James Graham has warned the NRL about the consequences of head knocks believing that the competition could be “screwed” in the next decade or two.
Speaking of Mid-week matters, the former St Helens star said:
“They’ve got to be consistent in their approach, I’m attracted to our game because of those big hits but I think basically the NRL are s***ing themselves about what’s coming down the track.
“If they’re not seen to be proactive and acting on contact with the head then I think they’re going to be screwed in 10 or 20 years time, if as far as that.
“They have to be seen as acting and if they take the good guy approach (in reference to lighter bans for people with exemplary disciplinary records) then I’d be happy, as long as the NRL are consistent with it.
“So they don’t flip flop it halfway through the year but I think they’ve set their mark now and you know that if it happens this week it’ll be a similar one.”
He then spoke on the suggestion of a waiver form being introduced that accepts you’re playing a contact sport and therefore are putting your risk:
“I think it’s a great idea in theory, all players go out there knowing there’s a risk of injury and there’s been some horrific accidents happen on a rugby league field.
“I guess the signing a waiver argument it works in theory however I believe the unintended consequence of that would be a massive reduction in participation at junior level. It’s almost a massive admission that ‘hey this game is super dangerous.’
“It’d be almost saying conclusively that the evidence is clear and that it does cause this, so I think the NRL are best to manage and mitigate it. Understand it happens but also do their best to lower the risk and take appropriate action.
“I imagine they’d be fearful of a waiver being made public and parents thinking it’s too dangerous.”