‘We had fun off the field but it wasn’t like this s**t’: Willy Mason slams off-field behaviour
Former NRL big man Willie Mason has laid into the NRL players whose behaviour brought a frightful amount of shame onto the game during the off-season from hell.
“The blight that it puts on the game, the disrespect to women and the domestic violence, the way these young kids are recording stuff and the way that they’re actually acting when they’re getting recorded is something which had me really stunned,” Mason tells James Willis on Halftime.
“I’ve been in the game long enough to know you respect women, you don’t degrade them or anything like that, that’s what I was appalled at.
“A lot of ex players who played in our last era, we had a lot of fun off the field but it wasn’t like this s**t.”
Mason says he’s now having to answer questions from NRL fans who wonder whether the culture of the game now was handed down from the previous generation.
“It wasn’t in the culture when I was playing, you can only coach these kids and be around them for so long, it’s not 24/7 – when do you take responsibility and accountability for your own actions?
“You can be an idiot when you leave training, that’s when the players can do what they want.”
Responsibility for one’s own actions is a hot topic at the moment after Jack de Belin’s lawyer tried to shift blame to the NRL for not providing sufficient anti-domestic violence education for the Dragons forward.
“That’s a load of crap,” Mason said.
“I went through an era when I first came through and I don’t think there was much education,
“But over the last ten years, it’s obviously not working – whatever curriculum the NRL is putting in to educate these players, how to treat women, situations you get put in with women, the RLPA comes around, you get actors coming around putting you in different scenarios, that’s the biggest cop out I’ve ever heard,
“Whatever they’re doing must be wrong, they’ve got to change their curriculum, they’ve got to change he whatever they’re doing, it’s not working and these kids aren’t listening.
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