UPDATE: The NRL has now banned Robert Lui from competing in the league for an entire season. This is an incredibly important step and a powerful precedent that sends a strong message that the league will not accept violence against women and will crack down on those found guilty of perpetrating that.
I more comprehensive response to the League's move will be posted soon, but for now they should be congratulated on this important decision.
----- ORIGINAL PETITION TEXT ----
I'm ashamed at the Rugby League continuing to turn a blind-eye to players beating up women.
Two weeks ago, a player who used to be with the team I love -- the Wests Tigers -- pleaded guilty to assaulting his girlfriend and mother of his six-month old baby. Yet the Rugby League thinks it's appropriate to allow this player back on the field to be a "role model" to my kids within weeks.
It's happening over and over again, but the NRL is still refusing to adequately deal with the issues of violence against women within their clubs. They've tried education programs, and should be congratulated for helping in rehabilitation programs -- but it's clearly not working by itself.
I think that every single player needs to face serious, career-threatening consequences for assaulting a woman. These actions wouldn't be tolerated in other workplaces -- why should they be for League players?
I'm calling on NRL chief David Gallop to implement an automatic, one-season ban for any player found guilty of assaulting a woman. It would send a clear message that the NRL is serious about stopping players hitting women.
I'm a born and bred Tigers supporter of over thirty years. I love the game, and I want my son to grow up a Wests Tigers fan, but I'm ashamed and sick of the weak response from the NRL to players bashing women. It's not the culture and behaviour I expect of players who are held up as role models to kids.
If enough fans, commentators and the community join me in speaking out about this culture, it could force NRL chief David Gallop to finally get serious about implementing policies to deal with violence against women.
Please sign my petition to NRL chief David Gallop and demand that they implement a policy to ban players for one year if they are guilty of domestic violence.