Rugby league, from all areas, must embrace the 21st century and get with the times for once as for far too long it’s been the code that has always been behind in every KPI.
This includes attendance, membership, participation, TV ratings, player welfare, officiating, ideals, culture and professionalism.
Despite being the ‘professional’ of the two rugby codes for a good majority of it’s existence, it was ran by chook raffles and poker machines, something that you tend to see at your local pub rather than a professional sports team.
Rugby league also had it’s fair share of inconsistency over the years in regards to refereeing and the constant need to change rules at a moment’s notice, such as banning the shoulder charge and recently, the biff throughout the regular season.
The biff itself should not be cherished and the fact that some league fans still want it means something is wrong with the game itself, as fighting needs to be involved for it to be exciting.
It’s possible to have exciting games, such as Titans versus Souths in Cairns recently, which show that the biff is not needed for a spectacle as the game at full flight can be.
Culturally, league has no problem taking back repeat offenders and in fact rewarding them, which, as a result has created the negative culture that the league currently has in any other aspect of society.
Those involved in incidents should be harshly punished.
However, Rugby league has welcomed back players immediately after a scandal and it took the establishment of the Integrity Unit to put the line in the sand and get with times and accept the fact those wrong should be rightly punished.
It will take a long time for a actual cultural shift to occur in Rugby league since the current values have been embedded for decades but once it occurs, the code will be better off and league will finally be in the modern era and the dinosaurs will finally be extinct.