Sam Burgess Kangaroo Court comment

17th September 2019

In a one on one interview Sam Burgess said it was time to “ask the game a couple of questions” about a system he feels isn’t properly working. “Everyone seems to be in uproar about this judiciary system,” Burgess said. "Who is making calls here? Is there a discussion before these calls go out there? I don’t know. "What’s the process? It’s like a kangaroo court in there. “Regardless of what I think, [the NRL] have got to make the call. It’s everyone’s game, the fan’s game. Everyone is missing out.” “I’m probably feeling what you’re feeling,” Burgess said about frustrations over the judiciary and match review committee. "Does everyone else not feel some of this stuff - everyone is trial by media, everything is social media, we’re just very reactive. We’re a multi-million dollar game and we’re ruling out players for big games. "Just fine the player. Was it bad? Did anyone get injured? Is anyone hurt? No, no. Is it silly? Is it part of the game? Is it in the contest? Yeah "Alright then, let’s fine the player. Players will pay whatever, give it to charity, pour it into grassroots. Do something. Better than maybe senior players miss big games, that’s what we play nine months for. “I guess the people who lead the game should speak to some of the senior players in the game about it. Instead of talking through the media about it, let’s talk like men. Let’s get together in a room.” The opening week of the finals produced a mixture of memorable football and unexpected scorelines. However, Burgess believes much of the focus has instead been on the match review and judiciary systems and felt that “at some point there has got to be a better protocol in place.” “We’re in a finals series but we’re not talking about the game. Do you know what I mean?” Burgess said. "So what are we doing? Are we selling the game? Are we killing the game? What do you want to do? “I want to sell the game, but yet we’re talking about all controversy and negative calls. Alright, whatever. Does that sell tickets?”

NRL Requests a Please Explain from Sam Burgess

18th September 2019

Rabbitohs captain Sam Burgess will be given the opportunity to express his frustrations about the judiciary process after being summoned to a meeting with NRL CEO Todd Greenberg over his claim the system was a “kangaroo court”. Greenberg phoned Burgess on Wednesday and told him that he would need to explain why his comments should not result in a breach notice but the star forward will also get the chance to put forward his views over the judiciary system during a meeting next week. The NRL boss recognised Burgess was clearly frustrated after missing last Friday night’s opening finals match against Sydney Roosters because a grade-one contrary conduct charge, which would only have been worthy of a fine if not for his judiciary record. However, Greenberg said Burgess appeared to have questioned the integrity of the judiciary panel and match review committee during an interview with print journalists on Tuesday. “Everyone seems to be in uproar about this judiciary system,” Burgess said. “Who is making the calls here? Is there a discussion before these calls go out there? I don’t know. What’s the process? It’s like a kangaroo court in there.” Burgess has agreed to meet Greenberg to explain his comments, and he will be joined by the RLPA. The meeting is expected to take place next week. Rabbitohs won’t make excuses “On face value, Sam’s comments about the judiciary breach our code of conduct and are offensive to both the chairman and members of the panel who carry out their duties impartially, without fear or favour,” Greenberg said. "We take a pragmatic view about most of the debate that occurs around the game. However, the NRL judiciary is a longstanding and independent process based on the principles of natural justice in our court system. “Our chair is an esteemed Judge of the highest calibre and our panel members are former high-profile players who are independent from clubs. The integrity of the system and the people in it should never be questioned.” Burgess also called for a discussion between NRL management and senior players about the judiciary system and believes low grade offences should be liable to fines rather than suspensions, saying: “It is better than senior players missing big games that we have played nine months for”. An NRL statement said the RLPA had been notified of the action and invited to attend the meeting. A decision about whether a breach notice will be issued will be determined after the meeting. Greenberg said all players had the opportunity to discuss issues about the game privately with the NRL at any point and it understood that he told Burgess that. “I’ve spoken to Sam today and invited him to meet face to face to discuss the issues he has and explain his comments,” Greenberg said.

Sam Burgess Kangaroo Court comment - Suspended Fine and Apology

23rd September 2019

The National Rugby League (NRL) has met with Sam Burgess and issued Burgess with a breach notice advising of a wholly suspended $10,000 fine. NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg met Burgess who accepted responsibility and apologised for labelling the NRL Judiciary a “Kangaroo Court.” “The chairman and members of the panel are of the highest integrity and it was never my intention to cast any doubt over their character. The point of my comments was to simply express concerns and frustrations I had about the processes,” he said. Mr Greenberg said it had been made clear to Burgess that as a leading player in the game he had a responsibility to set the standard of public comment for players. “Sam and I have agreed to continue discussions about issues in the game during the off-season with a small group of other senior players equally as committed to ensuring our players are genuine partners in the game.”

South Sydney Rabbitohs player Sam Burgess tonight issued a public apology for comments he made about the NRL Judiciary last week. “I unreservedly apologise for using the phrase 'Kangaroo Court’. I now understand it was the wrong choice of words." Burgess thanked Mr Greenberg for also providing him the opportunity to discuss important issues in the game. “Todd and I had an open and honest conversation. Todd talked me through the procedures and rules in place across both the match review committee and the judiciary and I spoke about some of the frustrations players felt about the current processes.”

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