• NRL must promote tolerance in wake of Adam Goodes booing, says Preston Campbell

    Date: 2019.03.19 | Category: 南京夜网 | Tags:

    Important match: Preston Campbell at the launch of the Indigenous All Stars match in Brisbane on Wednesday. Photo: NRLNRL All Stars founder Preston Campbell believes the fixture has taken on deeper significance in the light of the hounding of former AFL star Adam Goodes, saying rugby league must continue to preach tolerance and respect among players and fans.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The All Stars match has been given a tweak ahead of its 2016 instalment at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, with an indigenous side now set to take on a World All Stars that includes a minimum of four NRL players from Australia, New Zealand and England.

    Squads would be rounded out by Pacific Islander nations and Papua New Guinea, giving coach Wayne Bennett plenty of selection headaches as he tries to assemble a team to beat the Indigenous stars.

    The All Stars week remains hugely popular with players and League Central has continued to back the fixture after some speculation around its future prior to its staging on the Gold Coast last February.

    Campbell, one of the men at the heart of the original concept, said the match now commanded an even greater meaning after the abhorrent treatment of former Swan Goodes by certain sections of the AFL fan base.

    Goodes, an Australian of the Year, was booed every time he touched the ball at various stages of the season and didn’t take his place in the lap of honour for retiring players on grand final day.

    Campbell said he couldn’t see the same thing happening in rugby league but that didn’t mean the sport didn’t continually have to be vigilant and educate supporters and stakeholders.

    One of the best ways to do that, he said was via the All Stars game, which puts indigenous culture and the contribution of indigenous players front and centre. And while some AFL fans were worried by a pretend spear, the pre-game dance has become a spine-chilling highlight.

    “To be honest, I couldn’t understand why they were doing it. I think people were getting on board just because others started. They weren’t aware of what was really going on, not aware about why Adam is doing what he’s doing,” Campbell said.

    “He’s passionate about who he is, he’s proud of who he is and where he comes from. There’s nothing wrong with that. Nobody should be booed for being who they are and being proud of who they are, whether they are indigenous or not. It doesn’t matter.

    “If they (fans) can see it and they can listen to an explanation to what it’s all about, they’ll get a lot more from it. It’s all about respect.”

    One man Bennett would love to pick is Sam Burgess, the former Rabbitohs now playing rugby in England. He said he would be an automatic selection if he returned to Australia, even if Todd Greenberg ruled out using NRL funds to make it happen.

    “He’d be good,” Bennett said. “He played actually (in the All Stars match) the first year he came out to Australia. I picked him then before he played a game of rugby league.

    “He loved the week – I remember him coming to me afterwards and thanking me. If he’s available, you can put him down.”

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.