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TO BEND OR NOT TO BEND

There is a disturbing trend in sport, worldwide, to push for rules to be bent whenever a 'personality' is involved, the Serena fracas being a case in point. This past week a fuss broke out in Australian "Thugby" (Rugby League) circles, because a star player blatantly shoulder charged an opponent illegally and as a result was at risk of being given a suspension, which in turn would have meant that he would miss the season's final match, after which he was due to retire. Clearly guilty, the offender's 'innocence' was nonetheless supported by more than 50% of the sport's well known officials and commentators and, yes, the judicial review let him off!

People are losing sight of the fact that if rules are not going to be enforced, there is no point in having rules. What if Tiger Woods was in a one-shot tournament lead and accidentally kicked his ball just before making a crucial final shot, thereby incurring a two-shot penalty and losing the tournament. Would there be a public outcry and appeals for a reversal? Absolutely not and the same principle should apply to all sports. It's bad enough that 'thugby' promotes violence in the eyes of our kids, without also letting them think that rules are meant to be bent!

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