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‘Easier to pigeonhole a rugby league player’: Christian Welch on battling body blows and boardrooms

Rugby league is, to some, like a strand of someone else’s hair in a restaurant meal: hard to avoid and harder to stomach.

From the mindless quotes and unsavoury scandals, to the close proximity to gambling and a mythology founded on physical sacrifice, the code is far from everyone’s cup of tea. But one of the sport’s most considered voices says, over his coffee in Melbourne’s CBD, there is more to league than meets the eye.

“It’s probably easier to pigeonhole a rugby league player as a drunk, abusive or a drug taker,” Christian Welch says, arguing players’ behaviour is no worse than that of the broader community. “It makes people more uncomfortable if we reflect on Australia as a whole, instead of just going ‘oh, rugby league players, they’re the ones abusing their partners or taking drugs’, when it’s probably more of an indictment on where everyone is.”

Read the full article from The Guardian, here.

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.