WENDELL Sailor knows better than most the downside of being a fallen sports star, and hates what is happening to rugby league.
On the day when Sailor and other icons of Queensland State of Origin appeared at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre to promote an indigenous careers day, the Storm's NRL superstar Greg Inglis was appearing in a Melbourne court facing a charge of assaulting his girlfriend.
It brought a call from Sailor, who himself was suspended from football for two years for taking cocaine and has returned to the NRL this season with St George-Illawarra, for all players in the game to be accountable.
“We are all responsible for our actions,” Sailor said.
“The NRL has put into place programs (on assault and drinking); the NRL and the clubs can't do any more about it, it's up to the players.
“Now we've had a couple of the best players at the moment in the headlines.
“I spent some time out of the game for my misdemeanour and I paid for that.
“The players are accountable and I am accountable.”
But Sailor said the vast majority of players were doing the right thing.
“(Dragons team-mate) Justin Poore raised $35,000 for charity, but no one wants to write about that.
“We do a lot of stuff in the community but no one wants to write about it, it's all the negative stuff.
“But we as the players give them an opportunity to write about it, which is unfortunate.
“When you're a NRL player you're not simply a football player any more, you have to be a good ambassador for your sport.
“If you don't want to do that, well don't play.”
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