Is generation X & Y killing Rugby League? I think they have a lot to answer for these days as most weeks there is a new scandal breaking regarding one of the young superstars. If its not a drug scandal its alcohol abuse, or its an issue with a social media. What players these days need to realise is this sport has grown and has flourished in the working class suburbs of England, New Zealand and Australia where it can sometimes be mistaken for a religion rather than just a sport.
When I was growing up watching my beloved Parramatta Eels run around Cumberland Oval with the likes of Kenny, Sterling, Ella, Cronin and Mr Perpetual Motion himself Ray Price, they were hard working and hard playing men. Some of todays new crop of athletes who call themselves Rugby League players are just mere shadows of the former greats.
Now, I’m not saying they are entirely to blame for the current situation the game is in but they have to wake up and realise that they are priveleged, for they are living a life most young men who grew up in the working class areas could only dream of.
Since Rugby League has turned professional the players are now training and playing full time and the may have lost sight of the big picture in that they are paid to do something most red blooded Australian males only dream of and that is they are paid to play Rugby League. Maybe this young crop of stars need to sit down and listen to some former greats about the way the game was in 70’s and 80’s and also some of the dreams and aspirations held by some members of the local community.
This is a mans game and needs to be played by men so these future up and coming stars need to grow up, man up and start showing some respect to these former greats which helped grow this sport and donned on the boots because they loved it and not because they had too. Maybe sending them out to work for a few weeks in the off season and during the regular season where practical might bring a few of the players back to reality and realise how good they actually have it.