It’s been more than a week since Canberra Raiders Rugby League player,Joel Monaghan, fronted the media to resign from the club as a player. The NRL had also been reported as considering deregistering him as a player.
The images of alleged bestiality with a dog that had been released onto the Internet and reported in the media had finished his career. Much was written about the alleged bestiality, and that it was a drunken prank that occurred as part of ‘Mad Monday” – annual binge-drinking events tolerated by Clubs, and the NRL.
The NRL, QLD, NSW and Australian representative teams, and Brisbane and Newcastle RL clubs are sponsored by beer companies. These entities have a vested interest in not reducing the alcohol consumption of players, nor of the public who go to see the sponsors’ ads … err ..game.
An acquaintance talked about the “the devil” in the drink, and the actions of players who were present, and did nothing, and of those who took and publicised the photo, or photos. I agreed that it was certainly unethical and morally wrong for Monaghan’s “mates” to stand around watching the alleged act, but doing nothing, and to take and release photos. In its derivation “devil” comes from ancient Greek (& later, Latin) words which mean “accuser” & “slanderer”.
Joel Monaghan, and other sports professionals who have suffered public embarrassment or humiliation, has paid a very public price for his binge-drinking and alcohol-induced stupidity. But there are devils within his team, and his group of “mates”. They are culpable because they did NOTHING to stop actions they knew to be wrong; took photos of it; and now remain anonymous. Those reactions are, truly, “devilish”. For its part, Canberra Raiders club has said it would not try to identify the player who leaked the photo. They are happy to retain the “devil” and do nothing about him.