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Why Stuart won’t understand his petulance but will consider himself a martyr after being banned


When I was 11, I was bullied by my football team. Being by far the slowest player on the team, with an almost total lack of kicking skills, I became a target for my more talented and confident teammates – who also knew I was not one to fight back. .

My football career ended one night in training when my comrades’ taunts turned into physical aggression and I left the pitch in tears, never to return.

At the time, I might have referred to these teammates as “weak dogs,” had I heard of the phrase and not found it as oddly inelegant as I do now.

What I wouldn’t have done was label them as adults, when a decade or more had passed since the incident. Why not? ‘Cause as awful as I felt when I was 11, after I grew up I knew they were kids who were jerks like kids often are, and even the jerkiest kids can grow into adults. reasonably not assholes.

I also knew that I wouldn’t want to be judged on my worst childhood moments for the rest of my life, and to do that to someone else would be absurd.

That’s clearly not the view of Ricky Stuart, or his close pals in the rugby league media, led by his good guy in chief, Paul Kent. In their view, a child who has been an asshole needs permanent tarring, and we must hold everyone accountable for every misdeed of their childhood, in perpetuity.

One can only imagine the incredibly upright citizens Stuart and Kent must have been as children, to live with the over-the-top oral justice they do today. If they were ever assholes back then, they have no memory of it.

Maybe that’s why they’re working so hard to make up for lost time now.

Stuart was hit with a $25,000 fine and a one-week suspension from practice, which is well deserved – he’s lucky he didn’t get more.

But the problem with punishments, of course, is that they often only serve to convince an aspiring martyr of his martyrdom.

Since the Canberra manager’s ‘apology’ after the fact was really just an expression of regret, he said what he said in a press conference, rather than any sort of acknowledgment that he was an irritable and immature jerk or the harm he could have caused Jaeman. Salmon, it seems doubtful that he’ll come out of the case with anything other than an even bigger persecution complex than he already had – which is saying something, when it comes to Ricky Stuart.

No, with his players coming out to declare they “have his back”, and his media colleagues manning the barricades on his behalf, Sticky will just come to the conclusion that he is a brave truth-teller, exposing the wrongdoings of the Under-12s in the light of justice, and those who would punish him for his honesty are just little people desperate to tear down a gaming titan.

(Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

So there’s probably no point in doing the review, because even if Stuart read it, he wouldn’t accept it, but never mind…

Stuart’s behavior on Saturday night was absolutely pathetic.

A 55-year-old sat in front of the entire country and declared himself incapable of anything as a mature response to the events of the previous game.

When given the choice between angrily denouncing a transgression on the pitch or diplomatically declining to comment, he did neither: instead, he attacked the character of a young man based on events over ten years ago when the young man was a child.

Of course, Stuart’s claim is that he let his emotions get the better of him. This often happens with Stuart. Not always, of course. He manages to control himself pretty well most of the time.

But sometimes, when your team was embarrassingly beaten in a game, they should have had a chance, but instead they folded without a shot, and your chances in the final are almost exhausted, and you feel under pressure as a coach, and you I really prefer not to talk about your shortcomings or those of your players… well, in these circumstances, that deep passion only comes to the surface and you just don’t no choice but to bring up an incident at a children’s soccer game 12 years ago.

What else could he do? As Kent repeatedly pointed out on NRL 360, he stood up for his family. What, few people know.

What man would do anything but stand up for his family when no one said anything about him about events he wouldn’t have known about if you hadn’t brought it up yourself?

Now, according to Kent, if more people knew what happened back then, we would completely understand Stuart’s actions and fully support him. He says it’s a testament to Stuart’s good character that he didn’t tell us all what Salmon did to his children all those years ago.

I’m here to say if Kent or Stuart want me to swallow this, they better tell us what he did. Because I can’t imagine what an 11 year old could say or do that would mean I still had such a grudge that when the boy was 23 I thought slandering him in public was a reasonable course of action . Maybe there is something.

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 06: Jaeman Salmon of the Panthers scores a try during the NRL Round 21 match between Canberra Raiders and Penrith Panthers at GIO Stadium on August 06, 2022, in Canberra, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Jaeman Salmon scores a try. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Perhaps Salmon’s actions as a child were so heinous that they are simply unforgivable, now or never. But extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence: until someone tells me what that ultimate sin was, I’m not buying.

Until I’m told otherwise, I’m going to assume that’s exactly what it sounds like: a stupid, unnecessarily mean attack from a man who needs a crash course in integrity. , grace and honor.

It wasn’t an involuntary scream in the heat of the moment. The trainer didn’t see Salmon’s boot make contact with Tom Starling’s tender portions and shout “weak dog to gut” before he had a chance to think. He walked into the press room after the game, sat down and made a conscious decision to talk about it.

In 1991, I might have called my teammates weak-gut dogs. If I told the world who they were, and still resented them all these years later, I would know deep down who was weak.

Deep down I wonder if Ricky Stuart knows that too. Because the dog in this fight is not Jaeman Salmon.




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