This whole Mitchell Pearce story is very strange, from so many aspects. I’m not going to talk about what actually happend. But…

Who is the winner out of this?

  • The NRL- not great for the game before the 9’s or the start of the NRL season. Not a winner
  • Sydney Roosters- star player caught on camera. Not a winner
  • Fans of NRL- children get to see their hero, drunk. Not a great look. Children aren’t the winner. Women get to see more drunk NRL stars. This won’t encourage women to watch more NRL. Women aren’t the winner.
  • Channel 9- they are the only free to air broadcaster of the NRL! If Pearce is suspended from games, the Roosters will be a weaker team and this won’t be as great for television ratings. Not a winner.
  • Mitchell Pearce’s (friend)- he might have more cash in his pocket now from ACA, but no-one will want to have a beer with him anymore. Not a winner.
  • Mitchell Pearce- clearly not the winner.

The only possible winner is the replacement halfback for the Roosters.

In Melbourne, the number of sports scandals reported on seems far less than Sydney. Why is this? Are the AFL players better behaved than NRL players? Or is it that the sports journalists in Melbourne, report on actual sport and not scandals?

This whole saga will go to the NRL Integrity Unit. What are they are really going to do? Pearce was at a Roosters function and then the club gave them cab vouchers to get home safely. The club has done a very good job at controlling this event. Pearce was then taped in the privacy of a home. I’ve thought for many years that sports starts need babysitters, for want of a better word. Maybe they do.

The NRL Integrity Unit needs to work with the media to understand why this type of behaviour needs to be made public. If the NRL and the media can work together to build the game up, rather than pulling it down constantly, the NRL will be in a lot stronger position. Until this happens, the game will always be in trouble.

If I were the Roosters now, here is what I’d do:

1. Stay silent

2. Don’t issue any releases or statements via email or social media

3. Get Mitchell Pearce to pick up the phone and speak to every single sponsor (from your major sponsors down to the casual sponsor) and every single season ticket holder and apologise for making the club’s name look bad. The value of this is far greater than a media conference. Pearce would speak to the people who most matter to him and his club.

If the Roosters make any statements, this will only add fuel to the fire. Let the story die. This is the key. The more sports clubs keep coming to the media, either defending themselves or apologising, it allows the story to continue. Again, no-one is benefitting from extended negative exposure.

Do the NRL have to make a statement? I don’t believe so. They need to be strong and not bow to media pressure.

If the NRL and the Roosters work together on this on what is best for the game and not for the media, the game will be best served.

Unfortunately, I fear both the Roosters and the NRL will issue statements and this saga will continue on and there will not be one winner, as a result.

So…if this statement is to come out, here is the other option. Make Mitchell Pearce become a spokesperson for dogs without homes. Make him appear at dog shelters to encourage people to foster  dogs or try owning a dog. This is turning an unpleasant situation into a positive situation. Pearce has been caught with a dog and now his punishment is helping homeless dogs. This  becomes a complete win situation and hopefully many dogs will be adopted into great homes.

This is N O W! a blatant plug- I can be reached by the Roosters or the NRL for any advice or strategy on next steps via joe@nowcommunications.com.au or 0455 494 409.



  1. Interesting approach… I definitely don’t agree. I think there shouldn’t be an investigation. They should of just cut him completely first thing this morning. I mean what is there to investigate exactly??

    The suggestion that he should do work with a homeless dogs after picking up a dog and making sexual moves at it and then continuing to comment that he wants to have sex with an animal is akin to suggesting that someone looking at child porn should help out at a childcare centre. Charities are used too often as a cope out that don’t actually change behaviours. Another great example of this is the use of the White Ribbon campaign by various profiled people. I think the first thing the need to do is deal with their issue. Here i’d guess alcohol and potentially something else but that’s speculative. The sport needs to be bigger than any one fan in the interest of what example is being set for the young players in the competition??

    The use of things like white ribbon can be beneficial but it often tarnishes that brands name at the same time. I think everyone deserves a second chance but they need to demonstrate that they have significantly addressed their issue. I also think that if someone like Pearce did what you suggested that if they break a ‘code’ of some form around ‘responsibilities of an ambassador’ type thing then the club and the sport as a whole get fined a significant amount of money. So then it signifies that everyone is ‘backing a second chance’ but there’s more on the line than just reputation, as let’s face it… the NRL doesn’t have much to give on that front.

    The idea of ‘baby sitters’ is novel. I like it. At least in the short term. And if a player is deemed to need one then that should be out of their pay… or at least 50/50.

    #twocents. Probs should get myself a job.

    I do enjoy reading your posts. I feel I have learnt a lot more about sport and approaches etc but felt I should respond to this one!

    On 28 January 2016 at 10:09, N O W! In Sport wrote:

    > THE HALFWAY MARK IN SPORT posted: “This whole Mitchell Pearce story is > very strange, from so many aspects. I’m not going to talk about what > actually happend. But… Who is the winner out of this? The NRL- not great > for the game before the 9’s or the start of the NRL season. Not a winner” >

    • Thanks Seb.

      He can’t be just cut, because it needs to go through the correct channels, so there are no legal ramifications under ‘unlawful dismissal’.

      I agree with you completely about not using charities as a bandaid solution and that’s why I believe a longer term approach with a charity, rather than a short fix, is a win win. The charities need to really get something back from sportspeople using them as a bandaid.

      Glad you are enjoying the posts and always great to get responses.

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