| July 10th, 2009
THE PRINCE DIARIES
by Titans captain Scott Prince
I WAS shocked when I heard that in a recent annual player poll, nearly two-thirds of NRL players said they were embarrassed to be associated with the sport.
It also made me really angry. I have never been embarrassed.
Saying you are embarrassed is saying you feel ashamed to be an NRL player and not for a second do I wish I was doing anything else.
I love the NRL and I love being an NRL player.
Unfortunately it is the actions of a few that impact on the majority.
This year it seems like every second week we have had a new off-field issue to deal with, another scandal, another drama.
It doesn't seem to matter that 99 per cent of players do the right thing and that so much amazing work is done by the clubs and the players throughout the year.
And the work doesn't stop just because the season has ended -- there are still schools to visit, patients in hospitals to see and clinics to run -- just a few of the thousands of visits we do every year.
All people remember are the bad headlines while all players' good stories go unnoticed.
The most frustrating thing is we have all these programs in place which educate players about responsible drinking and violence against women, from the juniors all the way through, and yet these things are still happening.
That mentality that 'it wouldn't have been a problem 20 years ago' just doesn't stack up any more.
The reality is society's standards have changed, the professionalism of the NRL has increased and players need to behave accordingly. Players need to understand it is a 24/7 gig nowadays and that playing good footy is only a part of the job.
When I learned of the incident involving Roosters forward Nate Myles on Tuesday, my heart sank.
I have played State of Origin for Queensland alongside Nate and the sad thing is he is actually a great guy but on this occasion he has behaved in an atrocious and unacceptable manner and for that, everyone who plays rugby league must suffer with the game's image taking another hit.
You can't afford to make bad decisions now.
For every bad decision, there are 1000 good ones.
For every time a bloke drinks a bit too much and makes a goose of himself, there are hundreds of hospital visits or school clinics that slip by without a single word in the media.
Rugby league is a great game, the game I love.
As long as the good continues to outweigh the bad, I will be proud to call myself an NRL player.
Here's how my week has been.
Saturday: Had our last ball session at Runaway Bay before stopping at Marina Quays for a team lunch on the way to Brisbane airport and our flight to Canberra.
Sunday: Had a bit of a walk and stretch the morning of the game. Weather in the nation's capital is surprisingly nice, only about 11C and not a cloud in the sky. We started poorly against the Raiders, myself included, but didn't stand back and wave the white flag.
Monday: Had recovery swim at North Burleigh. I always go swimming now with my own personal lifesaver just in case. His job is to worry about no one else except me.
Tuesday: Woke up and heard the news about Nate. Talked about the drama on The Today Show. Had skills/recovery session and then caught up with our sponsors Coke before filming Titans TV. Check it out http://www.titans.com.au/ and click on Titans TV.
Wednesday: Day off. Did a bit of shopping.
Thursday: Start seriously thinking about the game with Parramatta on Monday. Keen to keep our undefeated record at home this year intact.
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