Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA) CEO Clint Newton has criticised the NRL for being too heavy-handed in its punishment of NRLW player Caitlin Moran after her social media post on Queen Elizabeth II.
Moran was slapped with a one-match ban and a suspended 25 per cent salary for the remainder of the NRLW season for her post, which was brought to the attention of the NRL by Wide World of Sports last Friday.
Newton urged the NRL to meet with the RLPA to ensure that the punishment handed down to women’s players were more fair and in line with what their male counterparts receive.
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“We believe that whether it is on-field judiciary matters or off-field integrity matters, there are disproportionate penalties applied to NRLW players,” Newton told the NCA NewsWire.
“It has to be recognised clearly that there’s a distinct difference to the male and female game in regards to the number of matches they play and the levels of remuneration.
“We will continually advocate for transparency, but we’re yet to see any framework that informs the NRL’s sanctions.
“Considering that Caitlin will now miss one game of a five-game competition plus finals, it’s a fifth of the season.
“Compare that to a male player who would have missed four or five matches. That’s a significant breach when you look at the comparison.
“People are going to have varying views on what Caitlin’s said, but our job is to advocate for transparency in a framework that we can all stand by.”
Newton also criticised the NRL for not working more collaboratively with the clubs.
”There’s been a real reluctance from the NRL to actually come together with us and the clubs,” he said.
“We’re about understanding and education and providing compassion in situations where players breach the game’s code of conduct, but at the end of the day, accountability also has to be coupled with transparency and consistency when it comes to a framework that is going to sanction players in such a way.
“We were informed after the penalty was handed down.
“The game wants to be transparent with the public by publicising breach notes, but the game doesn’t want to be transparent with key stakeholders on matters like this to explain how they made this decision. I think there’s a mismatch there.”
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