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Slipping Standards

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Irish Londoner
Portnoy's Complaint
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Post by Heuer27 Thu 07 Nov 2013, 5:21 pm

Over the last year or so it's been reported in the press about the unacceptable behaviour of rugby players on nights out etc. the latest being that three current Scottish internationals have been involved in a fairly bad assault whilst within a kebab shop in Glasgow .
Is this the start of a football style culture within the sport? This is the first generation of pro players who have never worked at anything other than rugby. Are we in danger of producing the spoiled brat culture that exists within football ?
I know that currently various Warriors players get morning phone calls to ensure that they are up and ready to deal with publicity commitments .
I am genuinely worried that the values that we cherish in the sport are slowly being eroded due to the professional arena.
Thoughts?

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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Thu 07 Nov 2013, 5:43 pm

I'd be a little careful with the Warriors story, Heuer, particularly when you say 'involved' - my understanding is that there were 4 Scottish internationalists present (of whom one is a 7s player), but that three were mere by-standers OK

On your broader questions, I hope not. We'd have to look at the trend of incidences over the last few years to ascertain any increase in the number of potential incidents

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Post by butterfingers Thu 07 Nov 2013, 5:56 pm

The issue I have is not so much the number of players getting in trouble, there always was going to be far more incidents reported as the sport grows and media come baying for blood, but the incident results themselves.

Players today are supreme athletes, and for one to think it's fair to get into a physical confrontation with a member of the public is crazy, these guys can do serious damage, see Craig Mitchell in Oz recently, no matter what happens they have a duty to restrain themselves.

It's very rare you see a boxer in trouble outside of fight promotion these days, because the penalties are heavier due to them being professional fighters, maybe it's time we started letting EVERY pro sportsman know they will be treated more harshly for incidents that make the media, if not for public safety but for role model reasons.

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Post by Heuer27 Thu 07 Nov 2013, 5:57 pm

I take you point . The media did present it as three international players being involved. I think there is more to come on that story TBH.
It will be interesting to see if there is information to substantiate that there has been more transgressions in behaviour recently. It is definitely being reported more often but that is the power of the mobile phone and social media I suppose.

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Post by Heuer27 Thu 07 Nov 2013, 6:01 pm

Butterfingers I agree wholeheartedly with that.

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Post by DeludedOptimistorjustDave Thu 07 Nov 2013, 9:14 pm

Willie John McBride stood in his underpants and surveyed the scene. The wreckage of his hotel lobby lay all around, with pieces of tables, bits of chair and other furniture strewn about and, in the thick of it, “a dozen drunken Lions, all out of their tree”.
He clenched his pipe between his teeth,turned to the hotel manager, who was, at that precise moment in the early hours of the morning, dripping wet and hopping up and down on one foot. “What,” Willie John said to the manager, “seems to be the problem”?
The Lions might have got away with it if it hadn’t been for Bobby Windsor. The Welsh hooker was one of those players who just could not help but take things a little too far. It was Bobby who took the blame when Tommy David’s bed was shoved out of a window on to the hotel awning below. He had the misfortune to be standing in the shot when a local photographer took a snap of the scene.
That night, after the Lions’ 28-9 victory over South Africa in the second Test of 1974, “someone”, Bobby remembered, “had set light to a load of empty cardboard beer boxes. So I got the fire extinguisher off the wall, but I couldn’t get it to work. So I grabbed a hose pump and used that instead.”
Windsor was somewhat surprised to find himself being berated by the hotel manager across the pile of soggy, steaming cardboard. “He was being a right prat,” Bobby said. “So I gave him a right good drenching as well.”...


So the motto of the story is BOYS WILL BE BOYS! regardless of Class work ethic or bank balance.

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Post by quinsforever Thu 07 Nov 2013, 10:25 pm

what they get up to behind closed doors is a bit different from the OP point - incidents involving members of the public.

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Post by Artful_Dodger Thu 07 Nov 2013, 10:29 pm

butterfingers wrote:

It's very rare you see a boxer in trouble outside of fight promotion these days, because the penalties are heavier due to them being professional fighters, 
I actually heard about a boxer in the US being charged with assault with a deadly weapon (his hands) on account of his training.  The prosecution argued (successfully I believe) that his training in boxing constituted his hands as being deadly weapons.

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Post by DeludedOptimistorjustDave Thu 07 Nov 2013, 10:56 pm

Didn't Amir Khan run someone over?
I guess multi millionaire boxers have a far better manager to hush things up.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 08 Nov 2013, 6:43 am

I think there is a lot more available and reported in the media. In the past we would get away with almost everything. Now, every idiot with a mobile phone is snapping away just to make some dough. We Rugby players are the same juveniles as ever (thank heavens for that), but with professionalism the top level must be more discreet.

In other words, standards are not slipping, its that more is reported in the media. And our lads need to be more careful than ever.

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Post by Dorothy_Mantooth Fri 08 Nov 2013, 8:23 am

Glasgow Hearld reporting Ryan Wilson is subject to a Police report to the Procurator Fiscal over the alleged incident.  

Now that a paper has actually named one of the players, its safe to say that what they are saying is true.   Not obviously that he is guilty, but that he has been reported and some kind of incident took place.

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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Fri 08 Nov 2013, 8:28 am

doctor_grey wrote:I think there is a lot more available and reported in the media.  In the past we would get away with almost everything.  Now, every idiot with a mobile phone is snapping away just to make some dough.  We Rugby players are the same juveniles as ever (thank heavens for that), but with professionalism the top level must be more discreet.  

In other words, standards are not slipping, its that more is reported in the media.  And our lads need to be more careful than ever.  
Probably.
I doubt that terrible sexual crimes on children (and others )are just more common now due to increased crime reporting to police. the greater pressure on the police to act, and the extended, pervasiveness and lowering of media standards to splash it.

Plus in days the days of yore, there was more leniency shown to middle-class high jinx which in the working classes was perceived as delinquency.

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Post by Irish Londoner Fri 08 Nov 2013, 9:54 am

I think there's a combination of factors involved:
1 - Rugby players are much more high profile nowadays and we live in a world of 24 hour news, twitter, cameraphones, etc. which mean that a story can get out much quicker and carries a disproportionate sense of importance.
Anyone think a fight in a kebab shop in Glasgow is an unusual occurence or would attract any attention if the fight involved a couple of "normal" people ?
2 - Rugby players are in the unfortunate position of being famous without being very wealthy in most cases, they live, work, train and socialise in the same places as the public and don't get to hide behind the velevet rope or the VIP rooms with an entourage the way a high profile footballer or boxer would (see also cricketers). Therefore they are "easy meat" for anyone who wants to stir up trouble and get a reputation or impress their mates/girlfriend (not saying that this was the case in this one).
3 - It's not entirely a surprise that young physically strong men may (possibly following a few beverages) get involved in a fight - not that it makes it right or acceptable.
4 - The players themselves have to be much more sensible about their public behaviour and keep themselves out of potentially problematic situations.
5 - The press and public are a lot less likely to turn a blind eye to the behaviour of "rugby boys" and indeed supporters  compared to the old days - there used to be a culture where as long as apologies were issued, damages paid for and a few shirts dished out and autographs signed then everything was covered up (e.g. the Lions tours story above), whether it was the Lions or the local rugby club first 15 on the beer.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 08 Nov 2013, 10:30 am

Portnoy's Complaint wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:I think there is a lot more available and reported in the media.  In the past we would get away with almost everything.  Now, every idiot with a mobile phone is snapping away just to make some dough.  We Rugby players are the same juveniles as ever (thank heavens for that), but with professionalism the top level must be more discreet.  

In other words, standards are not slipping, its that more is reported in the media.  And our lads need to be more careful than ever.  
Probably.
I doubt that terrible sexual crimes on children (and others )are just more common now due to increased crime reporting to police. the greater pressure on the police to act, and the extended, pervasiveness and lowering of media standards to splash it.

Plus in days the days of yore, there was more leniency shown to middle-class high jinx which in the working classes was perceived as delinquency.
Port,
You are going in a very different direction. I am not remotely mentioning sexual predation towards women and children. That is so far beyond The Pale, and I don't think thats part of this discussion. I have my own very draconian ideas about how to deal with child abusers, which I won't begin to mention here.

I think this was more about the usual types of trouble Rugby players used to get away with and can no longer. Let's keep that separate. If a Rugby player actually gets involved with something awful, then he/she gets dealt with by the fullest extent of the law. And if that is not enough, send them my way.

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Post by Dorothy_Mantooth Fri 08 Nov 2013, 10:41 am

In terms of being high profile, Rugby players in Scotland to be honest don't have that problem. I would guess that almost all of them can go about "normal" life in Scotland and certainly Glasgow without the vast, vast majority of people knowing who they are. Also those who know who they are, are by and large going to be Rugby fans and very unlikely to want to start any trouble with them or a have a go, unlike say if a Rangers or Celtic player were to be in a bar.

This incident appears to have been a rugby related incident, in that there was an alleged incident between some of the Hawks and Warriors players earlier in the evening and then again when the alleged assault took place.

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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Fri 08 Nov 2013, 10:46 am

doctor_grey wrote:
Portnoy's Complaint wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:I think there is a lot more available and reported in the media.  In the past we would get away with almost everything.  Now, every idiot with a mobile phone is snapping away just to make some dough.  We Rugby players are the same juveniles as ever (thank heavens for that), but with professionalism the top level must be more discreet.  

In other words, standards are not slipping, its that more is reported in the media.  And our lads need to be more careful than ever.  
Probably.
I doubt that terrible sexual crimes on children (and others )are just more common now due to increased crime reporting to police. the greater pressure on the police to act, and the extended, pervasiveness and lowering of media standards to splash it.

Plus in days the days of yore, there was more leniency shown to middle-class high jinx which in the working classes was perceived as delinquency.
Port,
You are going in a very different direction.  I am not remotely mentioning sexual predation towards women and children.  That is so far beyond The Pale, and I don't think thats part of this discussion.  I have my own very draconian ideas about how to deal with child abusers, which I won't begin to mention here.  

I think this was more about the usual types of trouble Rugby players used to get away with and can no longer.  Let's keep that separate.  If a Rugby player actually gets involved with something awful, then he/she gets dealt with by the fullest extent of the law.  And if that is not enough, send them my way.  
No Doc, you miss my point.

What I'm trying to point out that is that just as societal standards have changed, so have pressures on police to investigate have increased whilst media standards in reporting what is newsworthy appear to decline.

In this case, whilst the police appear not to be involved, I doubt that a column millimetre would have been devoted by the press to the incident not so very long ago.
And probably the club would have not been inclined to do anything as it would have been treated as a jape.

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Post by beshocked Fri 08 Nov 2013, 10:49 am

Irish Londoner couldn't have put it better myself.

E.g. Ashton getting bottled in a night club. Just minding his own business yet got targeted.

I am sure this story about the 3 Scottish players is a storm in a teacup.

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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Fri 08 Nov 2013, 11:04 am

beshocked wrote:Irish Londoner couldn't have put it better myself.

E.g. Ashton getting bottled in a night club. Just minding his own business yet got targeted.

I am sure this story about the 3 Scottish players is a storm in a teacup
.
Wish that were true, beshocked, but this one looks to have legs, at first glance anyhew Crying or Very sad 

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Post by beshocked Fri 08 Nov 2013, 11:07 am

Really? Have you got any more details?

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Post by Heuer27 Fri 08 Nov 2013, 12:49 pm

I do but I can't expand at the moment. This is not over and it's not a scuffle in a kebab shop either.

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Post by Bathman_in_London Fri 08 Nov 2013, 1:45 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:I think there's a combination of factors involved:
1 - Rugby players are much more high profile nowadays and we live in a world of 24 hour news, twitter, cameraphones, etc. which mean that a story can get out much quicker and carries a disproportionate sense of importance.
Anyone think a fight in a kebab shop in Glasgow is an unusual occurence or would attract any attention if the fight involved a couple of "normal" people ?
2 - Rugby players are in the unfortunate position of being famous without being very wealthy in most cases, they live, work, train and socialise in the same places as the public and don't get to hide behind the velevet rope or the VIP rooms with an entourage the way a high profile footballer or boxer would (see also cricketers). Therefore they are "easy meat" for anyone who wants to stir up trouble and get a reputation or impress their mates/girlfriend (not saying that this was the case in this one).
3 - It's not entirely a surprise that young physically strong men may (possibly following a few beverages) get involved in a fight - not that it makes it right or acceptable.
4 - The players themselves have to be much more sensible about their public behaviour and keep themselves out of potentially problematic situations.
5 - The press and public are a lot less likely to turn a blind eye to the behaviour of "rugby boys" and indeed supporters  compared to the old days - there used to be a culture where as long as apologies were issued, damages paid for and a few shirts dished out and autographs signed then everything was covered up (e.g. the Lions tours story above), whether it was the Lions or the local rugby club first 15 on the beer.
I think these reasons covers it really.

Sadly I do think that long term we may see more stories like this, heavily muscled well paid 24 year olds are a different breed to the Jason Leonard's of old and I'm not sure the 'banter' is quite the same as it used to be. I have certainly heard stories about some current-ish internationals which are pretty disgraceful and a long way from the old school drink a load of beer in a silly costume and have a laugh type of thing that used to be associated with rugby.

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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Fri 08 Nov 2013, 2:06 pm

I recall a 'crowd disturbance' at a Glaws v Tigers Cup Final game at HQ in the seventies. In the old traditionally favoured fan violence spot of behind the goalposts.

It never got a mention in the press or on the telly.

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Post by Heuer27 Fri 08 Nov 2013, 2:11 pm

Bathman that was my initial point really. It appears to be a cultural change. For want of a better word arrogance. You know I'm young healthy , wealthy, high profile, Molly coddled and can do what I want attitude. Bourne by never actually ever having had to work for a living.
Just like our football players have developed. I hope I'm wrong though.

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Post by quinsforever Fri 08 Nov 2013, 2:19 pm

agree heuer. and the country with the worst problems with their stars is undoubtedly Aus (beale, o'connor, cooper, etc). and i think this is significantly due to their "star" culture of centrally contracted payers getting big fees per Aus match. how can they not end up being enormously cocky and presenting themselves as targets.

as in football, the manager that keeps control of the animals the best will likely produce the best "teams" rather than group of "individuals". (ferguson).

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Post by 21st Century Schizoid Man Fri 08 Nov 2013, 4:30 pm

Portnoy's Complaint wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
Portnoy's Complaint wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:I think there is a lot more available and reported in the media.  In the past we would get away with almost everything.  Now, every idiot with a mobile phone is snapping away just to make some dough.  We Rugby players are the same juveniles as ever (thank heavens for that), but with professionalism the top level must be more discreet.  

In other words, standards are not slipping, its that more is reported in the media.  And our lads need to be more careful than ever.  
Probably.
I doubt that terrible sexual crimes on children (and others )are just more common now due to increased crime reporting to police. the greater pressure on the police to act, and the extended, pervasiveness and lowering of media standards to splash it.

Plus in days the days of yore, there was more leniency shown to middle-class high jinx which in the working classes was perceived as delinquency.
Port,
You are going in a very different direction.  I am not remotely mentioning sexual predation towards women and children.  That is so far beyond The Pale, and I don't think thats part of this discussion.  I have my own very draconian ideas about how to deal with child abusers, which I won't begin to mention here.  

I think this was more about the usual types of trouble Rugby players used to get away with and can no longer.  Let's keep that separate.  If a Rugby player actually gets involved with something awful, then he/she gets dealt with by the fullest extent of the law.  And if that is not enough, send them my way.  
No Doc, you miss my point.

What I'm trying to point out that is that just as societal standards have changed, so have pressures on police to investigate have increased whilst media standards in reporting what is newsworthy appear to decline.

In this case, whilst the police appear not to be involved, I doubt that a column millimetre would have been devoted by the press to the incident not so very long ago.
And probably the club would have not been inclined to do anything as it would have been treated as a jape.
Who do you think reports the matter to the Procurator Fiscal then ?

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 08 Nov 2013, 8:47 pm

Portnoy's Complaint wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:I think there is a lot more available and reported in the media.  In the past we would get away with almost everything.  Now, every idiot with a mobile phone is snapping away just to make some dough.  We Rugby players are the same juveniles as ever (thank heavens for that), but with professionalism the top level must be more discreet.  

In other words, standards are not slipping, its that more is reported in the media.  And our lads need to be more careful than ever.  
Probably.
I doubt that terrible sexual crimes on children (and others )are just more common now due to increased crime reporting to police. the greater pressure on the police to act, and the extended, pervasiveness and lowering of media standards to splash it.

Plus in days the days of yore, there was more leniency shown to middle-class high jinx which in the working classes was perceived as delinquency.
Clearly, I am not talking about sex crimes, That is something so disgusting that emasculation is the least of he punishments. But flogging Andy Powell for taking a golf cart on the M4? Really? Seems pretty mild to me.

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Post by The Fourth Lion Sat 09 Nov 2013, 2:35 pm

In the past.... certainly when I played.... rugby players and fans policed themselves. Yes, there were the ritual de-baggings and games the likes of which may feature fire extinguishers and / or other appurtenances, but that was passed off as high spirits.

There was a line beyond which behaviour should not go, and that mostly remained uncrossed. Those who did start going too far would usually be pulled to one side by the Captain or any other member of the team still sober enough to see that things were getting a little out of hand. It didn't require the attention of the police.

But we live in different times now. The public in general is less tolerant of, sometimes even the mildest level of misbehaviour and are prepared to call the police even when there is only a perceived threat. We had the police called to our local rugby club about a year ago because somebody left his car lights on in the car park and they were shining onto somebody's window across the way. The woman in the house thought rugby players were trying to see into her daughter's bedroom.

You may say she was being silly, but this occurred at the height of the Saville revelations and it's understandable that some people were perhaps a little hyper sensitive at that time.

It just goes to demonstrate that people's awarenesses are higher than they used to be and there is much less of a tolerant attitude towards anything that might be construed as anti-social behaviour.

It is true that some players are nowadays getting into more serious levels of civil disorder. Gavin Henson fighting on a train travelling on a train back to Wales from a match at Harlequins for example. He is a role model to young people and must realise the responsibilities that go with being a famous sportsman. It's inevitable that the press will pick up on such things and milk them for all they're worth.

Perhaps it should now be a case of "keep it in the club." What goes on between the walls of the rugby club is one thing, where players and members can still police each other and club sanctions can be applied where appropriate and PC Plod doesn't need to be involved. Just make sure it isn't taken out onto the street.

I too would be sad to see the traditional high-jinks of the rugby playing fraternity completely neutered by political correctness and Big Brother policing, but those who play rugby at any level must now be aware that they are not exempt from public intolerance and that the bigger the name, the greater delight the press will take in selling papers off the back of it.

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