Sex Scandal - NRL - Matthew Johns

Alrighty. We have a piping hot issue delivered right from the furnace. This kind of stuff gets me rubbing my hands with glee. An extremely high profile ex-NRL player had group sex 7 years ago. Shock! Horror! Tune in, roll up for the fun. Can't wait to see the insults fly. I'll be recording it & watching the actual footy.

Having not seen the program I'll offer some pre-emptive blows. This is clearly a 'BBQ stopper' issue. Everyone & their dog has an opinion. I am extremely glad this is an ABC production. It is painfully obvious where the debate (if any) would lead on a commercial station.

It is still, however, difficult to believe debate will be presented. I am led to believe we may see a leading groupie speak (in favour of her 'profession', ie not whingeing). This could easily destroy the wowsers ' argument. I am certainly hoping so.

The media spin-offs I have read are a joke. As to be expected, female NRL journalists are jumping on the demon bandwagon. The major comment in response is mine also - this was a consensual act. The NZ police made a few routine enquiries and dropped the issue. A whole seven years ago. A familiar chorus of 'sack him, sack him' starts in earnest. Again though, to be expected.

My two cents says that the girl/woman is an absolute idiot. Her fraternising with the players comes from a major insecurity. Try this question out. If I have no respect for the woman in question, how can the guys she is debasing herself to have a higher level of respect than I? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

She will be appearing with visual and/or voice obscurity. A word that aptly describes her.

Oh yeah, bring it on.

P.S. I find that alot of people have a very interesting double standard. Firstly, the idea that one is free to indulge in any number of consensual acts in the bedroom. Secondly, jumping on public disclosure of said activity (often making up flimsy excuses on the spot). Endlessly fascinating.

13th

"Even though no charges were ever laid, [the woman's] experience should rightly redefine the notion of consent and whether a star-struck 19-year-old could even be deemed capable of consenting to the scenario she ultimately endured," Tracy Grimshaw

Okay, this is one crazy statement. This is saying two significant things a) consent can be altered retrospectively b) a 'star-struck 19 year old' is not capable of making such decisions anyway.

To attempt a favourable translation of Tracy's words into law ->

a) a person may be charged with rape at any time after the event, if a party decides that consent wasn't given. A party may decide at any time and without any evidence that consent was not given. -> Jesus Christ, it's time to stop all and any sex ppl!

b) 19 year olds should be treated as minors? Is that what she is saying? That is the closest (non-offensive) translation of b) that I can give. -> Well, considering that 19 year olds can vote, this one won't even get off the carpet.

".. when you actually hear from a person who was 19 at the time and who was backed up by a police officer in terms of her innocence, in terms of her lack of worldliness, she was someone who was subjected to something that was just beyond horrific." Rebecca Wilson

NEVILLE JENKINS, DETECTIVE SGT CHRISTCHURCH POLICE: "Um she was a nice girl. She was young, um naïve, not worldly, just a growing up teenager. But even for 19 she was quite young I felt."

I heard that as the police officer admitting defeat. He stressed the last sentence greatly. For the police officer to issue a reverse statement eg "Oh, she knew what she was doing, she's old enough" would be a terrible slur on her character. I felt he was doing his best to not say so, but at the same time confirming the consensual nature of the act.

Aftermath -> Matthew Johns has been stood down from his coaching & media jobs. The jackals are out. Rebecca Wilson was even discussing whether or not he should be paid during his 'time off'. All this morality crap goes far beyond common sense.

13th

I still can't get over the amount of times an apology has been demanded. It was repeatedly pointed out on 4 Corners that no one talked to her (at any time it seemed) - "Did they talk to you when ...?" (again and again). The subsequent media hacks have been demanding an apology at every opportunity. It seems bizarre to me. I am constantly receiving the message that the conduct was OK, so long as an apology/normal social talk was offered. Surely this is not what the moral side of the debate wish to convey. This is an area that will always be dubious for the moral side.

CLARE: "They never spoke to me, they spoke just to themselves, amongst themselves, laughing and thinking it was really funny."

The constant emphasis on the verbal aspect is plain weird. It is more degrading to be subjected to this treatment than a leisurely chat, I agree. Needless to say, not all verbal communication is positive. An intelligent predator can do more damage by their talk than by its absence (Silence of the Lambs anyone? "It puts the lotion on its skin"). This point has been completely missed. Also, believable fake communication is a skill many people are equipped with. To me, focusing on the verbal aspect is incredibly childish and a stupid diversion.

A Newcastle U20 player was openly derided, and signalled as a prehistoric dinosaur for this comment during an imposed education class.

"It's not during the act, it's the way you treat them after it. Most of them could have been avoided, if they had put them in a cab and said thanks or that sort of thing not just kicked her out and called her a dirty whatever. It's how you treat them afterwards that can cover a lot of that stuff up."

The way the moral side are conducting the debate in the media, they should agree with this player. A fatal flaw in the argument. Again, I cannot see how this can be rectified. If anyone can, I would be most grateful. Obviously I am extremely doubtful.

13th

I've gotta get this in:

"Four Corners doesn't say that what took place in room 21 of the Racecourse hotel was sexual assault.
But a woman involved in degrading group sex can still be traumatised whether she consents or not."

This is murky stuff indeed. Hell, I totally agree. I've never seen a porno involving (this kind of) group sex that I ever believed she was enjoying it. And she is getting paid to pretend. Go figure. Does that reduce my enjoyment? Absolutely not.

Now, either my decoder is way off-kilter, or perhaps my comments on (this) morality being a series of flimsy excuses has some merit. The word degrading may be argued upon. Is it specific? etc. I say it would be a false argument. To play the initial game about consent only to rip it away at the last moment is ludicrous. I am hearing a woman (presumably a feminist) say - that in certain circumstances - a woman is a second class citizen whose word has no meaning. Please correct me.

13th

Taken out of context, this one is brilliant:

DAVID GALLOP, CEO NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE: "We're in the business of attracting people to our game and the younger we can get them the better."

14th

This is one big excerpt:

Mr Johns's wife Trish joined her husband during the interview and described her shock when first told of the incident seven years ago.

"It was completely out of character for Matt. I was horrified and disgusted and just shocked that he would even be involved in such a thing," she said.

"Knowing all the information that I do, his greatest crime is actually being unfaithful to me as his wife."

Mrs Johns described the current media attention about the incident as a living hell.

"I feel that it is only for me to judge him on that," she said.

"Whether that is someone in football ... a businessman or someone working for Channel Nine, anyone committing adultery to their wife, that is between a man and his wife."

15th

I watched the NRL Footy Show last night. The first half hour or so was occupied spinning mainly tripe PC garbage to the viewing audience. They talked to a SMH reporter. He said he had been in contact with a senior player who admits that group sex is a regular reality. The senior player claimed that in no other job in the world could the private lives of players be so rigidly controlled. He said that the NRL would be unable to pass the rules/laws it wanted to on the matter. He challenged the reporter to accompany him to the pub. In the first 15 minutes, multiple offers of group sex (and others of sex) were thrown in the player's direction. The reporter was astonished. The panel spent their time saying that the player should be named & shamed. The club CEO's spent their time saying that this guy would never play at their club. All predictable, grandstanding rubbish replies to me.

On the news last night, a 'friend' or more accurately, ex-friend of the Christchurch girl made an interesting statement. She appeared without censorship, and her name was clearly displayed. She said that the girl was initially bragging about having sex with mulitiple Cronulla players. Her comment (I will have to dig it up) was along the lines of 'I can't believe that a woman can change her story like that. You can't go & do something, say it is fun & then later claim assault.' Defenders of the girl may say this is typical character-bashing that goes on in assault cases. I say wait for more of it to come out.

Pru Goward was also on the news last night. She was demanding that all players/staff involved should come forward & identify themsleves. She went further & claimed that criminal charges were on the line. Well, the criminal charges are complete bull, it was just her talking in outrage. As stated above, police dropped the matter after enquiries seven years ago. What Pru should have said is that the moral court is now having it's say. That is beyond doubt, and she would love to be the judge/executioner. I expect more verbal diorrhea to flow from her mouth in the coming days. No player will ever step forward into this messy moral morass. They would have to be complete idiots to do so (many hold that opinion already)

15th

Well, well. The publican of the Racecourse Hotel in Christchurch has just appeared on the late news. The boss of the Christchurch girl, 'Clare'. He confirmed the bragging story. He said she was bragging that she had the whole team in the hotel room. Furthermore, she had bragged about sleeping with 2 league players the night before. It is safe to say that these two players were also from the Cronulla Sharks. In all likelihood, they were present the next night.

Game, Set & Match.

How could this girl, 'Clare', be so moronic as to expect these details would not see the light of day? I am unable to express myself other than to say she was a dumb slut who got the treatment she deserved. I detest the manipulation of a 'young, innocent girl' in tears to the camera, jerking the heart strings of the media attack dogs. She was already far from innocent. Good riddance. May you melt away from the public eye permanently. I wish you the shitty life that you have already delivered yourself.

I also question why Sarah Ferguson, the 4 Corners reporter & narrator, did not bother chasing this up. She did not ask Matthew Johns any substantial questions either. She refused to appear on the NRL Footy Show last night when she was invited. Based on the information I have, Sarah Ferguson is a tabloid reporter after 'shock & awe'. A singular focus with the masquerade of balance. It certainly worked and credit to her for that. This sub-standard journalism has no place on the ABC. Get rid of her.

I've had enough of the crappy debate we have been witnessing in the media. It has sickened me and I feel like I have been living in the land of the lowest common denominator. Perhaps, as usual, public opinion has not been represented by the reactive dross we have in the media. A bunch of dullards carping on does not necessarily show the general perspective.

This feels like the Ben Cousins affair over again. The elements are very similar. Overwhelming initial criticism, resulting in a forced sacking. When Ben finally played again, some 16 months later, the public were behind him. Their voices had been drowned out for that entire time.

Stuff you, the gullible media personalities who jumped on this and the pitifully small minded ideas thus peddled.

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