Friday, 30 March 2012


England squad member Calum Clark is "not a thug".

So says His Honour Judge Jeff Blackett, in handing Clark a 32 match ban after the Saints forward broke Rob Hawkins' elbow by hyper-extended the hooker’s arm in a ruck in the recent LV Cup Final against Leicester.

Apparently, despite yanking Hawkins’ arm back so violently that his elbow broke, Clark did not intend to cause injury – not the verdict of many people who witnessed the incident, it must be said.

Clark will, admittedly, miss the rest of the season and the England trip to South Africa but will be back playing in November, maybe even before Hawkins.

Here’s the thing. Last week some idiotic student was imprisoned after racially abusing Fabrice Muamba on Twitter while the Bolton footballer lay fighting for his life on the turf at White Hart Lane after suffering cardiac arrest. An odious, offensive and morally reprehensible act, yes – but imprisonable? Not, I’d suggest, where blatent acts of assault in the name of sport go relatively unpunished.


Barney Davis said...

He didn't mean to break his arm? What did he think was going to happen? Even if he had no intent his conduct was so blatantly reckless that it has to deserve punishment in greater magnitude than this! Anything less than a year is, frankly, unacceptable.

Pablo said...

I've long thought that in this type of case where the offender has caused an injury that prevents the victim playing, the ban should last as long as the victim's recovery period. In imposing a ban, the committee has decided fault exists beyond reasonable doubt - why not then make the culprit feel the consequences of his actions in real time? If the victim suffers a career-ending injury as a consequence of the foul play, make it a life-time ban (or, if you're feeling soft, 5 years). Intent to injure would leave the game almost overnight.