BY CURTIS WOODWARD
Let us make it clear straight off the bat that under no circumstance is it ever okay to assault someone. Rugby league players are no exception and that includes Scott Bolton.
The North Queensland veteran was recently handed a 12-month good behaviour bond after an incident at a Bondi hotspot in May last year.
It was revealed in Waverley Local Court that an intoxicated Bolton had been sitting next to a woman and when she attempted to stand, Bolton grabbed her on the upper thigh.
“Mr Bolton is not placed on a pedestal by the court,” Magistrate Grogin said during proceedings.
“He is expected to behave as any other member of the public behaves.”
No conviction was recorded with the 31-year-old pleading guilty to common assault.
A comment from the magistrate got your writer thinking.. ‘how the public behaves’.
What an interesting thought.
Forget Scott Bolton for a second.
Let’s consider how the public behaves for a moment.
Does anybody remember what happened to Benji Marshall in a Kings Cross nightclub all those years ago?
Do you remember a photo of Benji throwing fists with a patron being splashed across the front page of the paper?
What you didn’t read was that Marshall was set up. He was baited, pushed and prodded until he pushed back. Then the punches started flying. And all the while, another bloke is standing there recording the whole thing on his phone.
Your writer read somewhere else that NRL players should simply just act like adults.
A quandary considering that if they are to act like adults, why can’t they be treated like all of us “normal” people?
The answer is that it’s impossible.
These players are noticed wherever they go.
Men snicker and swear and hurl abuse. Beautiful young women flutter their eyelashes and play with the straws of their pre-mixed vodkas. Of course, I’m speaking in generalities and not all men want to hang shit on NRL players and not all women want to have sex with them. But to suggest or argue that it’s as black and white as “grow up and act like all us goody two-shoes” is ridiculous.
So about minders?
Has it come to this?
Do professional athletes need someone to “babysit” them while out at a bar?
Absolutely they do but it’s just as much about protecting the players from the public.
Recent incidents might suggest otherwise but the cases involving Jarryd Hayne, Dylan Walker and Jack de Belin all happened behind closed doors – not in the public eye.
A minder can’t be everywhere and if found guilty, these men should do their time.
In the case of Scott Bolton, it has been noted on record that he was heavily intoxicated.
If that’s the case, a minder would have had him tucked up in bed back at the hotel long before he touched anyone.
The Butterfly Effect also suggests that a minder could have at least pushed Bolton toward the exit before any incident could take place.
And if that was the case, who is to say that some bloke doesn’t walk up to Bolton and king hit him for no reason?
A minder is there for several reasons and have been around for many years, anyway.
Why shouldn’t we be using them?
The reality of this version of the world is temptation is everywhere on both sides of the argument.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.