UPDATE: The Australian Rugby League Commission has just voted to ban Robert Lui for the remainder of the season. Isaac Gordon will be banned until week 10 of the competition.
“The Cowboys and Sharks have joined the ARLC in making a clear statement about the need to prevent violence against women,” ARL Commission chief executive David Gallop said.
“…there is a need to send a strong message to the community and, as the first sport to make such an emphatic statement, we would encourage others to follow rugby league’s lead in the future.”
Here’s what we originally wrote today:
The National Rugby League (NRL) would prefer we all forgot it still has two high profile players on its books who physically assaulted their girlfriends. They’re signed. They have clubs. The NRL won’t sack them.
Radio broadcaster and avid footy fan Paul Murray originally wrote about the ridiculous state of affairs on Mamamia when he detailed the crimes for which both men, Robert Lui (now signed to the Cowboys) and Isaac Gordon (who is signed to Cronulla Sharks).
Robert came home after Mad Monday celebrations and kicked, headbutted and dragged his girlfriend by the hair. Charming.
Isaac came home one morning – at 7am – and verbally abused his pregnant girlfriend before pushing her head against the wall and biting her.
While the NRL has moved like molasses on the subject, the public have not.
A Change.org petition has grown to more than 20,000 signatures and Paul Murray, who kick-started it all, says the NRL is having trouble sweeping the reaction under the carpet.
“The response, since I wrote that first article on Mamamia, has been phenomenal,” he said (you can read that article here)