By STEVE MASCORD
YOU are probably expecting this week’s Discord to deal with hefty issues such as the salary cap, Collective Bargaining Agreement and stadiums policy. And we will get there.
But I found the story this week about the wife of Gold Coast Titans chief executive David May, Kortney Olson, intriguing. You know the one – about how she used to star in “fetish porn”, had a drug problem and has now been appointed a volunteer strength and conditioning coach to the Titans Under 20s.
Reaction to this story has either been outrage – the suggestion that she and even May must be sacked – or mirth. In England, League Weekly ran the headline “Ex-porn Star Helps With ‘Cor’ Strength’.
I am not going to criticise colleague Peter Badel for writing this story because it’s extremely illuminating about the way we see ourselves culturally.
How many players over the years have we given second, third and fourth chances after getting on the wrong side of the law, which to the best of my knowledge Kortney Olson has not?
Let’s check the rap sheets of every ex-player involved in coaching Under 20s sides. I’m sure some would not make for pretty reading.
We want her HUSBAND to resign because of HER past? I would have thought family members doing volunteer work for clubs was part of the fabric of rugby league…
We are willing to accept torrents of money from gambling firms but yet “porn king” Con Ange (who I accept shouldn’t be a sponsor) is not even allowed in dressingrooms.
Why are we so squeamish about sex? Every time Sam Burgess gets asked by a panel show host about how his “search for a girlfriend” is going, do you think they’re referring to sitting on the park bench holding hands?
The best comment by any reader during the Cronulla group sex furore a couple of years ago came from a woman who wrote at the bottom of an online news story that she engages in sex with groups of men regularly, that it is completely consensual and she enjoys it.
Sure, there is a power imbalance there that would disturb most of us – but it is not for us to tell her what she does in her leisure time. Why is rugby league forcing a certain set of values on people – and hounding out those who don’t conform?
That is, gamble a lot, drink a lot, spend hours in front of the TV but be in a monogamous, house-owning relationship with a kid or two.
I know there is a line to be drawn but we are drawing it in the wrong place, not far below “puritanical”. We are willing to forgive our players for just about anything but we seem to have far less tolerance and open mindedness towards everyone else. It doesn’t help us in our quest to get the same demographic spread as the AFL.
THERE seems to be a wide variety of opinions floating around right now about the performance of the ARL Commission and, specifically, its chairman John Grant.
Much of the criticism – which originates in clubland – comes from two areas. One, it’s mild xenophobia: new CEO David Smith doesn’t know who Cameron Smith is. Two, it’s the fact that nothing has happened yet – in a variety of areas including sponsorship, radio rights, the collective bargaining agreement, the salary cap, competition naming rights, etc.