Sunday, November 7, 2010

Kerrzy’s Notebook: NRL Drama!


An Australian rugby player is begging for his job today after a ‘prank’ photograph of him, taken by one of his teammates, goes viral.


Joel Monaghan, a 28-year-old center for the NRL’s Canberra Raiders, was photographed “simulating a sex act” with a teammate’s dog while the Raiders were celebrating the end of their season. A Melbourne radio station got a hold of the pictures, they found their way onto Twitter and the rest, as they say, is history.


The backlash against Monaghan has been fierce, with team sponsors threatening to withdraw their money, animal rights groups asking for bestiality laws to be introduced in the ACT and the Canberra native left pleading for his job.


It’s not just his job with the Raiders he is worried about either – the worst case scenario for Monaghan involves the league decertifying him, though they say they’ll wait to see what the team does first before dishing out any punishment of their own.


As far as that decision goes, we won’t know until at least tomorrow, as Australia’s ABC News says the Raiders board has delayed its meeting on the issue. The club says Monaghan, who has the support of his teammates, is being given a chance to speak with his manager before a decision is made and the board will take into consideration what the senior players have to say.


These days, stories like this don’t stay local – The Guardian says within hours this was a top 10 trending topic worldwide on Twitter, a website with 175-million registered users.


The player has since issued this apology through his agent:


“It was a moment of abject stupidity brought about by too much drink and a complete lack of any thought process. Joel is a genuinely good person who is simply shattered by a moment of sheer madness.”


Unfortunately for him, most of the media reports out of Australia describe this as one of several recent incidents that have brought game and the league into disrepute. That would be why most of the reports also seem to hint that his NRL career could very well be over in a hurry.


Is it all a bit of overkill though? Obviously this wasn’t the smartest thing Monaghan has done in his life, but at least it was just a prank (they say) and it’s (hopefully) not something he does regularly in his personal life.


What do you think – should this player lose his job and/or be kicked out of the league entirely, or should he just be suspended (like they do in the NFL for violating the ‘personal conduct’ policy)?


Let me know!



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UPDATE:

The
Sydney Morning Herald reports Joel Monaghan has quit the Canberra Raiders before they had a chance to sack him. It's believed he'll be looking to move to the English Super League, where his brother plays.

There were reports that the NRL might kick him out of the league over this controversy, but they are apparently leaving the door open for him to return after some time abroad.

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