The kebab shop punch-up

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The kebab shop punch-up

Postby Snuff » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:36 am

With yesterday's resolution to the kebab shop punch-up, in which some rugby players, drink having been taken, got a wee bit over-excited, it is interesting to note how quickly the SRU moved.

Ryan Wilson of Glasgow Warriors and Scotland had barely arrived home from court, when the SRU, who are his employers, announced he had been suspended pending an internal investigation.

Clearly, having been found guilty of two counts os assault, Wilson's jersey is on a shoogly nail.

However, as with the celebrated Duncan Ferguson case of all those years ago, there is surely an element of double jeopardy in this. Wilson has been found guilty and punished by the judicial system, for a crime he committed in his own leisure time. Now, he has been punished again by his employer.

Of course, there is the additional consideration of an international sportsman's position as a role model and ambassador for his sport, and how the sport's administrators safeguard the good name of their sport.

It is, I feel, interesting to see how quickly the SRU acted, in comparison with the way football has tied itself in knots over Chad Evand, and his admittedly far-more serious breach of the law.
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Re: The kebab shop punch-up

Postby the hibLOG » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:34 pm

The double jeopardy applies in many walks of life though - many people found guilty by the courts of a crime will find themselves dismissed by their employer, most likely on the grounds of serious misconduct which is damaging to the reputation of the employer, or which fatally undermines a necessary level of trust in the employee. Professional sports clubs aren't any different in that respect.

As you point out with the Chad Evans case (and other recent cases such as Craig Thomson), some sports, or at least some clubs, are different by way of seeming to be more indulgent than most normal employers. Without doubt the high financial value of professional footballers encourages clubs to raise the bar of moral degradation so high that nothing short of murder will end a career.

As has often been observed, in rugby the hooligan element is confined to the field of play, and perhaps the traditionally more middle class, travel rugged, hip-flasked rugby supporter is presumed more indignant than the average football fan. And the financial value of a rugby player is considerably lower, professionalism notwithstanding.
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Re: The kebab shop punch-up

Postby Scottish » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:20 am

There's often a catch-all clause in an employment contract along the lines of "bringing (insert name here) into disrepute." It's not actually double jeopardy as I understand it. I always thought that was being TRIED twice for the same crime (abolished now anyway and rightly so, otherwise advances in science such as DNA which identifies someone bang to rights wouldn't be able to be used to secure a conviction).

In the Evans case what we're talking about is being PUNISHED twice for the same crime, once by loss of liberty imposed by a Judge and once by loss of employment. But Evans isn't the first and he won't be the last to find out that leaving jail isn't the end of it. Would we, for example, allow a convicted paedophile teacher to return to the classroom upon release from prison? Of course with the establishment of the Sex Offenders Register that shouldn't happen anyway. But before the register was in place then legally nothing would have barred such a person from returning to their usual employment and if they had enough chutzpah they could have taken the matter to the courts as a restraint of trade.

But I would still hope there wouldn't be a school anywhere which would have given employment to someone like that, no matter how highly qualified.

Or, where there's no sanction such as the Sex Offenders Register, if someone is beaten up badly by a workmate but off the premises, out of work hours and the offender does time for GBH, does he walk back into his old job? In theory he's done nothing to stop him from doing so but what about the poor guy who got his skull caved in who's still working there? Does he have to clock on and off and work beside a guy who nearly killed him?

In the Evans case he's still protesting his innocence and presumably there's some kind of appeal to be made. But as it stands he's a convicted rapist and as such I wouldn't want to share the same air as him, let alone a dressing room.
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