Were the Sharks Right to Sack Todd Carney?


His NRL club, the Cronulla Sharks, have sacked Todd Carney. He has yet again brought the game into disrepute with his off field antics that typically involve alcohol.

Todd Carney is an excellent athlete- he has been given so many chances over the years, given more opportunities to better himself once the dust settles from his latest act of impropriety. But not this time. After a ‘lewd’ photograph picturing Carney at a urinal, urinating into his own mouth was spread on Twitter, the Cronulla Sharks acted swiftly, terminating his $3.5 million dollar contract and severing all ties with him. This is not the first time he has fallen from grace- whether it’s his multiple drink driving convictions or urinating on a man’s head in a club, sending nude ‘selfies’ to young women, public vandalism or setting a man’s pants on fire, literally, at a party: this guy has proven he can’t be trusted to behave in a manner that upholds the values of the code.

This is the second team to sack Carney, after the Canberra Raiders also dismissed him after trying to get him substance abuse counselling, imposing an alcohol ban on him- it seems that Todd can’t be trusted around alcohol.

Not many First Grade NRL players have been sacked from not one, but two clubs. Whilst the NRL itself hasn’t terminated Carney, it remains to be seen if any other clubs are willing to pick him up, given the PR liability/nightmare baggage he brings with him. Let me be clear in stating that the NRL made genuine, concerted efforts to get Carney help and to support him through difficult times. But he repeatedly threw that assistance away with his poor decision-making and drunken displays of zero self-control.

This latest chapter in Carney’s NRL career is slightly different to those that have preceded it. Although what Carney is depicted doing in this photo is certainly vulgar, it doesn’t directly affect anyone else. Yes, he’s drunk and being a dickhead, but he’s not behind the wheel of a car, he’s not assaulting members of the public, he’s not harassing anyone. So was this a knee-jerk reaction from the Sharks, or were they justified in sacking Carney within hours of the photo being released on Twitter? Whether or not he likes it, he is a role model to young fans and up and coming NRL players. He has to set an example- it comes with the territory, the celebrity status, the multi-million dollar contract.


Have the Cronulla Sharks been too swift in sacking Todd Carney? Should he be given another chance? Do you think he should have been sacked over this particular photo?





  • http://johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

    I’m in two minds about this… given his history, then I don’t think The Sharks had any choice… In a world where the media, new and old, has so much influence over things, there was no way the club could sit back and do nothing…

    However, my own personal opinion is this:

    My personal philosophy is Do What You Will, But Harm None.

    Pissing in your mouth harms none. – Posting a photo of it, though, has ruined a man’s life.

    If Todd Carney’s idea of a good night is to get drunk and piss in his mouth, it’s no business of mine.

    The problem here is that someone decided to post a photo of it – surely they knew what would happen to Todd when they posted the photo?

    So my question is for the person who posted the photo. You must have known what the consequences of posting that photo would be. You must have known that it would end Todd Carney’s career. You must have known that posting that photo would cause harm. So, why did you do it? Why did you post the photo? You didn’t have to share it. No one needed to see that. None of this needed to have happened that way it has.

    • http://johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

      Oh – A Facebook discussion has made me think even more about this…

      It’s interesting that when accusations of sexual assault are made against a rugby league player, that the club usually gets behind the player and begins “victim blaming” the woman: “”she should have known better… she shouldn’t have got drunk in the 1st place”

      That’s just wrong – no one should victim blame….

      In this case, there was no victim (except maybe bad taste) – but now people are pointing the finger at Carney and saying almost the same thing: “he should have known better… he shouldn’t have got drunk in the 1st place”

      While that may be true – and given his history of drunken behaviour he probably should have known better – but I’m not going to blame him, because in this case, Carney is the victim, and the person who posted the photo is the abuser…

      That’s so perversely ironic.

    • Maree Talidu

      The photo was shared from Carney’s twitter account. He’s posing for the photo. I don’t think some evil genius decided to take him down with one photo- especially when it was originally shared from his own account. I’m not saying it’s worth sacking him over, but it was just another drunk, stupid move on his part.

      • http://johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

        Well, if he posted it himself, then he deserves it… That’s completely different. (I hadn’t seen that reported…)

        But then again – the person taking the photo probably should have said “no”…

  • Mazi Grey

    He is not an oral hygienist. What he does with his mates, even if stupid, doesn’t affect the way he does his job. It wasn’t illegal, getting your member out in a toilet is not illegal, and in some cultures drinking your own Urine is considered a health booster. (yes that is a stretch). But doing stupid things with friends when not at work is hardly a reason to fire someone. I want to know who it was who thought it would be a good idea to get a camera out at a urinal, that is FAR more worrying to me.

    • Maree Talidu

      Mazi, I totally agree. I guess they just felt he had embarrassed them one too many times?