LwL: People of Influence – 2013 Supporters of White Ribbon Day

Today is a special post, because we have more than one person of influence.

Over the past few weeks I have discussed on a number of occasions how the NRL has to become better at promoting the wonderful things that it and its players do off the field. Ultimately, we need to get much better as a code and as fans at promoting the positive things that NRL does for the community and focusing on players who are truly excellent players, but role models for society and the community.

As we all know, the NRL get involved with a series of initiatives throughout the year and one of them is White Ribbon Day.

In 2013, there were a series of people involved and we want to acknowledge the players (both current and former) that got behind this initiative. Today’s people of influence include the 2013 Kangaroos Squad, Daniel Mortimer, Nathan Hindmarsh and Mario Fenech.

For those a bit unclear about White Ribbon Day, here’s some background.

White Ribbon Day is a day which seeks to raise awareness for male violence against women and children. It is the world’s largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women.

Through challenging attitudes and behaviours and commonly held beliefs about violence, this initiative seeks to change the culture which perpetuates men behaving violently and destructively towards women and their family.

I think we can all agree that this is a powerful message and a day which the NRL needs to get behind.

Statistics like this need to be eradicated:

  • 30 per cent of women across the globe are impacted by intimate partner violence;
  • in Australia, one woman a week is killed because of violence from a current or former partner;
  • the Australian Institute of Criminology reports that 36 per cent of all homicides take place in a domestic setting and 73 per cent of those involve a woman being killed by their male partner; and
  • ABS data shows that 1 in 3 Aussie women aged 15 and above have experienced some sort of physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives.

This needs to stop. In a society as privileged and lucky as ours, statistics like this are not acceptable and it needs to be completely understood that this is not ok.

The NRL is a proud supporter of White Ribbon Day. There are a number of ambassadors for the cause who seek to be champions of the cause and spread the message throughout the community.

This is so vitally important and each of the NRL clubs should be looking to get involved in 2014. As a code we need to continue to commit to this cause and show leadership. The players, administrators and governing bodies of our game need to stand together and show support for this tremendous cause.

In the NRL there have been players accused or and players charged with domestic assault. This is not a problem which only afflicts NRL players or people in the spotlight, but is an issue which afflicts society at large.

As a woman who loves rugby league I am passionate about seeing more women involved in the game and to see more women become supporters of the game. This initiative must continue to be a day where the NRL and its players take a stand, be courageous and say that this behaviour is not tolerated in our game and should not be tolerated in society at large.

These posts are meant to be a series of celebratory posts, however I will put some food for thought at the bottom of this article.

While today we have celebrated those involved in the White Ribbon initiative, there is a niggling question that I have.

There have been a series of men involved in incidents involving females over the last few years including Robert Lui, Greg Inglis and Isaac Gordon.

What role should these men have in supporting initiatives like White Ribbon Day?


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