Martin Devlin: NRL's anti-vaccination brigade must accept the consequences

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 15 May 2020, 11:43AM

Martin Devlin: NRL's anti-vaccination brigade must accept the consequences

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Fri, 15 May 2020, 11:43AM

What to do with the NRL's anti-vaccination brigade?

What looks like a real problem for the comp is actually more of a problem for those opposed to the injection. As much as anyone might support their individual right to choose, reality is this handful of players are not going to stop the recommencement of rugby league. They may well bring a halt to their own careers as a result of chosen abstinence but I hope they also know that, regardless of their objections, the game WILL go on.

Covid19 has reshaped our world. Planet Earth has never quite tilted on its axis like this before. Nothing is now normal. What we call the new normal is something the world will be deciding on a day-by-day, case-by-case basis.

And a dozen or so players refusing to comply like the rest of the NRL's employees will be forgotten quicker than you can say Jarryd Hayne.

Hayne is a great case study for how, in the greater scheme of things, unimportant each individual is. When Jarryd left the NRL to attempt to play NFL he was considered the game's best player. Much hand-wringing took place around Hayne, if at all, he could ever be replaced. And we all know what happened. The comp did. On it went. Without a hitch. Without a rearview glance. Someone else emerged to take his place and that was that. 

The exact same thing is about to happen to any player refusing to play because they refuse to be vaccinated. Because the game lives on. Because it always has done. And no one individual or group thereof, no matter how big they think they are, is bigger than the game.

Look I don't make the rules. And YOU also don't have to abide by them. 

Whether I like this edict or not is irrelevant. For my own career, right now more  than at any other time, I choose to do what is required. I need to keep my job.

And for me personally, if my employers demanded we all get vaccinated, it's not something worth losing my income over. But that's just me. I understand the position these individuals have chosen, I just don't agree it's a war worth fighting. Rugby League does not owe anyone a living. That quote is from the legendary Brett Kenny. The champion Origin, Kangaroo, triple Prem winner Brett Kenny - a man who's achieved more than any of these anti-vaccers ever will. And he's right. And even though you might not personally believe it, suck it up petal because it is.

I respect these players individual stance re the vaccine.

In turn they must also accept the consequence of what that stance will mean.