BECAUSE BEING ILL INFORMED SHOULDN'T STOP YOU WRITING ABOUT RUGBY
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Joe Marler subjected to 'foulest of personal abuse' before head kick
The written judgement in the Joe Marler disciplinary hearing for his head kick to a Grenoble player reveals the England and Harlquins prop has been subjected to the 'foulest of personal abuse' in the lead up to the incident.
The telling part of the written judgement reads: "Before watching the video clips, Mr Smith suggested it was important for the Committee to understand both the wider context and the on field context in which the Player's offending had
"The Player (Joe Marler), questioned by Mr Smith, explained that the Match was his first game after serving a
period of suspension imposed for his misconduct in a case that had received extremely wide and,
from his point of view, adverse publicity."
"In the heat of a moment he had entirely inappropriately
addressed an opponent by derogatory reference to his ethnicity. He accepted unreservedly that he
had been in the wrong and did not demur from the need for the game of rugby to address that
inappropriateness but the pressure on the Player of the extended process that had been applied by
the different authorities in the game, the extensive press and television coverage and the personal
vilification he had been subjected to in social media had at times been difficult to bear.
"All of this was said not with self pity or self justification but with a mature acceptance that the game of
rugby deserved, required, to be protected from the critical attention the Player's reprehensible, heat of
the moment, remark had generated."
The consequence of all of this in the case now being considered was that it gave the opposition in the
Match and particularly the opposition front row more than ample ammunition to use against the Player
in an attempt to "wind him up" and that is what they had done.
The Player explained that it was
common in the game for teams to use any means available to gain marginal advantage over their
opponents and that included verbal as well as physical means. From the start of the Match and
consequent upon his recent misconduct case, he had been subjected to the foulest of verbal abuse
and references of a personal nature.