The Australian Rugby League Commission says that the suspensions of Robert Lui and Isaac Gordon send a strong message that aggression against women will not be tolerated. I disagree.
For Lui, this is his second offence.
A life ban – not suspension for the rest of 2012 – should have been his fate. He’s had two chances and he shouldn’t get a third.
Lui pleaded guilty to his offence – there is no innocence in his case.
The NRL has not said this is his last chance, but when reading between the lines this has to be the case. There can be no mistake.
The NRL’s message on violence against women could have been a lot stronger, there’s no doubt about it.
Gordon’s case has largely flown under the radar, but this was his first offence and a lesser charge than that aimed at Lui.
The Cronulla player pleaded guilty has copped a nine-match ban.
In recent years the NRL’s stance on violence against women has been mixed.
You look at the case of Tevita Latu, the former Cronulla player who punched a women in the face in 2006.
This was his first offence. His contract was terminated by the Sharks, and he was de-registered by the NRL.
Latu moved to play in the UK in 2007 and is now playing for the Auckland Vulcans, the Warriors feeder club, in the New South Wales Cup.
He has not been sighted in the NRL since.
There is also the case of Rooster Anthony Watts, who allegedly assaulted his girlfriend, went to court and had the charge dropped.
Watts was cut by the Roosters and is now playing in the UK.
Where is the consistency?
Where is the clear message?
Is it one rule for one player, and another rule for another?