CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
The pearl-clutching Australian media elite are today spin-drying their white linen as they prepare to once again crucify another charismatic athlete for daring to have a personality.
Cronulla Sharks star Toby Rudolf joins a long list of NRL players to face severe media backlash for saying something that your run-of-the-mill rugby league canteen mum would find hilarious, if not just a bit a cheeky.
Over the weekend, Rudolf was asked on The Matty Johns Show how he would celebrate Cronulla’s victory over the Dragons – and replied he would drink “1000 beers” before heading to Cronulla’s Northies Leagues Club to “try and pull something. Anything will do.”
The mere concept of a working class footballer doing anything more than just lacing up his boots and playing sports has been difficult phenomena for Australian media pundits to cover over the years, dating back to the mid-1990s when Anthony Mundine and Nathan Blacklock were labelled ‘show ponies’ for their post-try back flips.
Even the recent Israel Folau religious-homophobia saga was marked with the uncomfortable parallels to tennis great Margaret Court, a high society Christian was able to avoid the same hysterical backlash for making very similar comments.
News publishers have rushed this week to take full advantage of the clickbait that come from skewering rugby league stars, in a flurry of breaking news content not seen since those uppity black fellows decided to not sing the national anthem during State Of Origin.
Rudolf’s usage of humour, while being interviewed on a sports variety programme made famous by blokes waxing each other’s chests and making cracks about each other’s weight, has seen him blasted by the same elitist media types of people who like to think they wouldn’t have booed Adam Goodes.
Current and ex-NRL greats have have come out in defence of Rudolph, and blasted the NRL’s decision to issue the Sharks forward an official warning for what they deemed an “offensive” post-match interview.
Rugby League Players Association director and Daly Cherry-Evans disagreed with the warning letter saying that Rudolf was caught “between a rock and a hard place.”
“We want fan interaction, we want engagement in the game, we want people to love our sport. But we don’t want someone to be themselves” said Cherry-Evans.
“That’s who he is, whether you like it or not, and he was encouraged to be himself with the questions that were asked … so what is a player meant to do?
“It’s a shame that there’s been repercussions for something that I think for a lot of people would be only looked at as just very light-hearted humour.”
DCE has been joined by the likes of fellow white boys Paul Gallen and Bryan Fletcher who aren’t able to fathom why the light rail terrace house media elites are so quick to skewer Rudolf for saying something that the Honey Badger would be able to pull off with great applause.
However, the feigned shock and horror at Rudolf’s comments continue, as journalists continue to demand the 25-year-old Maroubra houso kid face the level of accountability that not even the alleged rapists in the Federal Cabinet are held to.
MORE TO COME.