Toronto Wolfpack chairman David Argyle has been fined £7,500 for use of ‘unacceptable language’ in relation to an accusation of racism by Jose Kenga of Swinton Lions.
Kenga brought the incident to social media, and it was only then that the RFL opened an investigation into the incident.
In a statement, the RFL have said that the punishment was a reflection of their zero tolerance approach on unacceptable language and the ‘mitigating factors relating to this matter’, the fact that he has apologised and subsequently removed himself from the board.
Given the fact that Argyle has breached four RFL Operational Rules, relating to Improper Conduct, Behaviour Standards, Unacceptable Language and Codes Of Conduct, I don’t think the sanction was strong enough.
I believe if you are going to eradicate something as big as racism, you need to show any penalties will be severe, and I don’t think that fine is something that will have any impact on Argyle, someone who has bankrolled the Wolfpack since the beginning.
What is most concerning, is how long it took for the RFL to open an investigation. Even after Kenga had followed all of the protocols and reported the incident when it happened back in April. So why did it take four months to open an investigation?
There are certainly lessons to be learned from this sorry mess. But you would hope that this isn’t a precedent for further investigations.