Media fuelling NRL fight hysteria: Kite - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Media fuelling NRL fight hysteria: Kite

By Joe Barton and Steve Jancetic 30/08/2011 07:21:15 PM Comments (0)

Manly prop Brent Kite launched a stunning attack on the media for fuelling the hysteria surrounding the violent NRL brawl that has thrown his side's premiership push into disarray.

As Sea Eagles backrower Glenn Stewart extraordinarily pleaded not guilty to his fighting charge, Kite claimed constant replays of the incident were only adding to the damage the fight had done to the game's image.

"You blokes are responsible for what you show," Kite said as he fronted a media conference on Tuesday.

"It's your responsibility not to show it (the brawl) three times a day, is that a fair call?

"It's a tough pill to swallow to say 'this is so bad what they've done' and you guys are splashing it on the tele.

"Everything else on tele is censored so if it's so bad, let's stop showing it."

NRL boss David Gallop said the potential impact that vision of an all-in brawl could have on youngsters watching the game and on sponsors contributed to the heavy penalties handed out by the league.

Ten players were charged over the incident, with Stewart and Melbourne's Adam Blair referred straight to Wednesday night's sitting of the NRL judiciary.

With the possibility that Manly and Melbourne could meet during the finals series, Gallop said he didn't expect to see images of the brawl used in any promotional material, but he defended the right of news producers to use the footage.

"I think it's a little unrealistic to expect it not to be shown by the media," Gallop said.

"It's a pretty significant event ... it doesn't happen very often ... the media, you know what makes news."

As for the possibility of the fight being used in a promotional capacity, Gallop said: "I don't see protracted fisticuffs being used anywhere in the promotion of the game - the toughness of the game gets used but not what we saw on Friday night.

"I would doubt anyone would use that to promote the game."

The NRL appeared vindicated in the punishments it handed down when both clubs accepted the $50,000 fines and early guilty pleas for all players charged.

But while the Storm pleaded guilty to Blair's referred charge of contrary conduct - fighting, the Sea Eagles surprised everyone with their not guilty plea for Stewart for the same offence.

It is believed Manly will argue Stewart should never have been in the position to engage in the fight with Blair, claiming the decision to send him to the sin-bin was incorrect.

It is an all-or-nothing play by a club desperate to clear its star forward, given that any suspension is likely to be greater than four matches and therefore season-ending.

"We are fairly confident we will get the outcome we need," Sea Eagles chief executive David Perry said.

"We would love to have Glenn there and it would be disappointing not to have him there considering the clean player that he is and the form he is in.

"He is a huge part of our team so it would be disappointing not just for Glenn but for our fans, who have invested good money to see this player run around every week."

While no official early guilty plea discount applies in cases referred straight to the judiciary, the panel will be asked to take into account Blair's admission of guilt in determining his ban.

Even that won't be enough to save his Storm career however, with the Wests Tigers-bound forward having to already serve a two-game suspension for his striking charge which resulted in his initial sin-binning.

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