Has rugby league become its own sexuality now?

But not in a gay way.

Anyway, videos make it even easier to involve other men in your non-gay sex.

You ping the video to your mates, your mates ping it to theirs, and so forth, until it ends up on Facebook, or some other website where the degradation of women is served up as scroll-through entertainment, available on your phone, right next to the online betting app.

Stood down: Panthers playmaker Tyrone May handed himself in to police.

Stood down: Panthers playmaker Tyrone May handed himself in to police.Credit:NRL Photos

The most recent spate of “sex scandals” – if that’s what you want to call incident after incident of contemptible behaviour alleged to have been engaged in by league players against women – has presented a Zen koan of another kind: what can you do when the re-educated keep re-offending?

The National Rugby League is spending $8 million a year on player education programs to combat what are euphemistically called its “cultural problems”. Professor Catherine Lumby has been providing player education to the League for a decade, but even she admitted last week that some players are “education proof”.


What is now being called, completely without irony, rugby league’s “summer of shame”, is a rollcall of recidivism.

A recent listicle itemised “17 off-season incidents that left the NRL reeling”, but that is over a week old now.

Space constraints mean I can only list the highlights since September last year: league legend Jarryd Hayne was charged with aggravated sexual assault, to which he has pleaded not guilty. (Hayne has also faced an accusation of sexual assault in the US where he played American football for a while. No charges were laid.)

Ben Barba was sacked by North Queensland and banned by the NRL for life after CCTV footage emerged of an alleged domestic incident at a Townsville casino.

Most recently, we have Tyrone May.

Illustration: Simon Scharma

Illustration: Simon ScharmaCredit:

Reports indicate the sort of video he is accused of sharing is widespread among NRL player WhatsApp groups and on a Facebook page called «NRL Memes», which has been taken down by Facebook for breaching community standards. NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg has warned of a forthcoming flood of such sex footage.

For years player re-education has focused on the way players have allowed toxic elements of rugby league culture to leach into their social lives – the emphasis on the team above all, the aggression, the occasional violence.

But maybe we have been barking up the wrong tree with rugby league sexism school.


Consider the arresting case my colleague Andrew Webster wrote about last week. Webster received via WhatsApp a grainy video, purportedly of a league player, “featuring an unidentifiable man having sex with an unidentifiable woman, during which he chants: How good is rugby league? How good is it? How good? Huh?’”

I am not Dr Freud, but I’m strongly convinced that when your sexual thrill is contingent upon your partner’s affirmation for your sports code, which is your profession, and your way of life, it means rugby league has transcended itself to become your actual sexuality.

Women are merely its conduits.

As for consent, it seems that if a girl is the «kind» to hook up with a player casually, in the mind of some players, she has written a consent blank cheque.

If you doubt how pervasive this attitude is, consider the words of Canterbury’s great Steve Mortimer, commenting on the Tyrone May matter.

“Look I just think it’s not just the players,” the 62-year-old said last week.

“I think it can also be the young ladies that are looking for a little bit of notice: ‘Oh, I’m being taken out by a certain great rugby league player’ or whatever – I think that’s wrong. I think that’s wrong.”

Mortimer later apologised, but his comments closed the circle nicely. After all, how could any rugby league player possibly respect a woman who would sleep with a rugby league player?

The truth is these incidents degrade the League along with the women caught in its wheels. It is a shame for all the good people who work for it, and for all the fans, who, like me, learnt the code at their dad’s knee, and loved its electricity, but find it increasingly difficult to watch.

Twitter: @JacquelineMaley

Follow Jacqueline Maley on Facebook

Jacqueline is a senior journalist, columnist and former Canberra press gallery sketch writer for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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Источник: Theage.com.au

Источник: Corruptioner.life


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