Rugby league presenter Erin Molan has condemned Bryce Cartwright’s wife for making an “incredibly dangerous” comparison between anti-vaxxers and Holocaust victims.
On Friday, the Queensland Government pushed for three Gold Coast Titans players – Bryce Cartwright, Nathan Peats and Brian Kelly – to be stood down by the NRL after they refused to take the flu jab earlier this week.
Although Peats revealed he would accept the vaccination, Cartwright’s wife complained about the decision on Instagram, arguing rugby league players should not be forced to take a flu shot to play.
Amid a series of bizarre posts suggesting the coronavirus epidemic is a “scam”, Shanelle shared an image of Holocaust victim Anne Frank with the caption: “The people who hid Anne Frank were breaking the law, the people who killed her were following it.”
The image was originally posted by the wife of former NRL player Frank Winterstein.
Shanelle’s Instagram post from Friday evening.Source:Instagram
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On Sunday, Molan slammed Shanelle for seemingly likening anti-vaccination protests to what Jews endured in the Holocaust. Although she conceded freedom of choice is “really important”, Molan labelled the posts as “incredibly dangerous” for the NRL and the wider community.
“If you want to play a contact sport like rugby league in a pandemic, there are certain standard you’ve got to be held to,” Molan said on The Sunday Footy Show.
“The issue I have, particularly with the couple of players in Queensland and their wives, is freedom of choice is one thing, but to start to spout information that is incredibly dangerous, to start to liken anti-vaccination in this country to the plight of the Jews during the Holocaust … I just think that’s one of the main issues, it’s dangerous.”
Rugby league legend Peter Sterling argued safeguarding the game should remain a priority.
“It may well be, for the overall good, the ramification is that you don't play our game … there’s more at stake,” Sterling said.
'No jab no play'
Sterlo, Gal and Freddy fire up over the anti-vaxxer controversy.
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Meanwhile, New South Wales coach Brad Fittler congratulated the NRL for still supporting Cartwright and the other anti-vaccination players standing by their beliefs.
“I appreciate Bryce Cartwright and a few of the lads having their beliefs on this,” Fittler said.
“Their beliefs might get tested to the nth degree, where they might say, ‘Well you know what, you’re not going to get paid if you’re not going to get a flu shot’. That’s what seems to be the situation in Queensland.
“But I also do like the fact the NRL do seem to be supporting the players at the moment still … they’re not going in really heavy at the moment.”
On Saturday, Cronulla Sharks captain Wade Graham said getting the flu shot was a “no-brainer”, denouncing those who refused the jab for ignoring the “greater good”.
“It’s not an individual sport and you need to do things sometimes that are not in your comfort zone, or that are not in your best interests, for the greater good of the team … That’s what great teams are built on,” Graham told Triple M.
“I think in this situation, you have to not think about your own personal situation and think about the rest of the playing group.”
Cartwright and his wife have not vaccinated their children. Earlier in the week, she said their kids were completely healthy and the “proof is in the pudding”.
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