Is Lodge Out Of Chances?


The 2018 NRL season hasn't even started yet, but this no doubt will be one of the most controversial talking points of the season. The Broncos have taken on 22 year old Behemoth, Matthew Lodge, giving him a 1 year contract to prove he is a changed man and that he is first grade NRL material. Lodge has faced a three year exile from the NRL after a string of criminal offences, and club based misdemeanours since his 2014 debut.

I am all for giving players a second chance, but is Lodge just a step too far for the NRL this time? After all we are talking about a man that broke into somebody's apartment and savagely assaulted them, to the point that he now has permanent life changing disabilities. Yes Lodge has settled the case and agreed to pay the sum of $1.2 million in damages to the victim of the brutal assault, but the victim doesn't get a second chance, he doesn't get to have a rough couple of years and then go back to living his life the way he did.

It's not just the victim that were affected but also his family including his 9 year old son, who said to his mother while they barricaded themselves in the bathroom of their apartment to hide from Lodge, said "I’m too young to die".  This child has had to receive years of counselling to help to move past this night of terror. The family as a result had to move apartments immediately due to the trauma caused by Lodge's actions.

It's beyond me how the NRL can consider taking Lodge back on. Let's say for example Lodge does provide for the Broncos, he gets himself a call up to the national side, he gets an origin call up. What then? He becomes an idol, we now have a generation of players coming up, that idolise a man who was dropped from his first contract for writing the word "c***" on his wrist strapping. Wanting to play like a man who has so heavily impacted the lives of others for the worse. I know people will view this as harsh saying things like "he is remorseful of his actions". Explain why when he was supposed to be on his way to a rehabilitation unit, to help tackle the drinking that led to this horrendous assault, just 2 days after his hearing instead he is filmed at a party clearly intoxicated. 0 Remorse.

To put things bluntly, Todd Carney has faced a three year exile for urinating in his mouth, did his actions hurt anybody? No. Did his actions lead to a court case? No. His actions did disgrace the credibility of the game but are we really saying that his case is worse than Lodge's? Let's remember that until the case was settled late last year no club could touch him as he could've still faced jail time meaning that he has only really faced a 9 month NRL exodus. Compare that to the 3 years Carney faced it really doesn't look good on the NRL or the Broncos, who worked tirelessly to bring him in.

To summarise Lodge could really be a changed man, look at Russell Packer, he is clearly a man who has come back from making a bad decision and he faced a similar backlash and exactly the same questions over his contract. What Packer did could've easily left his victim with life changing injuries but thankfully it did not. Lodge could earn his spot in the NRL and use this opportunity to turn his life around but unfortunately based on the evidence above I feel like the system has not done Justice to the situation.

Pom

Comments

  1. Comparing Carney and Lodge is completely different. Carney had chance after chance after chance at three different NRL clubs.

    Raiders: Carney led the cops on a high speed chase throughout Canberra, fled the scene on foot and left his team mate in the passenger's seat, the team mate with Carney got the sack. The board also hushed it up to avoid Carney doing time. Got sacked in '09, vandalised the front of a phone shop and a car, and ended up setting a bloke's pants on fire.

    Roosters: Nothing as bad as his incidents at Canberra, but broke a team agreement and failed to keep his drinking in check.

    Sharks: Again, nothing nearly as bad as his past few years, but given he was on his final chance, the NRL kind of had to take a stand and kick him out of the league.

    I do see your point here, but Carney and Lodge's situations are very different.

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