NRL’s proposed return to play on 28 May: an act of arrogance or beacon of hope?

Tim Gavel 15 April 2020 26
An act of arrogance or people-pleaser. Will seeing play return on 28 May lift community spirits? Photo: Supplied.

Will it lift our spirits to see our NRL players back in action or is this a premature move by the NRL? Photo: Supplied.

Like most sports, the NRL has been doing everything possible to get back on the field, but the league is the first to actually telegraph a proposed date of return.

As such, the NRL has generated significant debate and publicity during this interrupted season.

Many objectors to the NRL’s proposed resumption have questioned the motives of the league. Questioned is whether the catalyst behind the proposed date of return is purely financial. Are they ensuring television revenue is forthcoming to prop up a league that desperately needs funds?

Objectors also query why the NRL should be permitted to return when the vast majority of the community and sports are adhering to social distancing and essentially staying at home.

Would the visual of players in full-body contact for 80 minutes establish a sense of complacency and result in the rest of the community believing they can do likewise?

Proponents and advocates have stated they will be doing all they can to ensure all COVID-19 quarantine and health measures are maintained.

There has also been the suggestion that playing would lift the spirits of a community at such a difficult time.

The employment generated by the game is also seen as a positive by the proponents. It is also argued that if horse racing can continue then why not league, even though the differences are obvious.

But there are many unanswered questions.

What constitutes social distancing on the field when the general public is encouraged to avoid each other unless involved in essential services?

What is wrong with the NRL re-igniting the competition if the league quarantines players and those closely associated with the game such as coaches and match officials?

To get back on the field on 28 May, clubs would need to start training in three weeks’ time. Is this premature?

Would the sight of players training in preparation for re-ignition of the competition provide optimism to the community?

In many aspects, the league should be commended for doing all they can to prepare for a possible return to play, but comments from governments and health authorities suggest there is still much water to go under the proverbial bridge before it’s allowed to happen.

And how would it be judged by the public, would it be seen as arrogant or visionary?

In the end though, it won’t be up to the NRL. The final decision will be by those in government, guided by medical advice.

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26 Responses to NRL’s proposed return to play on 28 May: an act of arrogance or beacon of hope?
Frank Madrid Frank Madrid 8:18 am 16 Apr 20

How arrogant

Robert Hawes Robert Hawes 10:32 pm 15 Apr 20

Have new rules. Give each player a 1.5 meter long rubber stick. If a player touches the player with the ball with the stick it is a tackle.

Anne's Beautician Business Anne's Beautician Business 8:09 pm 15 Apr 20

U bet...surely the NRL can't be that selfish???

Boyo Birch Boyo Birch 7:49 pm 15 Apr 20

It’s not going to happen for the 28/5.

Phil Hopkins Phil Hopkins 6:53 pm 15 Apr 20

Beacon of hope!!

Christine Jack Christine Jack 6:43 pm 15 Apr 20

Tell them to get real jobs the poor Layla’s. What about the 1.5m distance???

David Brown David Brown 6:32 pm 15 Apr 20

Just one player getting sick and there will be hell to pay.

Hans Dimpel Hans Dimpel 5:53 pm 15 Apr 20

how wouldthhe NRL know wat te situation will be like on May 28?

Greg Oakes Greg Oakes 5:38 pm 15 Apr 20

It would be a saner world if nurses got paid like NRL players and NRL players got paid like nurses.

Kylie Wylie Kylie Wylie 4:26 pm 15 Apr 20

Pop them onto the JobKeeper payment...

Graham Wilson Graham Wilson 4:01 pm 15 Apr 20

3 QLD teams & the Warriors would need to gain approval from relative authorities to travel to NSW/Australia (in the case of the Warriors) & then quarantine for 14 days. The Storm have also considered relocating to NSW for the good of the NRL....but these measures would have to happen almost immediately now.

Ivan Cleary stated on the news last night that no teams should train for the fortnight at any team is in quarantine which would take teams through to the end of April if teams relocated by the end of this week, then have the ability to train as squads for 3 solid weeks of re-pre-season to be ready to play by 28 may.

The theory is there, but the practicality & logistics will make it near on impossible for the competition to re-start - unless the NRL exclude the Qld teams & the Warriors - and I dont see that happening, as V’landys & Greenberg has said that no-one will be left behind.... the desired re-start, is simply too soon.

bikhet bikhet 9:32 am 15 Apr 20

It’s all about the pineapples – and lots of ’em.

Fleur Hanson Fleur Hanson 9:03 am 15 Apr 20

It also has to do with players getting paid. Hence the pressure???

From NRL news - Players have secured two months of pay while the competition is in hiatus, but will forego another five months' salary should the 2020 season not kick off again after an agreement was reached between the RLPA and NRL.

    Robyn Baker Robyn Baker 3:30 pm 15 Apr 20

    well I am sure they can access the jobkeeper or jobseeker allowance along with other people who have lost thier income. Don't know why they are special...

    Kylie Wylie Kylie Wylie 5:36 pm 15 Apr 20

    Fleur Hanson the poor loves...

Vindalu Vindalu 8:13 am 15 Apr 20

Bring it on, “Stay safe” is becoming almost as nauseating as “Have a nice day.” Players could carry a bottle of sanitizer for a quick after contact decontamination.. The ball could be kicked into social distance rather than touch. Tv cameramen could wear face masks so the virus could not be transmitted into our oh so safe homes. Yeah, bring it on.

JC JC 7:37 am 15 Apr 20

It is a proposal nothing more. It would be remiss of any business or organisation to plan for a reopening.

The mistake the NRL has made is announcing a date publically.

Richard Willcoxson Richard Willcoxson 7:20 am 15 Apr 20

I don’t believe it’s arrogant or visionary. I believe it is sheer desperation to save the game that has been mismanaged financially. Why should they be able to play whilst children at this stage aren’t able to go out and play with friends?

    Neil Chandler Neil Chandler 7:38 am 15 Apr 20

    Richard Willcoxson save their own bacon more like. The game will live on even if the NRL goes under. There will still be Rugby League. The comp will just be called something else, with different management and maybe with different clubs.

    Jesse Mahoney Jesse Mahoney 8:07 am 15 Apr 20

    Richard Willcoxson because it's their workplace. I wasn't aware children worked.

    Richard Willcoxson Richard Willcoxson 8:24 am 15 Apr 20

    It’s not essential work

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 1:11 pm 15 Apr 20

    Definitely. Far more essential places that are out of action then them.

    Kylie Wylie Kylie Wylie 4:25 pm 15 Apr 20

    Jesse Mahoney is this satire?

    Jesse Mahoney Jesse Mahoney 6:11 pm 15 Apr 20

    According to the PM, everyone who has a job is essential ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Look all im saying is it's a workplace and people can still go to work. If they can run their comp safely, with complete quarantine together of all the players for the entirety of their season to make the risk to next to nil, then I don't see a problem. This of course needs clear messaging so as to not signal to the public that BaU is back.

    Football is entertainment for many. And right now, a bit of entertainment wouldn't hurt, if done correctly.

Pandy Pandy 7:14 am 15 Apr 20

Wont happen imho.

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