I have a question about two of the main suspensions metered out by the NRL this year.
Could the NRL please explain to me why Corey Norman received an eight-match suspension and a $20,000 fine for his indiscretions which included a criminal offence, whereas Mitchell Pearce was given an eight-match suspension and fined $125,000 with $50,000 of that suspended for being filmed without his consent in a private home engaging in a lewd act?
Sure, it’s difficult to differentiate between Norman’s and Pearce’s indiscretions and which player bought the game of rugby league in to the most disrepute, but the discrepancy in the amount of money that both players was fined is bewildering.
Of course we aren’t privy to all of the intricate details surrounding both Pearce’s and Norman’s misdemeanours, but the way that Pearce was vilified in the media and virtually driven out of Australia was akin to as if he had committed a serious crime.
On the other hand, Norman has so far been spared the indignation and intense scrutiny, wasn’t he the one that actually did commit a serious offence?
The way that both the Sydney Roosters and the Parramatta Eels handled the respective situations varied greatly, with Parramatta reluctant to even suspend Norman at first after reports had surfaced in the media of the damning evidence against him.
It would appear to an outsider looking in that the procedures for NRL players that are currently in place are insufficient. The penny just doesn’t seem to be dropping for a few, so it’s high time that the NRL had a comprehensive review at the end of the season and then made it crystal clear to players.
Should their actions bring the game of rugby league in to disrepute then they will face a lengthy suspension and a huge fine.
The game could implement a three-strike policy like a rival sporting codes for repeat offenders.
Until they do so, the integrity of the game will continue to be tarnished.