Ben Barba Deregistered As NRL Finally Gets Serious About Player Behaviour
One of the best players in the game can never play it again.
NRL chief Todd Greenberg has deregistered Ben Barba after its integrity unit found there was a "physical altercation" between Barba and his partner at a Townsville Casino.
"I can’t see a time at anytime in the future that he’ll be welcomed back," Greenberg said of the 2012 Dally M winner, who moved to the Cowboys this season but was sacked before he ever played for them.
"In the jurisdiction that I uphold there’s no place for him. It’s time for Ben Barba to find a new vocation.
"I can't see a time any time in the future when he'll be welcomed back."
This is a big moment for the NRL.
After an off-season marred by repeated alleged incidents of violence towards women by NRL players, Greenberg read the clubs the riot act. He said he would rub players out for life, and that process has now started.
Where we see violence and particularly where we see violence against women we’ll act and we’ll act in the strongest terms," Greenberg said.
In making this decision, the CEO was clearly mindful of its magnitude from the player's point of view.
“These decisions affect people’s livelihoods, they affect familes, children, so they’re big moments and you want to make sure you get them right," he continued.
"This is an enormous outcome, because this is a guy who now loses his livelihood, and his career in the game."
"It's a very clear message for a lot of guys in our sport that it a great privilege to play rugby league, to put a jersey on, to earn a significant incomes which they deserve as footballers, but it comes with real responsibility. And if you step outside the crease, you are going to put your livelihood at risk."
Other sporting bodies including the English Super League have indicated they will support the NRL's ban on Barba and other players. This means the 29-year-old's professional sporting career could well be over.
Meanwhile, the footage viewed by the NRL's Integrity Unit will now be the subject of a police investigation.