[First filed: Nov 4, 2010 @ 12:24]
(For those coming in late, below is a rolling coverage as the story broke)
Sen.com.au is reporting on a revolting photograph, allegedly of a high profile Raiders player, circulating widely online.
The picture is being pushed particularly hard by a fake Wyatt Roy (the very young Liberal Member for Longman) Twitter feed.
RiotACT approached the Raiders this morning for comment and at this time have not heard back. We’ll update if we hear anything.
The Herald Sun is now on the story and the NRL is reportedly investigating.
UPDATED: With more details of the act circulating I’ve decided to remove the player’s name, but we can add that the picture involved an obscene act with a dog.
FURTHER UPDATE: There’s now quite a lot of national media on this. Still nothing from the Canberra Times.
AMAZING UPDATE: The Sydney Morning Herald is naming Joel Monaghan and Monaghan’s manager Jim Banaghan appears to be confirming the photo is not faked.
The photograph of Monaghan, a NSW and Australian representative, was allegedly taken during Canberra’s Mad Monday festivities.
“It’s very disappointing; he appears to have been subjected to a bit of tomfoolery by some teammates,” said Monaghan’s manager, Jim Banaghan.
“One of his teammates has taken a picture of it and it’s been passed around.
“I believe everyone involved is disappointed in what they have done.
How do we stop now? On the basis that we must either cry or laugh, a friend has pointed out that Canberra’s greatest musical exports, the Doug Anthony All Stars, have just the NSFW song:
RSPCA Comment: The RSPCA’s Michael Linke has made this comment:
Whilst it appears no laws have been broken, as CEO of RSPCA ACT I am disgusted at the image. Every day RSPCA works to improve the bond we have with our pets. The act degrades and shows complete disrespect for animals. This type of image violates the trust we receive from our pets and it is an act that should be made illegal in the ACT immediately.
Statement from Joel Monaghan:
This has been posted on League Unlimited:
Joel Monaghan has issued a statement through his manager Jim Banaghan today expressing both remorse and disgust at an alcohol fuelled prank that led to images being circulated across social networks today.
“Joel can’t blame anyone but himself for an act of stupidity that will haunt him for the rest of his life,” Manager Jim Banaghan said today.
“Joel wants to make it clear that he was the one playing a prank on an absent team mate by simulating the act.
“There are no words of explanation that can be offered because none can be appropriate.
“Joel has to now face his family as well as fans and supporters with that shame and has already undergone counselling to help him cope with the consequences of what has happened.
“It was a moment of abject stupidity brought about by too much drink and a complete lack of any thought process.
“The fact that someone has sought to compound the situation further by the use of social media only adds to the trauma but Joel accepts that it is his actions alone that are at fault.
“He apologises unreservedly for the outrage that people feel at the moment and blames nobody but himself.
“He will meet the club over the issue and accepts that there must be ramifications but the fact is he is not in a fit emotional state to have those discussions at the moment.
“Joel is a genuinely good person who is simply shattered by a moment of sheer madness.”
UPDATE: The Age’s video snippet has part of the picture in question.
Here’s how WIN News lead their bulletin cute how they don’t mention the act but drag the RSPCA in:
And here’s the ABC take, which ran very late in the bulletin:
The NRL have now issued a statement:
The National Rugby League has today warned the Canberra club that it will closely monitor any disciplinary action taken against Raiders player Joel Monaghan.
NRL Chief Executive Mr David Gallop said that he was shocked and appalled at the image circulated of the player in the media today.
“We have a system of allowing clubs to take the initial action in relation to disciplinary issues as they are the employers and we will maintain that principle,” Mr Gallop said.
“The fact of the matter remains that in any circumstance this is an appalling incident and one that has offended everyone associated with the sport.
“It is important that the club deals with it appropriately and that it reports to the NRL as soon as possible on the outcomes.”
If you don’t think a major football star caught with his old fella in a dog is big news check this out:
(the first big spike is Mully Williams, the second is the GDE collapse)
Joel, in all seriousness, I’d like to thank you for fessing up rather than suing everyone running it into the ground. I think you need to engage them old thought processes a bit more, but I’ll buy you a beer anytime for being a man about the whole regrettable situation.
While we’re here: Melbourne’s VexNews is running a somewhat tastefully blurred version of the photo while ending with:
We doubt even Brendan Fevola will be able to top this.
So there’s the photo:
[Photo courtesy myfoxdw]
Given the level of public discussion we’ve decided to publish a heavily pixellated version of the photograph so everyone knows what’s being talked about.
This version comes from a TV channel in Dallas Texas which has currently got it as the number one news story on their site.
The rest of the world now thinks this is what Canberrans are like.
How to cover a dog sex scandal: The team on Deadspin have documented how they covered the story.
World media: As Canberra gains the wrong sort of reputation for being dog-lovers here’s a sample of international reporting:
- — SportsGrid says: it’s one of the grosser things a prominent athlete has ever done
— In the UK The Guardian is playing it straight.
— TNT Magazine is using a big green box to censor the pic
— South Africa’s Newstime is taking an interest.
— The New Zealand media is particularly interested in the legality of bestiality in the ACT.
— The UK’s Football 365 is noting that most people just send an ill-advised text to an ex when they’ve had too much grog.
— Singapore’s Straits Times is revelling in the headline: Aussie star in dog sex scandal
— The Toronto Star innacurately notes “Bestiality is not a crime in Australia”
He picked a good time for it: We’ve received the following comment from an ACT Government spokesperson on the bestiality laws:
The government had already identified a deficiency in the Crimes Act 1900 and the government agreed in September 2010 to re-establish the offence of bestiality. The offence was removed from the ACT statutes prior to self government.
Legislation to re-establish the offence of bestiality is currently being drafted by the government and it is planned to be introduced into the Legislative Assembly in December. If passed, the ACT law will be broader in its application than most other Australian jurisdictions, because any sexual activity between a person and an animal would be an offence under the Act.
Sponsor’s reaction: The Herald Sun reports that major sponsors are threatening to walk away from the club in droves:
The Daily Telegraph has learned at least four of the Raiders’ major sponsors have written letters to the club threatening to withdraw $1 million worth of revenue over the lewd photograph of Monaghan.
A number of other Raiders sponsors have also verbally threatened to resign from any association with the club as the fallout from rugby league’s latest black-eye reverberates.
Additionally NRL CEO David Gallop is apparently raring to bar Monaghan from playing in Australia but waiting to let the Raiders go first.
But as Ian has noted in the comments, they are now the most well known Rugby League club in the world.
The rise of Mount Monaghan:
And a welcome to all the new readers. It’s not always like this around here, but we hope you enjoy your stay and come back.
They can’t wait for Monday: The ABC reports that the Raiders are trying to convene their board meeting as soon as possible to resolve the issue.
The return of Wyatt Roy: The SMH reports that Wyatt Roy, the fake twitter account of whom kicked this all off, is trying to take action. Calling in some lawyers and hitting Twitter with a subpoena for a defamation case would be a good start.
Not without friends VexNews is cheerily noting that the Greens elder and famous ethicist, Peter Singer, is not unequivocally opposed.
Hiding out: The SMH is pushing the “it was only simulated sex” line while revealing Mr. Monaghan is hiding out on the South Coast.
It’s not that bad? Peter FitzSimons is also going with a stupid but not evil defence.
Not buying it: In the Murdoch press Rebecca Wilson is not having a bar of the Monaghan apologists.
Doesn’t it make you proud? Canberra makes the Top Trending Topics show:
For ongoing reportage: Check out the Joel Monaghan tag.