Aussie Pro Rugby Pressured to Ban Cheerleaders?

Just like basketball, baseball or football here in the States, professional rugby in Australia has seen its share of scandal. The latest revolves around Matthew Johns, ex-rugby star and current TV commentator. Er, make that former TV commentator, as Johns was jettisoned from his job after news got out of his involvement in a 11-man, 1-woman group sexcapade a few years back.

Aussie rugby cheerleaders

This, coupled with further accusations of rugby players engaging in sexual relations with underage girls, has many upset citizens calling for action. And one marketing expert thinks she knows the cause of such smutty behavior in the rugby ranks - it’s all those titillating cheerleaders performing at the games.

So there’s only one logical solution - ban the cheerleaders.

The SYDNEY MORNING HERALD reports that Ro Markson, CEO of Mark Communications, believes it’s the bevy of babes along the sidelines that’s encouraging such a sex-fueled attitude in the sport, so it’s the girls that have got to go:

Aussie rugby cheerleaders

“Rugby league needs to ban cheerleaders and take the focus away from sex and put it back on sport.

“I don’t believe cheerleaders are beneficial to rugby league. They just propagate that type of behaviour.”

Aussie rugby cheerleaders

However, Markson’s comments have caused an unlikely alliance between cheerleaders and feminists, who both believe that any such ban would be putting the blame on the wrong folks:

But Eva Cox, chairwoman of the Women’s Electoral Lobby, said: “I don’t think you should ban cheerleaders because to do that would be to say what happens is their fault. The core problem is the male attitude in rugby league.

Heh-heh, Cox. Oh, sorry. As you were saying, Eva?

“As long as you have a male attitude that sees a girl as fair game if she wears skimpy clothes or agrees to have sex with one of them then you will continue to have a problem.

Aussie rugby cheerleaders

And it’s not as if the cheerleaders were 100% happy about wearing next to nothing while shaking their stuff for surly spectators. Former Newcastle Knights cheerleader Sarah Harris would have liked to put in a little more input, or at least a little more fabric, into their gameday uniforms:

“When I was in the squad we didn’t get a lot of say in what our costumes were made to look like. That was decided by the club who told us what to wear. There is a blokey attitude in league and it’s coming from higher up.”

Costume questions aside, a lot of gals seem to enjoy the work, and they’ll be happy to know that they don’t need to head for the unemployment office just yet. Those same higher ups have decided that despite Ms. Markson’s opinions, cheerleaders would not be banned from matches. NRL chief Daniel Gallop explains, “Cheerleaders are a part of the game that many men and women enjoy. The women involved in cheerleading enjoy the professional dance aspect.”

Aussie rugby cheerleaders

As do many of the male spectators, too. Hey, it’s all about equal rights, right?