Marler Two Week Ban

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Mrs Crossref, with no reflink , pointed him out ten mins before the incident saying he didn't seem right (just from his body language)
Marler has also deliberately provoked a red card in the past to avoid international duties when he’s having issues - I wonder if this was something similar, that he just wanted out of there?

Or maybe his team was getting hammered and since he couldn’t win on the skills side he dropped to provocation to either disrupt the oppo or get a cheap penalty.

If it’s the former then I hope someone is taking some time to talk to him ASAP.
 

belladonna

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the Times reports JM as saying he does it to everyone. (known in the work setting as the 'bastard' defence. It doesn't work)



Strange why the Karl Dickson didn't intervene then? (Surely he can't not have heard it twice, first time LH to TH, then across the front row LH to LH. And Keenan seems pretty sure he (KD) heard it as apparently he shook his head in response.)

And the coach's comments didn't really help, did they, trying to say everyone does this all the time 🙄
 

belladonna

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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.
What's the deal with his mental health, and abusing other players racially or otherwise? (And are you saying it's a defence or mitigating factor, and if so did JM himself bring it up the hearing?) Just trying to understand your perspective.

I mean, full sympathy for anyone struggling with a mental health issue but imo it's no excuse to abuse someone in a sport or work-related environment and the normal sanctions should be brought to bear. You have to apply the normal sanctions otherwise how can you tell the difference between someone acting out because they are unwell, or just being a d*chead and as someone already said, trying to gain an unfair advantage by winding up the opposition?
 

Mipper


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What's the deal with his mental health, and abusing other players racially or otherwise? (And are you saying it's a defence or mitigating factor, and if so did JM himself bring it up the hearing?) Just trying to understand your perspective.

I mean, full sympathy for anyone struggling with a mental health issue but imo it's no excuse to abuse someone in a sport or work-related environment and the normal sanctions should be brought to bear. You have to apply the normal sanctions otherwise how can you tell the difference between someone acting out because they are unwell, or just being a d*chead and as someone already said, trying to gain an unfair advantage by winding up the opposition?
Good questions. I think that starting at the end, anyone can be a dickhead AND have mental health issues. Marler is on medication to lessen the effects of his issue, just as a lot of people in this country are, a lot more than you might imagine, and most of whom you would never know.

You’re quite right in that mental health is not an excuse for this behaviour, and yes the normal sanctions should apply. Absolutel, after all he is living a normal life, doing a normal job (so to speak).

So it’s not an excuse but it may well be a cause. I wouldn’t even say it was a mitigating factor, but someone behaving anti-socially, or just outside of the accepted norms, whilst being treated for mental health issues, as he has been for sometime, is likely suffering from a relapse. It happens.

So my perspective is not one of defence for him, but one of sympathy. And empathy. A lot of comments are very critical of him, and all I am suggesting is that we should be a little bit more understanding, rather than just dismissing him as a dickhead.

Although he may well be a dickhead too.
 

crossref


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And the coach's comments didn't really help, did they, trying to say everyone does this all the time 🙄
Again the "bastard" defence (I didn't mean anything specific, I am equally offensive to everyone) it just makes it worse !
 

Jarrod Burton


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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.
Never suggested he should be banned due to his mental health, but that he shouldn't be playing if he isn't right mentally - and using that sort of abusive comment towards someone shows that he either isn't right or it was a deliberate act. So either his team have a responsibility and duty of care to him as a player/employee and rest him, or, if deliberate and given his previous form, he should be banned for the full period.

As someone who has suffered from anxiety and depression for a good portion of the last 20 years (and have had an extremely bad year this year) I've never felt the need to call someone's mother a whore so I cannot see how it could be justified in anyway.
 

Dickie E


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You'll never be able to convince me otherwise than that was targeted.
having read the transcript (see below) I doubt it was pre-meditated or targeted. Just an over-reaction to an opponent winding him up.

Jake Heenan: ‘Hey, brother, you’re better than that, hey?’
Joe Marler: ‘I’m not your brother. I’m clearly not your brother am I.’
Heenan: ‘You’re better than that mate’
Marler: ‘There’s no way I’m from the same mother as you. Your mother is a ****ing whore.
 

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Strange why the Karl Dickson didn't intervene then? (Surely he can't not have heard it twice, first time LH to TH, then across the front row LH to LH. And Keenan seems pretty sure he (KD) heard it as apparently he shook his head in response.)

And the coach's comments didn't really help, did they, trying to say everyone does this all the time 🙄
I supect Dickson has a lot going on in his ears. I'd like to believe that's the reason. the To3 missed it.

The Coach's comments, though, opens a can of worms for me that won't go anywhere.

Either Quins know he does this, and approve of it, in which case the RFU should be having some words, formally or otherwise with Quins.
Or, they don't, and they're trying to deflect from the incredibly distateful idea that he was targeting the Bris player.

Neither is a good look.

If he does this serially, he could do a lot of damage control by saying something publicly that he regrets it, and will be doing his best to curtail. His "I'm sorry I got caught" mea culpa to the Disciplinary doesn't cut it.

The whole thing has been fumbled, from everyone. Nothing, from the RFU, from Marler, from Quins, smacks of any kind of sincerity or regard for values of the game. I get that clubs and players want to win. But it is possible to do that without being weapons grade cunts.
 

SimonSmith


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having read the transcript (see below) I doubt it was pre-meditated or targeted. Just an over-reaction to an opponent winding him up.
C'mon, you think Heenan's was a wind up? That translates to "take a breath pal" in most places I've been. Jesus, if that's a wind up I'm amazed at the self control of the players in Alice, and I never ever thought I'd say that.
 

Dickie E


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C'mon, you think Heenan's was a wind up? That translates to "take a breath pal" in most places I've been. Jesus, if that's a wind up I'm amazed at the self control of the players in Alice, and I never ever thought I'd say that.

Irrespective, it looks to me that if Heenan hadn't used the B word, Marler may not have used the M word
 

Mipper


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Irrespective, it looks to me that if Heenan hadn't used the B word, Marler may not have used the M word
Correct, and going even further back, Heenan’s words were seemingly as a result of being kicked by Marler.

In a nod to another recent thread around here, “Bro” / “Brother” is very common parlance for Kiwis and Islanders. I don’t see Marler’s words as being pre-meditated either, just a reaction.

If Heenan had called him “mate” it’s probably unlikely the mum issue would have come up. To be clear, I am not suggesting any fault on Heenan’s behalf here 😉
 

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What a complete mess this is.

I'm fed up with the leering, jeering and play acting that is creeping in. I certainly wouldn't expect it from the school boys I coach and occasionally referee. I make clear that we don't get distracted by the behaviour of other teams and concentrate on our own performance. But that can be a difficult message.

I've also sent off one of our boys for foul and abusive language as a scrum was forming. Would I take a different attitude if I was refereeing adults? Maybe, but I'm not necessarily sure why.

Tabai Matson said before the Quins - Northampton game that the decision was right and fair but hoped that clarity would be published about what is and isn't acceptable.

I think this clarity is needed. I do think the disciplinary process likes to make an example of Joe Marler - like him or loath him, the process should be fair.

I think the whole situation has shown the game in a poor light and Bristol played their part in this, almost to the point of them targeting JM who they know full well will engage in commentary will other players. Maybe JM should have seen this coming and ignored B7 - maybe he will next time. Maybe B7 may get other players whispering to him on the ground to test his response in future matches.

But surely something can't be decided on knowing or not knowing someone's personal situation.

I sincerely wish B7 and his family well. I lost my father to Prostate Cancer a number of years ago. But if someone said something rude about him, I wouldn't start a fight.

Comments on events:

Match clock 33.40 - JM joins ruck. Absolutely nothing to suggest foul play, although he is in the vicinity of B7 who is on the floor in the ruck. There could have been some contact as JM tries to disrupt bristol players who have sunk off their feet but no evidence.

33.36 - B1 comes around wrong side of ruck after ball has been played away and pulls JM round the shirt collar to the floor for apparently no reason - no sanction.

At the scrum

Scrum starts to form. B7 clearly wants to engage JM in discussion. JM didn't start the dialogue as far as we can tell.

B7 refers to JM as Brother. Anyone who knows JM from interviews and podcasts will know he's likely to pick up on this. If he'd said "Mate" instead, I'm sure he would have replied "I ain't your mate". (As I tend to say to my son, I'm not your mate, I'm your father. Maybe I'm a pedant too.)

But B7 doesn't stop. He still keeps talking. Which provokes a further response from JM.

B7 does nothing to the first insult, but stews.

But JM says it again. I don't believe JM knows for a moment who B7 is or his family situation. Why would he?

B7 starts a fight. So we now know it's OK to start fights in retaliation for mean words.

B1 says to the ref "either deal with that or I F****** will". Is that anyway to talk to a referee? Seemingly it's OK. I wouldn't allow that kind of threat at school boy level to go without a word.

B3 helps the ref by telling tales on what JM said. Well done B3.

B7 feels to need to tell everyone about his mother.

B7 then calls JM a F****** C***. No sanction is given for this, so do we now know that F****** C*** is OK and acceptable but mean and nasty words about mothers are not OK.

In the melee, B4 4 appears to lead with his head into Quins 5 - no sanction. So that's OK then.

At 35.17 B4, grabbing Q5 by the shirt, leads with his fist into the chin of Q5. That's a sly strike. But that's OK too.

As I said at the start. It's a complete shambles. If JM brought the game into disrepute then he wasn't the only one. And bad language on the pitch surely can't be the same as cancelling a Barbarians game and costing millions. 6 weeks for bad language can't be right.
 

crossref


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and the sanction as well is a muddle ?
If this is a six-week offence (is it??) how can JM (of all people, with all his form) be mitigated down to 2 ?
and how can JM turning up at a local club to give a presentation be anything but a laugh and a jolly for all involved? is that really a "punishment" ?

it's all so muddled
 
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belladonna

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and the sanction as well is a muddle ?
If this is a six-week offence (is it??) how can JM (of all people, with all his form) be mitigated down to 2 ?
and how can JM turning up at a local club to give a presentation be anything but a laugh and a jolly for all involved? is that really a "punishment" ?

it's all so muddled
Exactly! According to the RFU, six weeks is the LOW END sanction - and as you say, he has form. Maybe they decided the speed of the apology outweighed the previous incident(s) so gave him the max for a low end offence, with some suspended. Makes you wonder though what would constitute a mid or high end offence?!?


 

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crossref


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Exactly! According to the RFU, six weeks is the LOW END sanction - and as you say, he has form. Maybe they decided the speed of the apology outweighed the previous incident(s) so gave him the max for a low end offence, with some suspended. Makes you wonder though what would constitute a mid or high end offence?!?


and.. I don't think they had to follow that guidance, as that is for a RC offence, and they declined to cite him as (I understand) they didn't think it amounted to a RC.

but then more muddle - how can on on-field offence that merits 6 weeks NOT be a RC offence? it makes no sense,.
alternatively if it is NOT a RC offence (presumably because it wasn't specifically racist, sexist etc etc so less severe) then how can it still be worth 6 weeks.
 

Mipper


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What a complete mess this is.

I'm fed up with the leering, jeering and play acting that is creeping in. I certainly wouldn't expect it from the school boys I coach and occasionally referee. I make clear that we don't get distracted by the behaviour of other teams and concentrate on our own performance. But that can be a difficult message.

I've also sent off one of our boys for foul and abusive language as a scrum was forming. Would I take a different attitude if I was refereeing adults? Maybe, but I'm not necessarily sure why.

Tabai Matson said before the Quins - Northampton game that the decision was right and fair but hoped that clarity would be published about what is and isn't acceptable.

I think this clarity is needed. I do think the disciplinary process likes to make an example of Joe Marler - like him or loath him, the process should be fair.

I think the whole situation has shown the game in a poor light and Bristol played their part in this, almost to the point of them targeting JM who they know full well will engage in commentary will other players. Maybe JM should have seen this coming and ignored B7 - maybe he will next time. Maybe B7 may get other players whispering to him on the ground to test his response in future matches.

But surely something can't be decided on knowing or not knowing someone's personal situation.

I sincerely wish B7 and his family well. I lost my father to Prostate Cancer a number of years ago. But if someone said something rude about him, I wouldn't start a fight.

Comments on events:

Match clock 33.40 - JM joins ruck. Absolutely nothing to suggest foul play, although he is in the vicinity of B7 who is on the floor in the ruck. There could have been some contact as JM tries to disrupt bristol players who have sunk off their feet but no evidence.

33.36 - B1 comes around wrong side of ruck after ball has been played away and pulls JM round the shirt collar to the floor for apparently no reason - no sanction.

At the scrum

Scrum starts to form. B7 clearly wants to engage JM in discussion. JM didn't start the dialogue as far as we can tell.

B7 refers to JM as Brother. Anyone who knows JM from interviews and podcasts will know he's likely to pick up on this. If he'd said "Mate" instead, I'm sure he would have replied "I ain't your mate". (As I tend to say to my son, I'm not your mate, I'm your father. Maybe I'm a pedant too.)

But B7 doesn't stop. He still keeps talking. Which provokes a further response from JM.

B7 does nothing to the first insult, but stews.

But JM says it again. I don't believe JM knows for a moment who B7 is or his family situation. Why would he?

B7 starts a fight. So we now know it's OK to start fights in retaliation for mean words.

B1 says to the ref "either deal with that or I F****** will". Is that anyway to talk to a referee? Seemingly it's OK. I wouldn't allow that kind of threat at school boy level to go without a word.

B3 helps the ref by telling tales on what JM said. Well done B3.

B7 feels to need to tell everyone about his mother.

B7 then calls JM a F****** C***. No sanction is given for this, so do we now know that F****** C*** is OK and acceptable but mean and nasty words about mothers are not OK.

In the melee, B4 4 appears to lead with his head into Quins 5 - no sanction. So that's OK then.

At 35.17 B4, grabbing Q5 by the shirt, leads with his fist into the chin of Q5. That's a sly strike. But that's OK too.

As I said at the start. It's a complete shambles. If JM brought the game into disrepute then he wasn't the only one. And bad language on the pitch surely can't be the same as cancelling a Barbarians game and costing millions. 6 weeks for bad language can't be right.
That is a very detailed recording of events.

Also very one sided. You seem to be targeting the Bristol players, not the Quins players. Even the parts you note can be regarded as mostly 50/50, and for all of your forensics you seem to have missed Heenan being smacked twice. I would say punched, but that would a little over dramatic.

I hope you referee more equitably than this 😂

To be clear, your’e wrong to note that ”we now know it's OK to start fights in retaliation for mean words”, as Heenan was penalised for precisely this.
 

Dickie E


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in this day & age, I would have thought suggesting someone's birthing parent is a sex worker, would be no biggie.
 

Jarrod Burton


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Exactly! According to the RFU, six weeks is the LOW END sanction - and as you say, he has form. Maybe they decided the speed of the apology outweighed the previous incident(s) so gave him the max for a low end offence, with some suspended. Makes you wonder though what would constitute a mid or high end offence?!?



I suspect that the 6N starting the week after his ban ends is the reason two weeks was "selected"
.
 

Jarrod Burton


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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.
I note the puff piece in the Irish Times today all about his struggles with mental health:
https://www.irishnews.com/lifestyle...ally_feeling_comfortable_in_his_skin-2954410/

Its timing seems somewhat convenient for mine.
 

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Good piece in Rugby Pass about how this judgement throws refs under a bus

This is because every time someone now opens their mouth to hurl invective, the opposition are fully aware that this is an offence which carries a two-match ban (sorry, I can’t acknowledge the nonsense about suspended sentences) and which the referee, therefore, has to deal with.

In turn, this requires officials across the land to actually pay some attention to the kind of verbal diarrhoea squabbling rugby players routinely spout and then make a decision on what is and isn’t acceptable. The alternative approach referees have historically favoured - tune it out - now risks the official spending his/her afternoon being criticised for inaction and blamed for any subsequent reprisals.

This bit made me smile

Where a TMO is present, might we also find the effects microphone being cranked up? “I’m sorry Karl, I can’t quite hear if Harlequins' No1 called the Bristol No7’s mother a whore or a bore. Can I have your best audio again please, director?”
 
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