What I know about NRL could be written on the back of a computer chip. In texta.
But since a lack of comprehensive knowledge about a subject has never precluded me from forming an opinion, I’m going to weigh in on Sonny Bill Williams’ defection from Australian rugby league to French rugby union.
From what I can understand, the NRL salary cap limits what SBW can earn in Australia. In France, he can earn $3m. So he’s going to France to earn $3m.
And today, his lawyers have said if he’s forced to come back to Australia, he will be challenging the NRL in court over the salary cap, claiming it is a restraint of trade.
Which it does seem to be.
Surely, we should reward merit and talent. If the guy is such a great
player (which I assume he is otherwise no-one would care that he’s
bailed out of his Bulldogs contract), shouldn’t he be allowed to profit
from that? Be paid what he’s worth?
Imagine if someone said to Meryl Streep "sorry Meryl, but you can only
earn the same amount for your films as Tara Reid because we’re trying
to keep costs down in Hollywood. No matter that you are a truly great
actress and a powerful drawcard for audiences. Gotta think of the
industry as a whole!"
Isn’t that what the NRL are doing with the salary cap? Does SBW really owe it to his country or his club to put the welfare of the NRL above his ability to make a buck out of his talent?
I’m sure there will be some highly informed commenters who will inform us beyond my very basic knowledge on this subject. Although at the end of the day, it’s sport. With a ball. Why aren’t doctors and nurses and social workers offered mega-bucks to do what they do?