Josh Dugan: will the real NRL actually stand up? We all know they will not!

I read today that Josh Dugan, a player recently fired by the Canberra Raiders and then inexplicably rehired by the St George Dragons, feels like he was hardly done by by the Canberra Raiders when they fired him.

In case you missed them, here are some of Josh Dugan’s comments published in the media:

He ‘‘didn’t really get too much of a chance to say anything,’’ as the Raiders were deciding whether to sack him.

He wasn’t treated fairly and ‘‘that’s on the NRL, and that’s on the Raiders’’.

He and Blake Ferguson’s choice to have a rooftop drinking session instead of going to recovery was ‘‘just two mates kicking back, having a drink and that’s all there is to it.’’

He did the right thing by choosing not to attend training because ‘‘both me and Blake were a bit drunk, we felt if we went to recovery it would’ve been worse than missing a half hour swim.’’

He was ‘‘thrown on the scrap heap and I wasn’t too happy about it.’’

So what do we glean from all of this? Obviously he does not think that he did anything wrong. Indeed he has the gall to defend his behaviour and therein lies my angst. I am a Canberra Raiders fan and have been since 1985: I continue to be astonished that he was allowed to remain in the game let alone rejoin a competing club some 4 weeks after he was sacked.

To add insult to injury whilst his removal is not “on” the NRL as Dugan suggests the fact that he remains in the game and obvious does not understand the gravity of his actions absolutely is “ON” the NRL. Given that the objective facts reported in the papers today do not go anywhere near supporting his delusions one wonders what steps will the NRL take to deal with said delusions?

Before I posit an answer, here are some of the objective facts:

Where Dugan suggest he was not allowed to speak in his defence he ignores that he was invited to a board meeting to plead his case but did not deign to attend the meeting.

Where Dugan suggests that the incident was nothing more than a couple of mates kicking back and having a drink, it has been widely reported that the drinking incident was the final straw in a long line of behavioural incidents. Indeed, as reported today, the Raiders sent a dossier of incidents to the NRL containing details of 18 infringements, five of which involved police.

In the face of those objective facts the NRL still deigned to allow him to remain in the game. That is entirely up to them obviously but given the delusions of the man that the NRL have inexplicably sought to protect in circumstances where they have not protected others (Carney and Monaghan from the same club in fact) and the damage that this fiasco continues to do to the game: should they now step in and actually take further action?

I think they absolutely should look at Dugan’s continued place in the game. His conduct before and at the time of his sacking from the Raiders was frankly bad enough BUT his absolute lack of contrition for his actions, delusion or otherwise, has to warrant action by the NRL. Any fair minded supporter of the game must be thinking the same thing: if nothing else because of the manifest injustice that has been done in not punishing Dugan as they did others in similar circumstances. AND lets not forget the damage this is doing to the game.

Of course we all know the NRL will do nothing: Dugan is a newly anointed State of Origin star and puts bums on seats and is, it would seem, a protected species. One wonders what it will actually take for the NRL to do something about Dugan’s conduct and how much more damage he will do to the game in the meantime.