RFL spokesman explains the reasoning behind Bradford Bulls’ sanction for homophobic abuse

Yesterday, the news that Bradford Bulls had been punished for homophobic abuse aimed at referee James Child from a section of their support earlier in the season caused a bit of consternation amongst rugby league fans.

An RFL statement read: “The club have committed to spending a minimum of £3,000 to promote an Inclusivity and Diversity Celebration home fixture in 2022, in lieu of a fine, as a more progressive and positive intervention – with an additional £1,000 fine suspended until the end of the 2022 Championship season.”

Some pointed to the fact that Castleford Tigers were fined £40,000 for homophobic abuse of Gareth Thomas in 2010 and expressed just why the Bulls had been given what they felt was a let off.

Now, though, after contact from Serious About Rugby League, a spokesman has outlined just why Bradford were handed this punishment.

The spokesman revealed that the £3,000 fine to be spent on the Diversity and Inclusion fixture is a new approach, with the Bulls needing to provide evidence that they have spent such an amount.

It was also stressed that club fines are scaled to the competition and level of income, rather than a flat rate for the whole three tiers of rugby league.

Every incident is, of course, different as well and the RFL highlighted the importance of this. Bradford, nor James Child were aware of the abuse, whilst there was audible levels at the Jungle for the abuse aimed at Gareth Thomas. Plus, there was, reportedly, a different reaction from both clubs.

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Richard Palliser
Richard Palliser
14 days ago

Struggling to see how clubs are going to control the output of individuals mouths, what are the RFL trying to achieve? Are they expecting clubs to pay for theory sessions for fans, or will a life ban be acceptable?
Another laughable joke that takes the eye off the state of our game, get a grip RFL……