Never one to shy away from a question posed by a journalist, James Maloney was in the news this week after giving his honest appraisal of the RLPA-NRL backroom battle relating to the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The discussions and negotiations have been dragged on over a long period of time, which has become a source of frustration for both the players, the Players Association and for the NRL.
In a lengthy interview with leading Sydney Morning Herald journalist Andrew Webster, Maloney covered off on a range of topics and in typical fashion, the Sharks five eighth didn’t hold back, slamming certain things to do with the NRL and where the deal with the players was heading.
Buried deep in the article was a quote that was highlighted by media looking to make more of it than was intended by Webster or Maloney, and jumped on by NRL CEO Todd Greenberg who condemned the comments as offensive to fans, volunteers and people involved in the game from grass roots, to NRL clubs and to the NRL head office.
Maloney never intended to target any of these people, with Webster backing this point, and on NRL 360, a Fox Sports show that addresses all the relevant issues in the game, came out in support of the Sharks and NSW five eighth.
“James Maloney was not talking about everybody in the game, he was talking about the NRL administration,” Webster said. “It came out as if James Maloney was having a shot at the fans.
“He wasn’t, and I felt like I had to come out and say something on his behalf.”
See Webster’s comments now playing on Sharks TV, supplied courtesy of NLR 360 on Fox.
Go to Sydney Morning Herald digital to see the original Andrew Webster article which first appeared in the Saturday, August 26 edition.
Note: NRL 360, featuring Ben Ikin and Paul Kent as hosts, goes to air Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights on Fox Sports 2 at 6.30pm and is replayed later in the evening and throughout the day. See local guides for replay times.