Levy Lets Fly: NRL’s response to Ben Barba should be applauded
Mark Levy says the NRL should be applauded for its handling of the Ben Barba saga.
The 29-year-old only signed for North Queensland Cowboys a few months ago but his contract was cancelled after he committed what the club called was a “significant breach of the terms of his contract”.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg continued the hardline stance against players who step out of line, saying there was zero tolerance for misbehaving players.
“We have run out of patience and tolerance for misbehaviour off the field,” he told media over the weekend.
Levy said despite criticising Greenberg in the past, he deserves credit for his response to Barba’s contract termination.
“Hallelujah Mr Greenberg, finally we’re getting serious when it comes to these ratbags,” he said.
“At the end of the day, the NRL cannot support foundations such as White Ribbon and at the same time, allow players like Ben Barba who are guilty of domestic violence, to continue earning fame and fortune from the game.
“A zero tolerance approach is needed and it sounds like Mr Greenberg is finally on board with life bans for anyone who thinks it’s ok to assault a woman.
Levy called on Australia’s other sporting codes to follow the NRL’s lead of banning players if they’re convicted of domestic violence.
“Every other sporting code should be following the lead of the NRL in banning players, there should be no second chances,” he said.
“I’ll keep saying this until I’m blue in the face, it’s a privilege to play professional sport and the sooner these footballers and athletes wake up to that fact, the better we’ll be.
“We can throw around the idea of minders when they go out in public, we can suggest private functions for footballers but at the end of the day, it comes back to personal responsibility.
“Just because you pull on a football jumper, doesn’t make you superhuman and it doesn’t give you a special set of rules, the law is the law and if you break it, you suffer the consequences like everybody else.”
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