GREG Bird urinated in public. Is this a scandal?
Apparently it is – although I’d call it less of a scandal and more of a pretty bloody gross thing to do.
It’s disrespectful and not very classy but to be honest, it’s behaviour we’ve come to expect from footballers.
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I’m assuming this is why the Titans have taken such a hard line in response to Bird’s public peeing.
Titans chief executive Graham Annesley is sending a very clear message that bad behaviour off the field just won’t be tolerated, which is why Bird has been slapped with a $15,000 fine (ouch!) after he was caught in the act.
Furthermore, he’s been stripped of his co-captaincy.
Those are some fairly heavy consequences for a stupid judgment call – and it’s probably not quite how Bird and his new bride imagined they would begin their first week of married life. (Bird’s indiscretion happened the day after his wedding in Byron Bay).
But as Annesley points out, football players need to start taking responsibility for their thoughtless actions.
“All players need to… recognise that incidents of this nature not only damage the reputation and commercial prospects of the club, but also bring the image of the NRL and the game of rugby league into substantial disrepute,” Annesley told the media.
I couldn’t agree more – although his view is through the lens of a CEO, and mine are shaped through the lens of being a parent.
In my view? The culture of acceptance that “boys will be boys” is getting tired, and needs to be superseded by the concept that these guys are in a privileged position and like it or not, they’re role models. So it’s about time that they started to respect their standing and stopped acting like they’re untouchable.
For Annesley, I’d say it’s more about the dollars.
The Titans are without a major sponsor for 2015 and Bird’s actions have reportedly left club hierarchy fuming.
After a shocker of a year that has included four players being arrested, who can blame them?
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