Journalist slams rugby league’s ‘blame culture’

Top rugby league journalist Matt Shaw has criticised individuals in rugby league fans for creating a ‘blame culture’ within the sport.

Shaw, Rugby League World editor and League Express reporter, outlined a number of negative points taken from yesterday’s games alone in a rant on Twitter, which included a fan wishing serious injury on a player and people making up conspiracy theories after a loss.

He also stated how, in his opinion, the attitude within rugby league needs to change in order for the sport to move forward.

“Has to be said. The attitude of some rugby league fans is utterly embarrassing. Rather than talk the game up they’d prefer to create false conspiracies to protect their team, continuously talk down the achievements of others and generally criticise everything.

“Rugby league is poisoned by a blame culture. It’s always someone else’s fault. The referee, the RFL, St Helens, Toronto, whatever. People question why the sport never moves forward. Look in the mirror. Rather than strive for improvement people would rather talk down to the rest.

“There is one thing that is holding rugby league back and that is the mentality of some people within it. Blame, blame, blame. Moan, moan, moan.

Shaw claims a fan said Halifax captain Scott Murrell ‘deserved’ the neck injury scare he suffered in Sunday’s draw with Dewsbury.

“Today. Fans blame Saints for ruining the integrity of Super League. A ‘fan’ saying (Scott) Murrell deserved to have a broken neck for Fax’s decision to play a full strength team. York’s amazing win over Bradford overshadowed by conspiracies. Widnes fans booing the league champions.

He then went on to praise the positives within the game, saying: “There are some truly wonderful people in rugby league and amazing clubs doing great things at all levels. They’re overshadowed by the bitter, spiteful and jealous people who are holding the game back.

“Rugby League is, in my opinion, on the cusp of some amazing things. The thing threatening it is the people within who appear to want it to fail.

“The sport needs a mentality change. Quickly. While the blame culture persists, while the bitterness and jealousy remains and the lack of openness to change is prominent, it will go nowhere. The people of rugby league are the ones who are holding it back. Nobody else.

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