Because most footballers took it as given back then, that boxers were the only ones who could seriously hurt. Now we know so much more, of course measures have to be taken to deal with the newly understood dangers – or face the consequences, which is such massive legal action because of lack of duty of care for employees in a business that the game will be shut down. No ifs, no buts, that is what will happen.
Peter V’landys gets it. Phil Gould does not. And I reckon you are a work in progress!
See Andrew, if you want to reduce it to horse racing, let’s do just that. In the early days, the jockeys wore cloth caps. From 1906, amid some controversy, the Victoria Racing Club made ‘stiff skull caps’ compulsory for jumps races in Victoria in 1906, and, after a coroner’s inquest pointed out that too many jockeys were still dying, they became compulsory for races on the flat from 1919 onwards.
Yes, the jockeys were still signing up for the risks, but the people who ran the show were fulfilling their duty to make it safer. Things keep evolving to this day, where helmets are lighter, made from fibreglass and foam, and every race is filmed, allowing stewards to easily identify dangerous riding.
Oh, and while running rails were still made from hard timber as late as the 1960s, they were eventually replaced by aluminium which had more give when hit by a a jockey, and from 2006 on replaced by the Mawsafe plastic running rail, with uprights designed to break away in a fall. And jockeys now wear safety vests.
All these changes have kept more jockeys alive than there otherwise would be, with less brain damage and less of them in wheelchairs. They knew the risks back in 1860s, just as they know them now. That is not the issue.
The issue is the duty of care for the people who run the show to do everything they can to make it safer – or face the consequences.
V’landys et al are very late to the show, but at least they are now doing what needs to be done. And there is no way around it. As I said in my column on Thursday, V’landys’ crackdown is not just about securing the future of rugby league, it is only chance the game has, and even then it is going to be a close-run thing.
What Naomi could learn from Sticky
Speaking of Ricky, I know you suspect that there are likely very few things that Naomi Osaka could learn from him despite Ricky’s his frequent blistering back-handers. But when it comes to engaging with the press in conferences that you are contractually obliged to attend even when you don’t want to be there, both Stuart and Wayne Bennett have shown the way.
That is, be so terse, so dull, and so short that when you have met your obligatory five minutes and rise to leave, the press themselves will be relieved that you have gone.
But doing it the way Osaka did it, just refusing to turn up? It resulted in a classic example of what is known as the “Streisand effect,” named for what happened when Barbra Streisand once tried to suppress an image of her house being in the public domain. Prior to that attempted suppression leaking, the press had little interest.
With the attempt, images of her house were all through the media. It is fair enough that Osaka wants to prioritise her mental health above all else, and relieve herself of the pressure of the press. But the inevitable result of refusing to attend the press conferences was – through the Streisand effect – 10 times the pressure she was under previously.
Be like Ricky and watch Wayne: be terse, dull, and short. And then do what the Americans did in Vietnam: declare victory, and leave.
All for a Greyt cause
TFF has written many times about the poxy greyhound racing industry, the disgrace of the NSW government’s continued support, and the fabulous people of Greyhound Rescue, who do everything they can to look after those beautiful animals once they slow down, to give them happy homes rather than a spot in a mass grave. What they have been able to accomplish on very little money is extraordinary, which brings me to the nub.
As a fundraiser they have created a series of artworks “painted” by rescued greyhounds at their kennels. Paint is placed on canvas, topped by vinyl, and then coated in cream cheese and peanut butter – and the hounds’ tongues do the rest. The series is called the Greyt Masters, with the caption of: “I don’t know much about art but I know what I lick.” You can purchase here or attend and bid at the exhibition at Yulli’s Brews in Alexandria today from 2pm – 6pm. Bravo, the lot of them.
Not happy, John
Gore Vidal said it best: “Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.″
Look, I am not quite positive what the medical manufacturing mob Trajan does, how John Eales became chairman of the board; why Deloitte have just named them as one of Australia’s top 20 “Businesses of Tomorrow”, blah, blah, blah, but I am sick – SICK, do you hear me? – of reading in the financial press of how they’re moving towards $100 million revenue a year, raising squillions for some new “capital venture,” whatever that is, and how Eales is doing a brilliant job, blah, blah, blah. Someone make it stop!
WHAT THEY SAID
Naomi Osaka withdrawing from the French Open via social media: “This isn’t a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posted a few days ago. I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris.″
Phil Gould to Peter V’landys: “How would you tackle Jason Taumalolo? Kikau?” V’landys: “I’d tackle them around the legs”. Gould: “You wouldn’t last two minutes.” And the game wouldn’t last five years if Gould was running it, and not taking the urgent action required on concussion.
Steve Mortimer, announcing that at the age of 64 he has dementia, caused, he believes, from playing rugby league: “A part of my brain has died.”
Senior NRL player to Danny Weidler threatening a coup on Peter V’landys for daring to try to make the game safer: “We don’t know what to do and we feel like we have not got the power to remove him,” a senior player told Weidler, “but what is going on cannot keep going on. He is affecting the product and he is taking the fun out of the game.”
New NSW Origin player Brian To’o on receiving the good news while in church: “The pastor was preaching the word to the young kids and my phone goes off. I quickly grabbed it and ran outside and checked it. It was just random numbers. I thought it might be Commonwealth Bank or UberEats. I didn’t want to get my hopes up.” It was Brad Fittler.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on suddenly getting an extra Origin game in Queensland because the Melbourne game was cancelled: “I understand NSW are whingeing and you’d expect that from NSW. They’re good at whingeing and that’s all I ever hear is whinge, whinge, whinge from NSW.”
Who else but Greg Norman?: “I definitely will be coming home. I actually want to spend my final days on this earth in Australia. It’s not morbid — trust me, I am going to live to 115. I still have a lot of time in my life to enjoy parts of Australia that I have been and seen.”
Aussie softballer Rachel Lack: “There’s obviously the COVID protocols and we will be following that to a tee. I am not fussed wearing a mask or anything like that, I work at Bunnings so I have to wear it every day at work anyway.”
Modern pentathlete Ed Fernon plans to retire again after Tokyo: “I’ll be hanging up the boots, the sword, the pistol and looking forward to being a dad and running the business again.”
South Australia’s chief public health officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier, on getting away from the football if it comes into the stands: “We’re looking at the seating at the moment and, of course, we’re looking at the ball. Because sometimes the ball, not that I’ve been to many football games, but I have noticed occasionally it does get kicked into the crowd. We are working through the details of what that will mean. If you are at Adelaide Oval and the ball comes towards you, my advice to you is to duck and just do not touch that ball.”
Israel Folau’s legal representative, Sam Iskander, on suing the QRL: “Israel Folau is a perfect role model for the game and the QRL needs to recognise that.” Seriously? Eyes right and all hail someone who continues to spout homophobic gibberish, pisses off most thinking people and nearly all sponsors, and continues to break commitment. This, is your perfect role model?
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Reds. Finally an Australian team defeated a Kiwi opponent in trans-Tasman rugby! True, they struggled from the moment I started braying on Twitter that they were ahead by 30 points, and very nearly lost, but they held on!
Devon Conway. The Kiwi scored a double ton on debut against England at Lord’s, at the age of 29 years and 324 days. Interestingly in Australia, the record for highest score on debut is still held by Charles Bannerman with his 165 in the very first Test in 1877.
Ash Barty. Bugger. After sweeping nearly all before her on clay in the last month she had to withdraw in the second round of the French Open with a hip injury.
David Warner and Greg Chappell. Will be going head-to-head in The Chappell Foundation’s fourth annual golf day on Tuesday, June 22, at the NSW Golf Club. Interestingly, though a left-handed batsman, Warner plays golf right-handed. If you’d like to enter, try http://shorturl.at/floGK.
St George Illawarra fans. Gave Jack de Belin a standing ovation on his return to the Dragons line-up. Seriously. In the history of the world has there ever been a lower bar set to get a standing ovation? Disgraceful.
Naomi Osaka. Thursday: announced she wasn’t doing press at the French Open. Monday: pulled out of French Open.
RIP. Rick Mitchell. The last Australian male runner to win an individual Olympic medal on the track passed away. Won silver in Moscow in 1980.
— to www.smh.com.au