‘Line crossed:’ Storm complain to NRL, Fox Sports over Bellamy bashing

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‘Line crossed:’ Storm complain to NRL, Fox Sports over Bellamy bashing
Michael Chammas
By Michael Chammas
March 28, 2021 — 8.00pm


The Melbourne Storm have sent official complaints to the NRL and Fox Sports about the comments made by journalists working for the broadcaster that were directed at coach Craig Bellamy last week.

The Storm also sent a letter to club members on Saturday night, defending the integrity of the premiership-winning coach after criticism from several News Corp publications over the past week.

Craig Bellamy and the Melbourne Storm have taken offence to comments made by News Corp journalists.

The Storm, and in particularly Bellamy, took offence to comments made by NRL 360 host Paul Kent, who said the Storm implemented wrestling tactics "designed to maim and injure players".

“All right let me just say this, Grapple tackle, chicken wing, rolling pin, hip drop, crusher, crocodile rolls, cannon balls, ankle twists,” Kent said on NRL 360.

“The only constant in Melbourne since 2005 when all those tackles have been brought in and later banned in the game is the head coach Craig Bellamy. So I think the less advice we take from Craig Bellamy about the welfare of players the better.

“And you can go to town on that because you know what? They are the ones that are doing it. The game is now producing rules to counter what Melbourne are trying to introduce. I’ve got no stock in it.”

Melbourne Storm chief executive Justin Rodski emailed NRL and Fox Sports executives on Saturday, before making their position clear to club members. The Storm said it will not take legal action.

"This week, our coach of the last 19 years was, in our view, unfairly criticised by particular commentators," Rodski said.

"As a club, we appreciate the media has a job to do each week reporting on our great game and our broadcasters are critical to growing our game and giving our fans the chance to watch their team play week in, week out.


“A large majority of journalists and reporters play fair too. But, on this occasion, we believe the line was crossed and have taken the matter up with the NRL and Fox Sports. It’s only fair we do so.

"Craig Bellamy is a person of the highest character and integrity, he is a legend of the game, and he deserves to be respected and celebrated for the contribution he has made to the Melbourne Storm and the NRL.


"But most importantly, he is loved by his players, his coaching group, his staff and by the broader Melbourne Storm community, including our members. Let’s make sure we get behind our coach and our team next Friday and show the rest of the competition what the Melbourne Storm is made of."

Both Fox Sports and the NRL declined to comment on the matter, however it's likely the Storm's complaints will fall on deaf ears. The NRL hasn't previously interfered with how the pay television network covers the game, nor does it intend to start now. There's a belief the Storm have gone public with their views in a show of solidarity as they await a decision from Bellamy about his future.
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Belly Ache and Melbourne bashing is a common sport in Sydney where there is no desire to move the game out of the Sydney suburbs. They have also taken to doing the same thing to the Queensland teams especially the Broncos.
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I'm honestly dumbfounded that we haven't sued for slander yet
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Mattpoet wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:07 pm I'm honestly dumbfounded that we haven't sued for slander yet
No doubt Kent will unleash on Fox tonight. Maybe the club is giving him enough rope to hang himself. I hope so.
We must all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately
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I'd love him to have to defend himself in court when we produce evidence that every club does the same things. Love him to end up paying out for it too. Can't stand Kent, Hooper or Rothfield, biggest bunch of wankers I've ever seen.
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And yet people watch the crap, I wonder what the ratings say? I'll bet it only helps make more people want to watch and on and on it goes.
We're dammed if we do and dammed if we don't. It'd be very satisfying if we did take them to task through the courts but I suspect it would almost be the unwinnable and hence the club does not proceed.
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On the contrary, I'd say it's highly winnable. The question is more whether we feel it will damage our public image, lose us fans etc. I don't think there's any doubt we could prove defamation, incitement etc.
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The only real hope for the expansion of the game of rugby league lies outside of the moribund, myopic N(SW)RL and RFL (IMO).

To that end, I really hope the proposed North American League can somehow get off the ground.
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Yes the NSW media mafia really don't want the game to expand

They want to keep control of it

And yet they bemoan the AFL for their desire to grow their game

The NRL is genuinely small minded but even worse, the media who spend so much on the game and control the narrative are narcissistic and go out of their way to try and stop any progressive debate at all.

Even the discussion last night about concussion subs was mainly that it will be rorted by teams. Meanwhile this is the number 1 issue as to why mothers wont let their kids play the game.
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Mattpoet wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:44 pm Can't stand Kent, Hooper or Rothfield, biggest bunch of wankers I've ever seen.
I actually don;t mind Buzz.

TO be honest, its typical Fox media tactics. Find a target everyone will rally against (Melbourne because all of SYdney will easily jump on Melbourne bashing) an hammer that target to suit your narative regardless of facts.

Melbourne is the NRL boogy man if all you watch is FOX.

I personally have moved away from this trash journalism and get most my media from podcasts nowadays, I listen to Bloke in a Bar for ROund previews and reviews now.
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Too true; Alt Media rules.

In all facits of information consumption but especially if you want some perspective in Rugby League.

Podcasts and live shows on youtube are the future of media engagement

The mainsteam media kick out at easy targets and sensationalise everything rather than give nuanced debate as their ratings decline and people move to Alt Media .
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I only watch the $hitney NRL 360 etc during the finals. As I know it's simply a NSW organisming echo chamber similar what Their ABC is to the Labor Party!
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six rings wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:43 am nuanced debate as their ratings decline and people move to Alt Media .
Roy and HG, "the nuances of rugby league", hahaha. Unfortunately even they, in a light hearted way, stick the boots in to Melbourne.
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Anyone out of Sydney; including the fictional characters of HG Nelson and Roy Slaven, only want Rugby League in Sydney. They treat interstate clubs like leepers. And Melbourne Storm, as the mouse that roared, they have a special dislike of.
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Was that a half-hearted apology by Kent on NRL360 last night. If it was, then it was Pretty p.... poor. I wonder if the NRL told him to say something, or if Bellamy chewed his ear off
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