Hannant keen to let sleeping dogs lie but NRL will investigate
April 18, 2010
THE NRL will investigate an alleged religious slur made by Bryce Gibbs against Ben Hannant despite the Mormon forward’s desire to leave the matter on the field.
The Bulldogs prop was seething after his side’s 24-4 win against Wests Tigers on Friday night. Canterbury trainer Fred Ciraldo had to separate Hannant and his opposing prop Gibbs after their verbal battle continued after the siren.
The Bulldogs released a statement yesterday declaring there would be no formal complaint lodged with the NRL over the incident.
‘‘I have spoken with both the NRL and Wests Tigers CEO Steve Humphreys today and all parties have agreed to leave the matter on the field,’’ Bulldogs chief executive Todd Greenberg said.
However, NRL match review boss Greg McCallum confirmed the incident would still come under scrutiny tomorrow morning.
‘‘I would say yes, it would be, because it has happened on the field,’’ McCallum said.
Channel Nine has no audio of the incident.
The NRL has shown it is prepared to investigate - and sanction - players for sledging even if the alleged victim wants the matter dropped.
Cronulla back-rower Paul Gallen was fined $10,000 for racially abusing Mickey Paea last year, even though the then-Dragons forward wanted to leave the matter on the field. Melbourne fullback Billy Slater was scrutinised after he taunted Cory Paterson last month over his struggles with depression although the Newcastle forward also refused to make an official complaint.
Slater escaped without a fine after issuing an apology.
‘‘It’s like the Billy Slater and Cory Paterson issue, it happened on the field,’’ McCallum said.
‘‘While it is still on the field it would be of interest to us, to see where it all sits. No doubt that will happen on Monday morning.’’
Gibbs, Hannant and Ciraldo declined to comment yesterday.
A Bulldogs source claimed that most of the abuse was hurled at Hannant during the final scrum of the game.
‘‘The word ‘Mormon’ was used,’’ the insider said.
Humphreys said the club would not punish Gibbs for his role in the spiteful incident.
‘‘No, in the context of a very spirited game with a lot of talk, sledging, banter - whatever you want to call it - there was a lot of that and it came from both sides,’’ Humphreys said. ''In the heat of battle some things were said that, in the cold light of day, people regretted.
''I did have a chat to a number of our players, including Bryce, about that. We had a conversation about what was appropriate and the kind of judgment they need to exercise.
''When they are in the heat of the battle, those judgments can be difficult to make.
''We had a general chat about that and they need to be careful.
‘‘The action we took in counselling and talking through the issue was the appropriate action to take.’’
Sledging has been a hot topic during the week after Mick Malthouse was fined $7500 for calling St Kilda forward Stephen Milne a ‘‘f–-ing rapist’’, a comment the veteran Collingwood coach initially denied making.
God the NRL are softies with double standards.
Billy Slater uses a mental illness as a sledge, the sledge is than sugar coated by the Storms press machine and nothing happens. Here Patterson accepts what is said on the field stays there in this case.
This case Hannant reacts to something. The word Mormon is apparantly used in a scrum and it is an issue worthy of investigation. In this case again Hannant accepts what is said on the field stays on the field.
The NRL double standard is a joke when it comes to their marquee players
NRL are a joke
Poke a bloke in the eye or have a nibble and they dont wanna know, pass the buck onto the victim to make an on-field complaint and thus wear the accompanying stigma if its not found in his favour.
But call someone a name, upset and offend them and its chest puffed, muscles flexed - “Were investigating”!
What a joke
Smeg you had a valid point in the other thread, what if Bryce called Hannant a effing Labour voter or Liberal voter or whatever. If the guy felt passionately about politics and he burred up about it, but then decided to leave it on the field, would the NRL still be up in arms?
How PC do we really need to get here?
A referee displays a disgraceful performace where he allowed a player to be dropped on his head yet the NRL in it’s wisdom need to investigate a religious slur? Some people just need to wake up to themselves and just get on with their lives. I’m a reformed Gibbs knocker and I for one am glad he’s on our side. This is the perfect excuse for the NRL to cover up Maxwell’s inept performace and blow the racial slur out of proportion in the medai to save Maxwell from any further embarrassment.
Gibbs may face trial by audio tape Dean Ritchie From: The Daily Telegraph April 19, 2010
Verballed … Wests Tigers prop Bryce Gibbs could still be charged over his verbal stoush with Bulldogs big man Ben Hannant. Source: The Daily Telegraph
THE NRL will today ask Channel 9 if it has audio of the Bryce Gibbs-Ben Hannant verbal exchange which could result in the Wests Tigers prop being charged by the match review committee.
The development comes after The Daily Telegraph was told Gibbs had been counselled by Wests Tigers management for his role in the Friday night flare-up.
Hannant has elected against lodging a formal complaint over Gibbs’ alleged religious slur following the SFS match, meaning the NRL is powerless to take action.
However the match review committee can still charge Gibbs and will investigate the drama this morning.
The only way though that the committee can make a case against Gibbs is if can obtain audio from Nine, who broadcast the game, where his alleged religious comment can be clearly heard.
If there is no audio and Hannant continues refusing to make a complaint, the matter will be dead.
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Gibbs has not confirmed or denied the allegation his verbal stoush with Hannant, a devout Mormon.
Wests Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys said he had spoken to Gibbs about the incident and reminded him of his on-field responsibilities.
"Lessons can he learned here and we have to make sure the players learn them,‘’ Humphreys said.
"I have spoken to Bryce and a number of players [from the match].
"It was a really spirited game. This wasn’t just a one-off comment. There was talk right through the game.
"We have counselled the players about where the lines are and what should and shouldn’t be crossed.
"It is an opportunity for the players to be reminded about what is appropriate behaviour and what isn’t.
"This has increased awareness on the issue and we can offer education. All players can learn from it.‘’
Humphreys confirmed his club would not take action against Gibbs.
"Todd [Greenberg, Canterbury CEO] and I spoke after the game and players were consulted,‘’ he said.
"We also had a good long chat yesterday.
"We are comfortable that things can be handled within each club.‘’
Gibbs publically claimed he would not apologise to Hannant.
The NRL cannot encourage an apology if neither Hannant or Gibbs reveal exactly what was said.
Gibbs will not elaborate on the exchange of words.
"Although there has been no complaint, any on-field matter is still subject to review by the match review committee,‘’ said NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley.
"Until that process has been completed, the NRL won’t comment any further.‘’
Hannant’s manager, George Mimis, was also reluctant to comment.
"We had detailed dialogue yesterday and the club and Ben agreed they won’t be making any further comment,‘’ Mimis said.
The Bulldogs released a statement saying "no complaint’’ would be made.
Hannant was visibly upset at Gibbs’ comments, the two having to be separated by officials and players
Sigh. NRL dragging it’s own name through the mud.
Where is the audio investigation of Slater??
Rang and said sorry and he and the Storm publicity machine aka Fox Sports put out false information about what was said to try and make Patterson look like a nancy for getting upset by it.
Again Patterson showed class like Hannant in that they both left it on the field where it belongs
If it is as simple as Gibbs apologising, a part of me just wished he tucked his tail between his legs and apologised.
I don’t have any real problem with what Gibbs said (obviuosly not knowing exactly what he said - but if it was simply a passing mormon remark than meh) but the saga could of been avoided if he just said sorry - I don’t think anybody would of thought any less of him. At this rate he is a chance of getting suspeneded…
the NRL are a joke…they are determinded to get him rubbed out and obvioulsy have a vendetta against him for soem reason. It’s the 8 point try and suspension all over again.
The NRL need to explain WHY this and not the Slater incident is being investigated. Will try and call throught to the hot line thing on Monday night footy and see if the Fox panelists have te balls to offer and opinion other than the party line