that Catharine Lumby is allowed to hold this opinion. We are all allowed to hold different opinions on what punishment Mitchell Pearce should face. While I tend to think a life ban is way too harsh, I think Ms Lumby put forward a very interesting alternative opinion that is well reasoned and easy to understand.
You can’t ask for much more than that!
Ms Lumby told ABC News 24 ““He should be stood aside. This should be the end of his career.
“You should not be able to get away with this. He’s a high-profile athlete, it just sends the wrong message and the NRL has to continue to show leadership on this issue.”
Ms Lumby noted that Pearce has been through a number of the NRL’s programs that educate players on their responsibilities and behaviour and that Pearce, in her opinion, had no excuse for his behaviour on Australia Day that is likely to see him fined and suspended for a decent part of the 2016 season.
The NRL has a womens adviser for this reason. They want various opinions they can draw upon when they do eventually sit down and make a decision on Mitchell Pearce’s future. There will be a number of people they will listen to, and the NRL will ultimately make a decision based on what they believe is the right course of action based on everything they have in front of them, not just what one adviser believes should happen.
I think it is always important to remember that sometimes people in certain roles have a job to do. It is not Ms Lumby’s job to say “Boys will be boys, let him back out there and give him another chance”, that simply isn’t what she is there for. Ms Lumby is there to give her point of view based on the role she holds.
Whether she should be speaking to the media in that role is another thing. I am critical of people who hold positions within the NRL who independently go out and speak to the media. Not because they don’t have the right to do so. I just believe it is inappropriate for advisers to air their opinions publicly rather than go through the correct channels within the game.
When we see NRL medical advisers for instance grabbing headlines because of opinions they hold, it just isn’t what their role should be. An advisers role is to give advice to decision makers, not to create headlines and speak on behalf of the game.
That is the one area that I would be critical of Catharine Lumby about. As for her opinion that Pearce be banned for life, I don’t agree with that at all, but she is allowed to have her opinion.
I wrote a number of weeks ago that I believe Mitchell Pearce needs some real guidance. To end up in the situation he found himself in was a worry. His behaviour can’t be defended, but at the same time acting like a complete idiot isn’t a crime (Thank goodness!).
I think when a decision on Pearce is made, everyones opinion needs to be considered. However I don’t expect the NRL give follow the harshest, or the most lenient advice they receive.