Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler and stars from the men’s and women’s State of Origin teams have thrown their support behind the #RESPECT campaign run by the NSWRL, which in the 2020 season is calling on players to give the ‘thumbs up’ before the start of play.
Fittler was joined for the #RESPECT campaign by Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues Jack Wighton, Nathan Cleary and Jake Trbojevic, NSW Women’s Origin stars Kezie Apps, Maddie Studdon, Millie Boyle, Tiana Penitani and Corban McGregor, and Emerging Blues Victor Radley and Kyle Flanagan.
“This season has been a challenging one for everyone but it’s important for all of us to remember the core values the NSWRL stands for with competitions about to start again,” Fittler said.
“Respect is something that has been important for me as both a player and a coach but it’s just as important for everyone else connected with our game including our referees, officials, volunteers and fans.
“I’d encourage everyone to show respect throughout the course of the season, remember to give us all a ‘thumbs up’ instead of shaking hands, and I wish everyone the best of luck.”
The #RESPECT campaign started in 2016 with about 16,000 pledges being made online and a push to reintroduce shaking hands before games in line with the NSWRL’s vision to eliminate poor behaviour and promote a positive environment for all players, coaches, referees, volunteers and families.
Since the implementation of the #RESPECT campaign and upgrades to the Tough Love in League initiative, there has been a significant reduction in dismissals and offences in NSWRL Conference Competitions.
In the past two seasons, the total number of offences charged by the judiciary dropped 41.7 per cent; and among those, the number of charges for offensive language towards a match official, dropped by 42.4 percent.