French second-row, Pascal Papé, has received a fifteen-week ban after breaking three of Jamie Heaslip’s vertebrae with a deliberate knee to the back. The ban was reduced to ten weeks when Papé’s Twitter apology is taken into account.
You assault somebody so viciously that you break three of their vertebrae. If you did it in the street, he’d get three years in jail, but when you come before an RBS disciplinary committee, you get a third of your punishment cancelled because you said sorry on fucking Twitter. After injuring a fellow player so gravely that you might well have ended his career, not to mention the possibility of crippling him.
Doesn’t this say a lot about the RBS and how much they care about the welfare of players?
Jamie Heaslip could have been paralysed by Papé’s attack on him, an attack that referee Wayne Barnes considered worthy of only a yellow card. Admittedly, Barnes was trying to oversee a game in progress and he could easily have missed the nasty little stab that incapacitated Heaslip, but at the same time, he saw enough to sin-bin Papé, so the question has to be asked: why didn’t he understand what he saw? Why didn’t he recognise a deliberate attempt to injure?
It was an ugly incident, and the RBS decision to take Twitter into account makes it even uglier.
Of course he apologised when he saw what was plain to the whole wide world. He was caught and he held his hands up. So what?
He put some nonsense on Twitter. So what?
He followed the advice of the French spin-doctors, tweeted some insincere bullshit and got a five-week break as a result, while Jamie Heaslip has to endure the pain of a serious spinal injury.
Imagine turning up in front of a judge and explaining that you were completely drunk, you drove that stolen car at 150 mph and you definitely stabbed the cop who tried to arrest you, but at least you apologised on Twitter.
Good luck with that.
What sort of nonsense is this?