Robert Lui Charged With Assaulting His Girlfriend And Its Impact On Women In Rugby League

West Tigers halfback Robert Lui has been charged with an alleged assault. Police turned up to Lui’s home to find his 21 year old girlfriend with a swollen face.

You may remember that in September last year Lui was also charge with assaulting his girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time with his child, just after the West Tigers were knocked out of last years finals series.

This fucking prick should never step onto an NRL field ever again!

At what point does the game REALLY take a stand, not only about violence against women, but the general treatment of women?

How many times will Rugby League say “Oh, he didn’t really mean that”, “It was just a harmless comment”, “That’s not his go, he is really a good bloke” or the most ridiculous one of all “She did it to herself”.

How many more times will the NRL and its clubs open their arms to men that assault women? How many more times will we hear about a players redemption? How many more times will those in charge turn a blind eye to the actions of a player just because he can play the game well.

Make no mistake, there are teams out there right now that are waiting for the West Tigers to sack Robert Lui. If he allegedly bashes his girlfriend once a year, thats fine, as long as he can play a bit of footy.

Its disgusting.

For all the people willing to howl from the roof tops about driving fans away from the game when there is a fight on the field, there are very few people that look at violent assaults against women and who will say “You know what, if anything will turn parents off the game and get women off side, accepting violent acts against women is number one on the list”.

Rugby League has had, and still has, issues with the way it treats women. It is not just about violence either, its the general treatment of women within the game.

In the rarefied air of the NRL administration, from the outside it looks like women are treated fairly well. Get down into club land though and its another story. We still see very few women on football club boards. We don’t see very many female Rugby League journalists at all, and why would we when media managers are trying to belittle them as they just try and get their job done?

If you are lucky enough to be making a living out of this game, you should be going out of your way to embrace everyone that wants to also be a part of the game themselves. That goes from Katie Page who sits on the NRL board right down to the women that take their 5 year old to the local sports ground on the weekend so their kids can play Rugby League. They should all be treated with the same respect.

This is a sport dominated by men. A sport that has a brutal edge to it at its highest level. It is a sport that millions of women across Australia love.

How can we as a game honestly say we are embracing women in Rugby League if we continue to turn a blind eye to players who bash their girlfriends. How can we look women in our game in the eye and tell them they are a valued part of our sport, but if their boyfriend has a decent kicking game and is solid in defense, you’re just gonna have to take one for the team sweetheart.

That is not how it works…

I don’t need to name the players that disgust people when they see them on the field. We all know who they are.

When women see those players being embraced by the game, how do you think it makes them feel about the sport? What type of connection to Rugby League could they honestly want to have if the game is so willing to dismiss them for the sake of a few wins?

Right now there is a young women out there with a swollen face who loves our game. She is hurt, she is scared. She is an alleged victim of domestic violence at the hands of someone she loves and trusts.

She knows that this will be played out in the papers. She knows who will get all the support on offer from the Rugby League industry and eventually, the media.

As a sport, she should be the one we all get behind. There can be no middle ground here. There is no place for sympathy, no place for understanding, no reason to listen to sob stories.

Violence against women is wrong under any circumstances.

The sooner the game of Rugby League takes a zero tolerance approach to domestic violence, the better.

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