SPORT: Origin legend weighs in on Barba sacking
PLAYING rugby league at the highest level is a privilege, not a right.
That's what Origin legend and former coach of the Maryborough Wallaroos Colin Scott thinks NRL players need to understand.
In the wake of allegations of domestic violence against Ben Barba, and with several other players facing charges for violence against women, Scott said it was up to players to understand they got paid the big bucks not just to play league but to be role models as well.
"They've got to set a standard," he said.
Barba, sacked from the North Queensland Cowboys before he'd even played a game for the club and now deregistered from the NRL, faces an uncertain future.
As a man who is deeply proud of his indigenous heritage, Scott urged Barba, who is also of Aboriginal descent, to get back to his roots and think about his people.
He encouraged Barba to volunteer to do community service and to donate his time to a program aimed at preventing domestic violence.
Scott said the NRL's swift decision to deregister Barba was a warning to other players.
"It sends a message to everyone in the NRL," he said.
"It's something that's not acceptable in our community.
"It's set a precedent now to anyone and everyone."
Scott said it wasn't just NRL players who needed to heed the message, but also players in country competitions.