David Gallop, the Chief Executive of the NRL has well and truly reached his use-by date and needs to move on. There are no longer places in sport for what seems to be biased individuals who put their own opinions and beliefs ahead of the good of the game.
Not only was Gallop the major player behind the controversial stripping of Melbourne Storm's 2007 and 2009 Premierships, he has further incited thousands of Rugby League fans by comparing them to terrorists and making the following remarks after being booed at AAMI Park on Sunday;
"I never really go for that whole passion line, I mean, terrorists are passionate about what they do and, you know, that doesn't make it right. I obviously didn't enjoy it, but I'm absolutely confident we made the right decision."
When pressed on his use of the term terrorist, Gallop, in reference to the recent 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, responded;
"Well, it's a topical one at the moment. Passion is a bad excuse and it gets used too much in sport… Passion isn't something that is an excuse for poor behaviour."
Yes David, it is topical at the moment… However using a vocal crowd as a reference to the 9/11 attacks is simply ridiculous. What kind of example are you setting for sports fans, players, officials and administrators all over the globe?
In addition to this, booing occurs at sporting events all over the world and is all part of what makes a home-ground advantage, advantageous. Furthermore, to imply passion doesn't belong in sport is absolutely ridiculous as passion is the key factor in what makes sport enjoyable for both players and fans. If there was no passion, there'd be no emotion, and if there was no emotion, there'd be no purpose.
The 46-year-old, who was born in Canberra and lives in Sydney, is a self-confessed Canberra Raiders fan and seems to have a disliking of Melbourne Storm. Sadly for Gallop and the NRL, this passionate disliking of his is ruining the game as Rugby League falls even further behind Australian Rules Football.
Having been in the role since February 2002, the NRL has failed to capture new markets and grow at the same rate as the AFL has and one of the key factors behind this is the AFL's willingness to take risks, as seen by the expansion to the Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney. Having been in the NRL for almost 2 decades now, the Melbourne Storm presented an ideal opportunity for the game to grow however despite the Storm becoming one of the NRL's most successful clubs, the growth of the sport hasn't been seen at the grass-roots level in Melbourne.
This presents the question… What are the factors behind the popularity of the Storm?
There are a few, including Melbournians simply love sport however another major reason is that statements like those Gallop has recently made, along with stripping the Storm of 2 premierships, will ensure Melbournians get behind their boys simply to, "Stick it up those in charge." That's what us Melbournians love to do!
When people look back through the NRL record books in 50 years time and see two ugly looking gaps, the reality of Gallop's actions will hit home. The Canterbury Bulldogs were found guilty of salary cap breaches earlier in the decade and were stripped of their points for that season, that's fine. Carlton and Essendon in the AFL were also found guilty of similar breaches in the past and were both fined heavily, that too is fine. However simply awarding no premiership is not the answer.
Andrew Demitriou, the equivalent of Gallop in the AFL, is a strong, intelligent, ruthless man however at all times his actions are justified, fair and for the overall good of the game. Gallop however seems to be quite the opposite and his biased views and actions are ruining the NRL.
It's time to move on.
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