By now you would had heard the reports that the Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club have been stripped of two premierships and whatnot for breaches of the salary cap. If you were to believe the newspapers and especially the toilet paper that is the Daily Telegraph, then this is a very serious crime.
The question is how serious?
If you were to equate seriousness, or the importance of a news story with the number of newspaper column inches that was written about it, then what sort of results would you end up with?
Is the breach of the salary cap more important than say... rape?
The Coffs Harbour woman claimed six players pack raped her at the Pacific Bay Resort after a pre-season match in February.
A number of second grade rugby league players have been interviewed by police over an alleged rape of a woman in Queensland, a rugby league boss says.
Perhaps wikipedia might be instructive. This is a list of of off-field incidents involving rugby league players just for the year 2009.
- Canberra Raiders star Todd Carney went on a rampage in Goulburn, damaging property, jumping on a car bonnet and damaging the entrance to a Fone Zone store. He received a 12 month suspended jail sentence, was ordered to undertake alcohol counselling, and was banned from the local Government area for 12 months.
- Anthony Watmough was accused by a Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles sponsor of punching him and harassing his daughter in a derogatory manner at a season launch party.
- Brett Stewart was charged with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in the stairwell of an apartment block after a club function. A magistrate issued an apprehended violence order (AVO) against Stewart.
- Anthony Cherrington sent to anger management counselling after violently assaulting his girlfriend.
- Cronulla Sharks Greg Bird was convicted of recklessly wounding his girlfriend, and was later sentenced to 16 months jail with a minimum of eight months. The verdict was quashed on appeal.
- Leon Pryce and Stuart Reardon were convicted of assault in a UK court and were ordered to do 100 and 200 hours community service respectively.
- Jake Friend was charged with drink driving after being caught by police in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs.
- Trevor Thurling of the Canberra Raiders was charged with drink driving after being involved in a motor vehicle accident in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs on April 9.
- Willie Mason was fined $2,000 by Sydney Roosters after being photographed urinating in a public place.
- Cronulla Sharks player Reni Maitua returned a positive drug sample for clenbuterol.
- Cronulla Sharks captain Paul Gallen was fined $10,000 for using a racial slur against Tongan St George Illawarra forward Mickey Paea. Gallen subsequently apologised and resigned from the club captaincy.
- Melbourne Storm players Brett Finch and Cooper Cronk were each fined $5,000 for urinating in public.
- Brisbane Broncos player Joel Clinton was fined $50,000 for breaking the club's code of conduct and inviting a woman to his hotel room in Sydney.
- Hull Kingston Rovers' Ben Cockayne pleads guilty to assault, along with friend and fellow rugby league reserve player for the Castleford Tigers, Steven Hayward. Cockayne receives a 12 month sentence, whilst Hayward receives a six month sentence, both of which were suspended for two years.
- Sydney Roosters' Jake Friend and Sandor Earl under investigation for allegedly assaulting a woman at a Sydney nightclub.
- Wigan second-row Gareth Hock is suspended pending results of a 'B' sample following results of an 'A' sample confirming the presence of benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite of cocaine.
- Five players belonging to York City Knights were suspended for a breach of club discipline at a function in Leeds, along with the club's director of rugby.
- Cronulla Sharks player Brett Seymour is fired by his club for another alcohol-related incident, his second such sacking following his dismissal by the Brisbane Broncos in 2006.
- Sydney Roosters coach Brad Fittler was reported in the Townsville Bulletin for drunkenly trying to gain access to the wrong hotel room while wearing only shorts. The incident occurred at the Holiday Inn in Townsville at 3am. Fittler consequently fined himself AUD $10,000 and apologised for his behaviour at a televised press conference.
- Sydney Roosters player Nate Myles was suspended for six weeks and dropped from the State of Origin team after defecating in the corridor of a luxury resort hotel whilst drunk. The club was also fined $50,000 for repeated offences.
- Cronulla Sharks player Greg Bird appeared in court charged with five counts of assault after allegedly attacking a woman in a Cronulla night club in January 2008. He was subsequently cleared by the court.
- Melbourne Storm player Greg Inglis was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend.
- In August 2009 six Australian Celtic Crusaders players were ordered to leave the United Kingdom after the UK Border Agency identified breaches to their visa conditions.
- Sydney Roosters' Braith Anasta was king hit without retaliation in a Sydney hotel.
- Sydney Roosters player Setaimata Sa was charged with assault, resisting arrest, criminal damage and failure to leave a licenced premises, after a drunken episode in a Sydney hotel.
- South Sydney Rabbitohs player David Fa'alogo and coach Jason Taylor were both fired after an altercation at an end-of-season function.
- Wests Tigers player Daine Laurie was charged with assaulting his girlfriend.
- Sydney Roosters player Stanley Waqa was charged over a knife-wielding incident in which a young woman was wounded in Sydney's east.
- Huddersfield Giants player Paul Whatuira was arrested and underwent a psychiatric assesment after he allegedly assaulted two men.
- Brisbane Broncos player Tonie Carroll was detained by police on Sunday 28th November following an alleged altercation with a woman, believed to be his partner.
- Cronulla Sharks' Paul Gallen was issued with a criminal infringement notice for urinating in public near the head of a drunken friend.
- Sydney Roosters' Jake Friend was arrested and charged by police following an altercation with a taxi driver.
- Newcastle Knights rugby league star Danny Wicks was charged by police in relation to drug supply offences.
- Canberra Raiders' rugby league star David Shillington was arrested for drink driving after testing more than twice the legal limit.
Sexual assault, property damage, drink-driving, knife-weilding, wounding, assault, cocaine possession, drug supply charges, urinating in public... what?!
Guess what, I bet that this "scandal" involving what basically amounts to an artificial financial breach in a civil case, will probably score more column inches that all of the above combined. When an incident like any of the above happens, it is usually hushed out of the media and we hear of "privacy issues". Bascially what we have here is a case where the media itself if it equates the value of what is newsworthy by what it reports, has suggested that this is more important than criminal activity.
Guess what? Financial problems ARE more important than rape according to the media.