The ARU and QRU have just announced the following punishment for Karmichael Hunt arising out of today’s guilty plea:
The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) today suspended Karmichael Hunt for six weeks and fined him $30,000.
The statement then goes on to say:
As Karmichael has already been made unavailable for selection for two weeks, he will return to competitive Rugby in Round Eight of the Super Rugby season.
So let’s be clear: it actually is only a 4 game suspension and not a 6 game suspension. Let’s also be clear that the penalty incurred is less then 15% of Hunt’s contract value.
I note the comments of the CEO of the Queensland Reds that this is also a player welfare issue and I will be glad if the Reds assist Hunt in getting the help he needs.
Equally, as in the situation with Kurtley Beale, the ARU has shown itself to be more interested in the welfare of a player over the welfare of the code because I have no doubt that fans of the game will be lost because yet another player has received a slap on the wrist when a sterner penalty surely was the public expectation when considered in line with community standards.
I hope Hunt takes this golden ticket he has received and comes back a better player and a person for the Reds. He has received an opportunity that most in the community would not have.