Yesterday Queensland Rugby Union released a written statement regarding the recent charging of their Vice Captain and star recruit Karmichael Hunt for supplying a dangerous drug namely cocaine. The statement from the Reds in fact states NOTHING at all, it fails to identify the clubs position or direction other than reiterating that they feel a “Duty of Care” towards their players.
We do not expect the Reds to comment on the specifics of a matter currently before the courts, nor do we wish them to jump the gun, but sitting behind the presumption of innocence until proven guilty should not be an option when the police have enough evidence to lay the charge in the first place. The Reds do not need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Hunt has exercised poor morale judgement the fact he IS embroiled in this saga and that is not in line with the clubs values or fans expectations.
The spotlight is shining firmly on those responsible for bringing Hunt over to Rugby. If Hunt came in and pulled an Izzy Folau then of course they would be applauded. But the big risk is for that gamble is that it can backfire… Bingo. Hunt’s inclusion was at the expense of some budding young state development players, at a significant financial cost to the club no doubt robbing some seasoned players of a deserved pay rise and to rub salt into the wound he was gifted the Vice Captaincy, a position a lot of other Red’s veterans deserved.
The Red’s highlight that the alleged druggie was still at the Gold Coast Suns and not a member of the Reds at the time, to the fans that means absolutely nothing. It’s about the mans values, his dedication to his athletic career and his ego. These are not the qualities you expect from your Vice Captain and not the role model you want to put in front of the next generation of athletes. This extraordinarily talented individual has just tarnished what should have been a stellar rugby career and please don’t give me a sob story about how hard it’s been getting paid millions to play a sport you love, he made an informed decision (we all know doing drugs or giving drugs to someone is bad) and now he faces the consequences.
The Reds have had it tough since winning their premiership in 2011 and have had their backs against the wall, unfortunately no matter how hard they try this year or what they achieve it will be overshadowed by a player who has played just 1 Super Rugby game.
More support and attention should be given to the likes of Ben Daley and his “Be Great, Do Good” campaign and charity donations. Get rid of Hunt and let the real Reds get back to playing top class running rugby, restoring pride in the Koala and inspiring the next generation of Rookies2Reds.