Why The NRL Must Uphold Billy's Ban

The NRL has come under-fire for refereeing inconsistencies time and time again and no doubt if Slater's ban is upheld they will do so once more, many using the defence of  "what about Waqa Blake on David Fusitu'a" and it's a valid point, Fusitu'a failed to wrap his arms and utilised his shoulder, by the letter of the law it's a shoulder charge and should have been treated as such.

Many others have used the star power argument or that the NRL owes Slater the chance to see his career out on his terms. Talent or accomplishments should never be allow a player to be above the rules, it shouldn't become a reason for players to become a law to themselves and allow another athletes safety to play second fiddle to a player who achieved more in his career.

Salter's talent is undoubted, he's achieved a lot in his career and it would be a shame for him to leave the game on these terms, however, when he failed to tackle Feki in a lawful way he put himself in this position and the sport does not owe him a debt of gratitude to give him a free pass, as for Gus Gould's statement of "a collision was the best outcome" is true, but this was not a collision, a shown in the below picture, Slater drops his shoulder, tucks his arm and adopts a side on Shoulder Charge, that's not a collision, it's an illegal act and while still safer than a head on Shoulder charge, the tackler has a duty of care to the player they are tackling.

Even with the speed of the play Slater still had enough time to adjust and try to make an effort to stop Feki by either tackling him low, or, getting his head in the right place and wrapping his arms around Feki to make one of his trademark try saving tackles.

In conclusion, status should not put you above the law, accomplishments do not give you a right to potentially injure another player and that the NRL must uphold the ban to ensure that other players of pedigree do not follow by this example, it's a shame that he may end his career this way but unfortunately rules are rules.


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