CALL TO ACTION: 0 Tolerance to racism in Rugby League

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As a player and spectator of rugby league I wish to report a BREACH of the Rugby League Code of Conduct which states:

"CLUBS are responsible for the conduct of their players, parents/carers of the players, coaches, officials and club SUPPORTERS"

and that

"Breaches of the rugby league code of conduct may result in penalties, including but not limited to:

"Suspension of a club, League or Association on a temporary or permanent basis."

I understand that there have been numerous formal complaints lodged against Dora Creek Rugby League Football Club from other various clubs relating to bullying and harassment from poor attitudes from both player, official and crowd behaviour which breach the following:  NRL Code of Conduct, Members Protection Policy, Risk Management Procedure, NRL Inclusion Framework and NRL Mission and Beliefs.

I also understand that following a prior incident relating to racism, bullying and harassment earlier in the season a request was made to change venues to protect the safety and wellbeing of players from another club in the lead up to game held on the 19/09/2020. During the Dora Creek V West Wallsend game I then witnessed Dora Creek supporters yelling racist abuse before they proceeded to project objects towards the bench of West Wallsend before then jumping the barrier and enter the field which lead to a brawl that stopped the game with 40 seconds to go.

Due to the above I request the following:

  1. Dora Creek Rugby League Football Club Suspended immediately. For they are responsible for the officials and supporters who have breached points A; D; E; F and G of the Code of Conduct. Not just in the game played between West Wallsend and Dora Creek on 19/09/2020, but in previous matches where various clubs have lodged formal complaints for the racist comments and poor behaviour during games on and off the field.
  2. Upon returning to the competition Dora Creek Rugby League Club staff and players are to attend cultural training - inclusive of manager’s, players, refs, coaches and training staff and that no individual is to attend a game or take the field at any capacity until cultural training is complete.
  3. That Dora creek makes an official statement via the media that it does not condone the racial slur harassment or abuse made by its supporters, players or staff. That it apologises for not taking a stronger stance on both the NRLs Code of Conduct and Member Protection Policy which states:                                                                                 6.3.3 Prohibition against discrimination and harassment The NRL prohibits all forms of harassment and discrimination based on the personal characteristics listed in the “Definitions” set out in the Dictionary of Terms [see clause 10]. Any person who believes they are being, or have been, harassed or discriminated against by another person or organisation bound by this policy is encouraged to raise their concerns with us. A person may make an internal complaint, and in some circumstances, they may also be able to make a complaint to an external organisation. (Refer to the attachments in Part D of this policy)                                              That the club recognises that it has had several complaints relating to racism over various years from several clubs and that it should have taken a much stronger stance against such poor behaviour as part of the NRLs risk management procedures which may have prevented such a violent incident occurring.
  4. That when the club is permitted to return to the competition ANY person within the ground who breaches the code is immediately removed and appropriately dealt with. And that a minimum of an 8 match band is applied but that more severe penalties are applied pending the severity of any incident which occurs
  5. That all patrons including supporters are made aware of the code of conduct and understand that by entering the grounds the agree to adhere to all elements of the code. That it is visible to all who enter the grounds on a sign at each entry
  6. That NHRL and NSWRL males a statement recognising its accountability to truly ensure that players, including players of colour are safe and protected both physically, mentally and emotionally when playing Rugby League. That NSWRL apologise for not taking serious action against Dora Creek RLFC permitting the club to host games regardless of the number of formal complaints coming from various clubs over many years, despite other clubs following the correct formal internal processes. And that NHRL and NSWRL recognises it should have taken a much stronger stance against such poor behaviour as part of the NRLs Risk Management Procedures which may have prevented such a violent incident occurring.
  7. That NHRL and NSWRL is held accountable for not taking firmer disciplinary action, which has led to no real change, regardless of hearing these complaints about Dora Creeks poor management of these issues and recognises this is a direct breach of the Code of Conduct, Member Inclusion Policy, NRL Inclusion Framework and Risk Management as well as the NRLs Mission and Values.
  8. That NHRL and NSWRL recognises the opportunity to strive to lead the way in the NRL’s Mission and Values in the future, not just in the way of stronger disciplinary action of individuals and clubs who breach the NRLSs policies, guidelines and frameworks, but through the positive promotion of cultural diversity in the game.
  9. That the NHRL and NSWRL formulates an Inclusion and Diversity Committee who offer guidance and support to players facing disciplinary action; or who feel victimised as a result of a breach of conduct; and who also assists NSWRL in positively promoting diversity within the game, including promotional games such as Women in League and Indigenous Rounds at a local level
  10. That the above be taken into consideration when the players and club of West Wallsend face the judiciary for the event that occurred on the 19th September. This was a foreseeable and preventable incident, had there been stronger penalties laid against Dora Creek as per the NRLs Diversity and Inclusion Framework and policies relating to code of conduct and risk management.