The media circus surrounding the tackle by Iosia Soliola on Billy Slater in the recent game between the Canberra Raiders and Melbourne Storm has lead to the Raider receiving a five game suspension from the NRL Judiciary.
Let's set the record straight - Billy Slater got hit in the head because Billy Slater slipped and lost his footing. It was nobody's fault, it was just an accident.
Let me be the first to say that I hope that Slater is feeling ok now and recovers fully from what was some very heavy contact. It is never nice to see anyone have to leave the field on a stretcher.
The referees were one hundred percent correct not to send Soliola from the field on the night. It was obvious from the replays that Slater slipped into the tackle and there was absolutely no malicious intent on the part of Soliola.
It is an absolute embarrassment for the game of Rugby League that Soliola has been suspended for any amount of time at all. He did absolutely nothing wrong. I say again - Billy Slater got hit in the head because Billy Slater slipped and lost his footing.
Just because a media darling and superstar of the game gets hurt doesn't mean that an innocent player like Soliola should suffer for something that was clearly not his fault.
The media should immediately apologise to Soliola and the Raiders for bringing his good name into disrepute.