Infotainment Factory: 'Fitzy, I take offence to that'

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Saturday, 9 March 2019

'Fitzy, I take offence to that'


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Cronulla legend Paul Gallen has reacted angrily after being asked why NRL players have an “appalling” record with the treatment of women.

Rugby league’s attitude towards women has been thrust back on to the agenda after the Penrith sex tape scandal, plus an aggravated sexual assault charges against Dragons forward Jack de Belin and clubless star Jarryd Hayne, a domestic assault charge against Manly’s Dylan Walker, and a life ban for Ben Barba over an alleged act of domestic violence.

Speaking on Sports Sunday, Peter Fitzsimons asked Gallen the following question.

“Why do NRL players have such an appalling record – leaving the current cases out of it, looking back over the last 10 years – with women?”

Gallen replied: “Fitzy, I take offence to that. Let’s not let your agenda against rugby league be brought into this.”

Fitzsimons: “I like rugby league.”

Gallen: “You don’t.”

Fitzsimons: “But can you deny that (the game’s poor record with women)?”

Gallen: “I think you’re using women in a bad way there. Unfortunately, there’s one woman killed every week in domestic violence. That’s not NRL players. That’s society. The problem in society against women is an issue and it’s something that I sit very strongly here about; I can’t stand violence against women.

“If you’re an NRL player who has been done and you guilty of an offence against a woman, out them for life. I totally am there for that. But don’t try to bring NRL players in that we’re the ones who are doing all this to women. We’re not.”

Gallen said that he was a supporter of the NRL’s ‘no fault’ stand-down policy. However, he said he did not feel as though de Belin should have been sidelined by the league as he fronted court.

Sports Sunday panellist and Olympic gold medallist Liesel Jones said that she felt the NRL’s stand-down policy was “rash”, “reactive” and ill thought-out.

Fitzsimons disagreed.

“An absolute no-brainer. They’ve had the summer from hell,” Fitzsimons said.

“They cannot go on, particularly with the record against women. There is no way around it: the NRL’s player record in interactions with women it appalling, and it cannot go on.”

Gallen said while he did not agree with NRL intervention on de Belin, he thought that the NSW Origin forward being sidelined was ultimately the right outcome.

“I’d like to think [the Dragons] probably wouldn’t [play him’,” Gallen said.

“I think it should be left up to the clubs and the player. Can Jack de Belin honestly, in what he’s facing, can he turn up to an away game or any game at this stage, walk into a ground and play to the best of his ability and do the job for the team?

“NRL fans are absolutely ruthless and vile in some of the things that they say. He will be absolutely torn to shreds. Can he go out and do his job? I doubt it, I actually doubt it.

“If I was the Dragons and Jack de Belin, I’d probably stand myself down.

“I totally understand what the NRL are trying to do and I actually agree with a lot of it, but just in this particular case, it’s word versus word.”

Cronulla legend Paul Gallen has reacted angrily after being asked why NRL players have an “appalling” record with the treatment of women.

Rugby league’s attitude towards women has been thrust back on to the agenda after the Penrith sex tape scandal, plus an aggravated sexual assault charges against Dragons forward Jack de Belin and clubless star Jarryd Hayne, a domestic assault charge against Manly’s Dylan Walker, and a life ban for Ben Barba over an alleged act of domestic violence.

Speaking on Sports Sunday, Peter Fitzsimons asked Gallen the following question.

“Why do NRL players have such an appalling record – leaving the current cases out of it, looking back over the last 10 years – with women?”

Gallen replied: “Fitzy, I take offence to that. Let’s not let your agenda against rugby league be brought into this.”

Fitzsimons: “I like rugby league.”

Gallen: “You don’t.”

Fitzsimons: “But can you deny that (the game’s poor record with women)?”

Gallen: “I think you’re using women in a bad way there. Unfortunately, there’s one woman killed every week in domestic violence. That’s not NRL players. That’s society. The problem in society against women is an issue and it’s something that I sit very strongly here about; I can’t stand violence against women.

“If you’re an NRL player who has been done and you guilty of an offence against a woman, out them for life. I totally am there for that. But don’t try to bring NRL players in that we’re the ones who are doing all this to women. We’re not.”

Gallen said that he was a supporter of the NRL’s ‘no fault’ stand-down policy. However, he said he did not feel as though de Belin should have been sidelined by the league as he fronted court.

Sports Sunday panellist and Olympic gold medallist Liesel Jones said that she felt the NRL’s stand-down policy was “rash”, “reactive” and ill thought-out.

Fitzsimons disagreed.

“An absolute no-brainer. They’ve had the summer from hell,” Fitzsimons said.

“They cannot go on, particularly with the record against women. There is no way around it: the NRL’s player record in interactions with women it appalling, and it cannot go on.”

Gallen said while he did not agree with NRL intervention on de Belin, he thought that the NSW Origin forward being sidelined was ultimately the right outcome.

“I’d like to think [the Dragons] probably wouldn’t [play him’,” Gallen said.

“I think it should be left up to the clubs and the player. Can Jack de Belin honestly, in what he’s facing, can he turn up to an away game or any game at this stage, walk into a ground and play to the best of his ability and do the job for the team?

“NRL fans are absolutely ruthless and vile in some of the things that they say. He will be absolutely torn to shreds. Can he go out and do his job? I doubt it, I actually doubt it.

“If I was the Dragons and Jack de Belin, I’d probably stand myself down.

“I totally understand what the NRL are trying to do and I actually agree with a lot of it, but just in this particular case, it’s word versus word.”

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