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Bulldogs' Mad Monday apology not accepted

The reporter at the centre of Canterbury's Mad Monday saga does not accept the punishment handed down to the NRL club on Tuesday, rejecting any suggestion that the vulgar comments weren't directed at her.
Bulldogs' Mad Monday apology not accepted
by NRL

By Joe Barton

SYDNEY, Oct 9 AAP - The reporter at the centre of Canterbury's Mad Monday saga does not accept the punishment handed down to the NRL club on Tuesday, rejecting any suggestion that the vulgar comments weren't directed at her.

In a report handed down by the ARLC, it was revealed the only "punishment" dished out involves the club paying a $30,000 contribution to a nominated charity, while the Bulldogs say they will deal with those who made the offending comments involved in-house.

That means the identities of Canterbury players or staff who shouted the obscenities from Belmore Sports Ground will not be identified.

The Bulldogs remain adamant the offensive comments were directed at the players themselves, but this was rejected by the network.

"There was no one else there apart from two cameramen and myself. The windows were open, these phrases were yelled out the windows," reporter Jayne Azzopardi told Nine News.

"We didn't hear anything else other than this abuse. So it was clearly directed for us to hear it.

"... Initially the abuse was directed at our cameraman but when I arrived it became more vulgar and offensive and sexual, directed at me.

"And I just don't think any woman should have to put up with that and I don't think any man should think it's okay to say those things."

In a statement issued by the ARLC, Bulldogs chief executive Todd Greenberg said he was aware of who had made every comment, but declined to disclose.

The findings, based on the Bulldogs' internal report, video evidence and an independent security report, also found that some players and their guests were found to be interacting with media representatives "in a matter that could be seen as threatening".

Greenberg, who has apologised unreservedly to Azzopardi for the situation, said there was no benefit in outing those responsible for the comments.

"We are the first to admit that we should have handled things better," Greenberg said in a statement.

"After completing a thorough investigation, I am now aware of every comment made.

"I am aware of every person that comments were attributed to and the context in which those comments were made.

"The players and staff have all been forthcoming with the information and honest in their discussions.

"... There was a lot of sledging going on between the players and they used language that was inappropriate.

"... It would not be helpful or fair to single any one name out and it can only produce a result that will be disproportionate with the actions of any individual.

"This is the result of the behaviour of a number of persons not anyone specifically."

Greenberg said he would deal with those involved individually within their contractual terms and within the club's code of conduct.

"That is good business practice and is in line with the way we manage our football club."

Interim ARLC chief executive Shane Mattiske called for the end of the term "Mad Monday", believing it could be contributing to over-the-top behaviour.

Mattiske also implored clubs to tone down post-season celebrations rather than just keeping them out of public places as the Bulldogs did.

"There is no place for `mad' behaviour at any level in our game," he said.

"Calling something `Mad Monday' is almost an excuse to go over the top and it is time for clubs across all levels of the game to seriously review how end of year celebrations are planned."


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