The uncomfortable truths for rugby league clubs and their unvaccinated players

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josie andrews
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The uncomfortable truths for rugby league clubs and their unvaccinated players

Post by josie andrews »

Clubs and players are at loggerheads about vaccinations, and it's an issue that's not going to go away.

There was an unusually combative stance taken by the RFL when they deferred their decision on the reintroduction of scrums.

The governing body made their view clear to the near twenty per cent of Super League and Championship players who remain unvaccinated heading into the 2022 season - telling them in no uncertain terms that they were having a 'material impact' on the sport's preparations for the new season.

Inevitably, it was not received too kindly by some, with officials criticised for trying to pressurise players into complying with the continuous calls from Government to get the vaccine which are practically unavoidable at present.

And let's be right, there is no legal obligation for the sport's stars to get the vaccine if they don't want to. Whether you agree with their resistance, concerns or fears or not, they are perfectly entitled to make their own choice. They do not have to comply, whatever their reason for objecting may be.

Yet the main problem is that those who are deciding to remain unvaccinated are causing difficult challenges for the clubs that employ them.

At two different Super League clubs, there are cases where an unvaccinated player has accumulated over 50 missed days of training and fixtures due to track and trace measures, as those who haven't been jabbed must isolate if they have been identified as a close contact.

Those players have, effectively, been unable to work for around one-fifth of the season due to a choice they have made. Put simply, there are other lines of employment that would result in docked wages or even redundancy if the circumstances were the same.

At clubs where vaccine uptake is particularly low, the close contact rulings threaten to see fixtures postponed again in 2022, which will then have financial implications on the clubs involved. Understandably, this is a hard pill to swallow for the employers who continue to pay the employees.

France recently tightened their travel restrictions once again, but before that, anyone unvaccinated would be forced to quarantine for a minimum of two days. Given all Super League clubs now charter flights there and back on the same day, unvaccinated players would be unavailable for any games held across the channel. For some UK clubs, that would mean missing up to three games of the season, before Challenge Cup and play-off games. Those numbers are substantially higher for Catalans and Toulouse players.

Ultimately, those choosing to remain unvaccinated are making life difficult for the clubs that employ them.

Across clubs, constant dialogue is taking place between players and clubs. At certain places it is amicable, at others, hostile.

The issue is also causing frustration among some players who have decided to get double or triple jabbed.

One Super League player who wished to remain anonymous said: "If I've been in close contact with anyone I'm still allowed to train outside with the lads but I've got to do anything indoors on my own to reduce the risk of spreading it to others. Those unvaccinated get ten days where they can sit in bed and play Warzone all day."

Arguably the main source of the problem is the rules that are in place. But those rules are being enforced by powers far greater than both the governing body and the clubs. They have no say or influence in how the rules look in this Covid world.

Ultimately, while the RFL's message could well come across as condescending and finger-pointing, it's hard to not sympathise with clubs who are feeling the consequences of their players' decisions in the shape of their absence.

The matter isn't as transparent as many would like to make it out to be, regardless of which side of the argument they're on. As professional athletes, players have a duty to be available for competition and being unvaccinated goes against that. On the contrary, they have the right to decide what goes into their bodies and what is best for their health. The two together, in this case, can simply not intertwine.

https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/sport/ru ... dium=email
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage.
Caboosegg
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Re: The uncomfortable truths for rugby league clubs and their unvaccinated players

Post by Caboosegg »

They play a contact sport, it should have a no vaccine no job rule in my opinion and I'd they don't want to get it. Well go find another job which your personal preference isn't going to impact others.

I want 5g in the dw so we need them all vaccinated.
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Wiganer Ted
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Re: The uncomfortable truths for rugby league clubs and their unvaccinated players

Post by Wiganer Ted »

They all have contracts of employment and there won't be anything in there re vaccinations.

One possible route is for clubs to state they won't sign players who haven't been vaccinated or renew contracts of those who insist on not having the jabs. Very long term but this Covid doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon.
josie andrews
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Re: The uncomfortable truths for rugby league clubs and their unvaccinated players

Post by josie andrews »

Wiganer Ted wrote: Thu Dec 30, 2021 7:42 pm They all have contracts of employment and there won't be anything in there re vaccinations.

One possible route is for clubs to state they won't sign players who haven't been vaccinated or renew contracts of those who insist on not having the jabs. Very long term but this Covid doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon.
Caboosegg wrote: Thu Dec 30, 2021 7:20 pm They play a contact sport, it should have a no vaccine no job rule in my opinion and if they don't want to get it. Well go find another job which your personal preference isn't going to impact others.

I want 5g in the dw so we need them all vaccinated.
Good points both of you.
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage.
the pieman
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Re: The uncomfortable truths for rugby league clubs and their unvaccinated players

Post by the pieman »

josie andrews wrote: Thu Dec 30, 2021 7:05 pm

Yet the main problem is that those who are deciding to remain unvaccinated are causing difficult challenges for the clubs that employ them.

At two different Super League clubs, there are cases where an unvaccinated player has accumulated over 50 missed days of training and fixtures due to track and trace measures, as those who haven't been jabbed must isolate if they have been identified as a close contact.

Those players have, effectively, been unable to work for around one-fifth of the season due to a choice they have made. Put simply, there are other lines of employment that would result in docked wages or even redundancy if the circumstances were the same.

https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/sport/ru ... dium=email
this is where stats / facts are distorted to suit the needs of the author

i am fully vaccinated and have had covid twice now (currently isolating for a 2nd time), so to say that they are missing training etc because they are unvaccinated is just not true. You can still catch and transmit Covid, and up until recently the same rules applied. They are using the old isolation rules and historical data where you had to isolate whether vaccinated or not, so it is being used for sensationalism in a headline IMO.

Under the current rules, it does change slightly as they can do the lateral flow test if vaccinated, and as long as they are clear, they can carry on, so IMO the article should have focussed on that instead of using distorted facts to sensationalise

in terms of the contract side of things all employers are in the same boat. There wont be many contracts of employment that state that you must have the Covid jabs & any subsequent boosters, or even flu jabs etc. My wife works at a dentists and daughter hospital, so they are offered flu / Hep B etc. but i dont believe it is in their contracts.

i know recently there was talk about health care professionals (Hospital staff / care home workers etc) being mandated to take the vaccine and losing their jobs, if they didnt. I said to my wife when it was on the news that it would end up in court, as it is very unlikely that there is a contract clause / term that they could sack their employees for breaching. So if someone has been sacked for not taking the vaccine, then i wouldnt be suprised if there isnt a case for unfair dismissal brought against the employer. We had something similar where i work (not health related), where we brought in a new customer who would only allow staff to work on their orders if they had completed a specific check. We had existing employees, some wouldnt take the check as it was quite intrusive (and he was honest and said he would fail it). We amended our contracts for new employees so that it was a condition of employment they needed to pass the check, and for our existing employees they were assigned to other accounts. I know this isnt the same as the RL players, but as Wiganer Ted suggests, if it is going to be a problem, then only recruit / retain vaccinated players
doc
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Re: The uncomfortable truths for rugby league clubs and their unvaccinated players

Post by doc »

Surely the get out is for SL/RFL to make it a condition/rule that to compete in their competitions that players have to be vaccinated due to the physical contact element of the sport thus taking the heat from the clubs. Player then has the option to get the jab or sit on their backside all day, away from the rest of the squad, on reduced/no pay as they are making themselves unavailable for selection.
buttmonkey2
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Re: The uncomfortable truths for rugby league clubs and their unvaccinated players

Post by buttmonkey2 »

doc wrote: Fri Dec 31, 2021 10:06 am Surely the get out is for SL/RFL to make it a condition/rule that to compete in their competitions that players have to be vaccinated due to the physical contact element of the sport thus taking the heat from the clubs. Player then has the option to get the jab or sit on their backside all day, away from the rest of the squad, on reduced/no pay as they are making themselves unavailable for selection.
Physical contact element? Why only the players? Surely if "physical contact" is one of your requirement for mandatory vaccinations for players then you must include their families and children as they can pass the sarscov2 virus (which is part of the cold and flu family) on and infect the players also.

Fans too. How about lateral flow tests every 2 hours and those who fail are arrested and impounded in camps away from all social areas for 10 days should a pcr test confirm? Perhaps we should install vaccination booths at the turnstyles and vaccinate on both entry and exit - just to make sure?

When you wake up and realise that the vaccines only reduce the symptoms and was only ever designated for those at particular risk - why now continue to vaccinate when surely testing for the antibodies (so no need for boosters etc) would be far more advantageous?

Originally all the "tin foil hat" brigade were dismissed but as each month progresses, the more and more our society replicates a certain George Orwell book. The more people sleep walk into this rubbish the worst things will become - the "new normal" as you like to call it

Let's see if things have changed in 12 months time, I doubt it. We will continue to be being scared by the media frenzy over yet another mutation and yet further pushes by the people making money out of this to continue the 4th 5th and 6th vaccination boosters.

How many do you need before you are classed as "protected"? My wifes already being advised to take her 4th less than 10 weeks than the 3rd. How can anyone state as a matter of fact that these boosters really are either needed or making any difference
Back by demand.
doc
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:08 pm

Re: The uncomfortable truths for rugby league clubs and their unvaccinated players

Post by doc »

Players' wives and kids aren't playing in an RFL run competition.

It looks like fans will have to have a Covid passport for matches this season so all ready covered.

The Sky/C4 are paying a lot of money to the RFL/clubs to televise matches and if players put that income at risk due to match cancellations by being stupid enough not to have a jab then they are putting the games future, their teammates jobs and their own jobs at risk if the TV companies subsequently reduce payments.

Yes, it's a pain in the backside to wear masks and have jabs but people have to take the view that their minor inconvenience is for the good of the wider society.

Finally, you really don't have a grip on the science. Having boosters maintains immunity thereby hopefully you will never test +ve by LFT; getting a jab when you test +ve is too late. Just because you test +ve for the antibodies doesn't necessarily stop you getting the bug and passing it on. Also, after the booster, if you are unlucky enough to catch the bug, you will be less likely to end up in hospital on a ventilator which could lead to it being several months before you recover if you have to be intubated.
Second Row
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Re: The uncomfortable truths for rugby league clubs and their unvaccinated players

Post by Second Row »

Try the H&S at work act .
Responsibility for your own Healthand Safety and that of your fellow workers and the employer equally bears that reponsibility.
maybe that daily testing for unvacinated could be applied.
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