ARL Commission chairman Peter Beattie and NRL CEO Todd Greenberg. Picture: AAP
ARL Commission chairman Peter Beattie and NRL CEO Todd Greenberg. Picture: AAP

Buzz: Stuff the players’ union, NRL makes right call

Finally the NRL has got serious about cleaning up player behaviour. More serious than any other sporting organisation in this country.

No longer do you have to be found guilty of a major crime to be wiped out of the game.

If the allegations are severe enough to damage the brand and image of rugby league, you're out.

Good riddance. Stuff the player's union and stuff the lawyers.

Bravo Peter Beattie and Todd Greenberg.

We all want St George Illawarra forward Jack de Belin to get a fair trial and the opportunity to clear his name. That he deserves.

At the same time players need to be aware of their behaviour expectations from the moment they pull on an NRL jersey.

It's a fact of life that any person in a high-profile occupation is on a different set of rules to the average punter.

There are higher demands. If you're an accused rapist you stand down.

"This is about rebuilding the reputation of rugby league," Beattie said.

"This is about the standards expected from all players from here on. The old rules weren't working so we needed to act. We needed to restore confidence in the game."

It is important that the new crackdown was supported by all the clubs, but St George Illawarra.

From the moment the heavy hitters (Roosters' Nick Politis and Melbourne Storm's Bart Campbell) spoke up to support tougher sanctions Beattie and Greenberg knew they had to act.

Most importantly they also had the overwhelming support of the fans and sponsors.

As much as it is hard on de Belin and the Dragons, the correct decision was made.