Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys has hit out at Professor Catharine Lumby, labelling her an “attention seeker” after she criticised the game for its lack of action in addressing gender issues.
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Professor Lumby called out the NRL’s leadership when Channel Seven’s Sunrise program asked her about her attempt to evoke change in the 15 years she has spent working as a gender adviser on a pro-bono basis for the game.
She said that before Mr V’landys stepped into his role as chairman, his predecessor Peter Beattie would contact her regularly to discuss issues.
But she said that since Mr V’landys took over she had had no involvement.
“Some days I feel like I’m hitting my head against a wall, and frankly, I don’t know where the leadership in the NRL is on this anymore, to be honest with you,” she said.
“It is not about me, it is about the issue, but Peter Beattie definitely picked up the phone on the regular to me and I appreciated that because it showed me he cared.
“The NRL, despite what people think about footy players, was out loud and proud early on this. And I’m not really seeing that now.”
V’landys responded by playing down Professor Lumby’s 15-year association with the game.
“All committees she was on have been disbanded,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“I have no time for her. Her values do not agree with ours.”