Marler Two Week Ban

belladonna

Rugby Expert
Joined
Nov 14, 2018
Messages
414
Post Likes
95
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
At a hearing on Friday afternoon, an RFU disciplinary panel issued Marler with a six-week ban, with four weeks suspended until the end of the 2023-24 season. The 32-year-old is also required to give a presentation to a local club or school, and to a Premiership academy, on the core values of the sport.

Asking Joe Marler to give a lecture to schoolkids on the core values of the sport is like asking Matt Hancock to give a talk about the value of marital fidelity.

 

crossref


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
21,268
Post Likes
2,834
I agree, it also gives the impression that the disciplinary panel considered the whole thing a bit of a giggle
 

Marc Wakeham


Referees in Wales
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
2,747
Post Likes
812
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
At a hearing on Friday afternoon, an RFU disciplinary panel issued Marler with a six-week ban, with four weeks suspended until the end of the 2023-24 season. The 32-year-old is also required to give a presentation to a local club or school, and to a Premiership academy, on the core values of the sport.

Asking Joe Marler to give a lecture to schoolkids on the core values of the sport is like asking Matt Hancock to give a talk about the value of marital fidelity.

Mahler is a disgrace. He plays the Mental Health card,but has no regards for others at all. I have no sympathy for him. The sooner he is retired the better.
 

SimonSmith


Referees in Australia
Staff member
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
9,231
Post Likes
1,327
Another one in the convenient length of ban conspiracy theory that rears up every now and again.

That to one side, Marler has form in this area. For my money, this one is especially bad. The player's mother is in hospital, with cancer.
I don't know about you, but in over 40 years involvement with rugby, and the vast majority of that in refereeing, I have never heard an Anglophone player use "your mother's a whore".

I mean, I've heard plenty of insults. Some bad, some funny, and some really really bad ones. But I've never heard that - and I refereed in Hampshire where the sailors play. You'll never be able to convince me otherwise than that was targeted.
 

Mipper


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
190
Post Likes
83
Current Referee grade:
Level 10
Mahler is a disgrace. He plays the Mental Health card,but has no regards for others at all. I have no sympathy for him. The sooner he is retired the better.
I am afraid that mental health is not as black and white as that Mark. I have no great fondness for Joe Marler, but he does do a very good job in promoting mental health awareness and it is, at best, naïve to assume that this incident changes any of that.

So I do have sympathy for him, and this incident is symptomatic of his mental health issue, not contrary to it.
 

Marc Wakeham


Referees in Wales
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
2,747
Post Likes
812
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
I am afraid that mental health is not as black and white as that Mark. I have no great fondness for Joe Marler, but he does do a very good job in promoting mental health awareness and it is, at best, naïve to assume that this incident changes any of that.

So I do have sympathy for him, and this incident is symptomatic of his mental health issue, not contrary to it.
I understand mental health issues Mopper. If he has such problems he needs to be protected from areas that he is exposed to the potential to cuse such harm. Those who care for him should be looking to protect him from being in positions where he can cause harm to others both mentally and physically. I say Physically because one day he is going to be "sorted out" and then it is too late.

Incidentally this was a calculated piece of sledging. Suggesting planning.
 

Mipper


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
190
Post Likes
83
Current Referee grade:
Level 10
I am sorry that you feel that way Marc. I guess that our understandings are a little different.
 

crossref


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
21,268
Post Likes
2,834
I was at the game, Mahler was not in a good mood and was winding up Bristol from the start. I could see something coming well before that happened

Mrs Crossref, with no reflink , pointed him out ten mins before the incident saying he didn't seem right (just from his body language)

Not a good day for him

On a different day he would have received a stern word a lot earlier (which might have calmed him down)

I suspect refs are a bit nervous of him
 

Marc Wakeham


Referees in Wales
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
2,747
Post Likes
812
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
I am sorry that you feel that way Marc. I guess that our understandings are a little different.
If his mental health is so fragile he needs to be away from an environment that is clearly contributing to the problem. Some day some one bigger than him will be on the end of one of his rants and it will not end well for Maler. Alternatively he can actually get help. Clearly being in a rugby environment is not helping him. Surely he needs treatment rather than words.
 

Mipper


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
190
Post Likes
83
Current Referee grade:
Level 10
If his mental health is so fragile he needs to be away from an environment that is clearly contributing to the problem. Some day some one bigger than him will be on the end of one of his rants and it will not end well for Maler. Alternatively he can actually get help. Clearly being in a rugby environment is not helping him. Surely he needs treatment rather than words.
I wouldn’t expect everyone to have knowledge of Joe Marler’s mental health issues and history, and certainly I don’t.

However, I do have an ongoing interest in, and knowledge of mental health. As such I do have an interest in Joe Marler, and I would advise that to assume anything about him is foolish.

Specifically, there is nothing about this incident that suggests that being in a rugby environment is not helping him. Quite the opposite is true. As I mentioned earlier, mental health is not simply black and white, or for better understanding; right or wrong, good or bad. Or in this instance good behaviour or bad behaviour. There is far more nuance, and of course it remains a constant battle with its peaks and troughs. The other day clearly being a trough.

Additionally, it is not a fact that rugby is contributing to his ”problem”. The events of the Bristol were simply the vehicle for his symptoms.

He is very public in that he continues to receive treatment. Good luck to him.
 

Marc Wakeham


Referees in Wales
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
2,747
Post Likes
812
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
He clearly suffers (a lot of ) these outburst on the field of play. He appears far more "controlled" off it.

From my own experiences of MH issues (self and a number of family and friends) removing the patient from the "cauldron" is often advisable.
clearly irrespective of the causation issue. Marler's behaviour cannot go unchallenged and in the interests of the games as a whole he needs to change or be removed from the arena. His mental health problens are an explanation not an excuse for his behaviour.

I'll end on that.
 

crossref


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
21,268
Post Likes
2,834
If you, the ref, heard an exchange like that, what would you do? Are comments like that cardable? If so, what colour?
If I am reffing, and a player is behaving generally like Marler was last week (I think shithousing is the technical term 🙂), I would be looking for any excuse to YC him.. and that exchange would have qualified!
 
Last edited:

SimonSmith


Referees in Australia
Staff member
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
9,231
Post Likes
1,327
If that were any other work environment than a rugby field, Joe would be sent home, and some kind of assessment be done to make sure he was OK to come back to work, both for his own good and the good of others. I wonder how the Bris player is doing?

There's obviously more than one way of looking at this. As I've said upthread, I have no doubt this was premeditated. It isn't a common insult, and I think it was targeted.

Either Joe has agency in what he does, or he does not.

If he has agency, he has to own whatever comes his way. His Twitter tag is "be kind", and he is monetizing the mental health thing. If he is doing that, I'm afraid he has to wear the shit that comes in his direction. His somewaht blase kiss off on Twitter about the whole thing suggests he sees this as a complete non-event. I've seen that in the workplace before in investigations "yeah, you got me, but it was no biggie, was it?", usually just before they realize that yes, what they did was in fact, a big fucking deal.

If he doesn;t have agency, it would be kinder to him, and a risk reduction, to remove him from situations of heightened risk. The player he said that to is a better man than I. I'd have gone in swinging, and trying to hurt him. And I suspect, had he done so, it wouldn;t have been two weeks, it would have been longer. If Marler doesn't have agency, the game can't protect him.

I'm not sure I see a middle ground. As we know, he has form. It isn;t that he wonders around calling everyone a cunt. If that were the case, everyone would apply a Marler filter and give him a discount. The two egregious we know about - Samson Lee, and this - were very specific ands very personal, and not at all random.
 

Jarrod Burton


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
721
Post Likes
206
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
If I am reffing, and a player is behaving generally like Marler was last week (I think shithousing is the technical term 🙂), I would be looking for any excuse to YC him.. and that exchange would have qualified!
Agreed. YC for mine - his shit house behaviour caused the problem, but I'd be thinking a reversal PK to Quins possibly.

I'm surprised that the referee didn't hear the exchange given the clarity of them over the referee mic.
 

Jarrod Burton


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
721
Post Likes
206
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
If that were any other work environment than a rugby field, Joe would be sent home, and some kind of assessment be done to make sure he was OK to come back to work, both for his own good and the good of others. I wonder how the Bris player is doing?

There's obviously more than one way of looking at this. As I've said upthread, I have no doubt this was premeditated. It isn't a common insult, and I think it was targeted.

Either Joe has agency in what he does, or he does not.

If he has agency, he has to own whatever comes his way. His Twitter tag is "be kind", and he is monetizing the mental health thing. If he is doing that, I'm afraid he has to wear the shit that comes in his direction. His somewaht blase kiss off on Twitter about the whole thing suggests he sees this as a complete non-event. I've seen that in the workplace before in investigations "yeah, you got me, but it was no biggie, was it?", usually just before they realize that yes, what they did was in fact, a big fucking deal.

If he doesn;t have agency, it would be kinder to him, and a risk reduction, to remove him from situations of heightened risk. The player he said that to is a better man than I. I'd have gone in swinging, and trying to hurt him. And I suspect, had he done so, it wouldn;t have been two weeks, it would have been longer. If Marler doesn't have agency, the game can't protect him.

I'm not sure I see a middle ground. As we know, he has form. It isn;t that he wonders around calling everyone a cunt. If that were the case, everyone would apply a Marler filter and give him a discount. The two egregious we know about - Samson Lee, and this - were very specific ands very personal, and not at all random.
Great comments Simon. A person can't claim to be an advocate for mental health issues then hide behind them when it suits. If you aren't "right" in the head enough to play without resorting to that sort of rubbish then you shouldn't be playing.
 

crossref


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
21,268
Post Likes
2,834
And as ever the RFU are muddled. We have ended up in a situation where
.. the offence was serious enough to warrant a 6 week suspension, but not a RC (they used reg 5.12 as they felt he couldn't be cited)
.. and while the offence was serious at the same time we are invited to have a bit of a laugh at the idea of JM doing a presentation on rugby values.. so is it serious ?
 

Mipper


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
190
Post Likes
83
Current Referee grade:
Level 10
Great comments Simon. A person can't claim to be an advocate for mental health issues then hide behind them when it suits. If you aren't "right" in the head enough to play without resorting to that sort of rubbish then you shouldn't be playing.
Hey Jarrod, there is no suggestion or evidence of, as far as I am aware, that Marler is hiding behind any mental health issue.

His issue is widely acknowledged and accepted.

Clearly, he was not in the right frame of mind to be playing against Bristol, but the game before? He was ok then. Should someone have noticed this and pulled him out? Probably, yes, but these episodes can of course, be hidden.

Could he have made the decision not to play himself, yes of course but again, mental health struggles are not that straightforward.

Should he be banned from playing completely? Of course not.

Should he shut up about acknowledging mental health struggles because he has suffered an episode in the very public glare? Absolutely not - in fact he has an opportunity to double down on it. He has, so far done a fantastic job of bringing this issue out. This incident does not show him in a good light but, it does shine a light on his issues and there is no question that this is good for the game - if people can separate the underlying issue from the actual incident.

Please do not suggest that he should be banned until he is “better”, as this is not COVID, or a broken arm, the brain is far more complex than that.

I am sorry if this comes across a little like a rant, but it is an issue very close to me.
 

crossref


Referees in England
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
21,268
Post Likes
2,834
the Times reports JM as saying he does it to everyone. (known in the work setting as the 'bastard' defence. It doesn't work)

Marler twice called Heenan’s mother a whore and admitted to an RFU disciplinary panel his actions were unacceptable and that he had “put his foot in it”.

The England prop also revealed that a “mum joke” was his normal “go-to line” if trying to raise a reaction from an opponent. Marler promised the panel he would not use that tactic in future, because “you never know what is going on in other people’s family.”

 
Top