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Opinion

For the good of the players or the game?

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Roar Guru
14th April, 2020
12

Peter V’landys and Wayne Pearce have come out recently and said that it’s the intention of the NRL to restart its competition on May 28th.

They appear to have done this without consulting the NSW health minister, which shows a lack of respect for the chain of command.

I would have thought that the NRL has a ‘duty of care’ to ensure that its players’ health and safety aren’t put at risk and in jeopardy.

The NRL expecting its players to play again in the midst of a serious pandemic that’s sweeping the world at the moment is both bewildering and beyond belief.

The NRL’s agenda to recommence its competition so hastily is clearly driven by their need to get the money flowing again due to its lack of cash reserves.

How has a sport that rakes in billions of dollars in broadcast revenue ended up in this predicament? That’s the question that needs to be answered.

Where is the transparency and accountability for all of the money that has been squandered?

With rival Australian codes still being in lockdown, a more cautious and responsible approach would be to wait until July 1st at the very least before even considering to recommence.

For V’landys to keep talking up how the infection rate is down to 1.5per cent is fine, but he’s overlooking one very important point and that is that Australians have been told to stay at home and self-isolate.

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Rugby league is a contact sport so the rules on social distancing will go out the window if the NRL is given the green light to start again.

Even if all of the players are tested before a match, some of the players could be carriers of coronavirus and it won’t show up immediately in a test.

If as the NRL states its primary concern is for the ‘health and safety’ of its players and that they’re putting the health of their players and the wider community first, then why are they so desperate to get back on the field so soon?

Incoming ARLC chairman Peter V’Landys.

(Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Will the players possibly be asked to sign a disclaimer form due to these unprecedented circumstances and if not will the NRL take full responsibility if a player contracts the virus and heaven forbid, dies from it?

Sure, the players are all fit and healthy young men and probably believe that they’re immune to it, but this virus doesn’t discriminate and is the real deal as we can clearly see from the devastation that it’s bringing around the world.

By the way, I live for sport, in particular rugby league, but as much as I’d love to see it on the television again my main concern is for the health and safety of the players.