When the Kangaroos take the field in tomorrow night’s “ANZAC Test”
against the Kiwis I will be sparing a thought or two for one Kangaroo
who won’t be taking part in the game. And that Kangaroo is the
Bulldogs’ Willie Mason. Yes, the same Willie Mason who has been in the
headlines again this week.

But for the ARL PR stunt that went very wrong – the Kangaroos v Yankies
game in Boston last November – Mason would almost certainly have been
one of the first players chosen for tomorrow night’s Test. He is still recovering from an injury incurred in that utterly
irrelevant, and ultimately very costly, non-event. And he is not alone.

But there is a second reason why I will spare a thought for Willie
Mason. There is a substantial body of evidence that he is being quite
unfairly targeted by sections of the media, and probably by some of the
game’s so-called “fans”. On Tuesday Sydney’s Daily Telegraph

carried this headline on a page three story – RSL asks Mason to leave over ode anger

On the eve of the 90th anniversary of ANZAC Day, and as the ARL/NRL
seek to further link rugby league with our national day, that’s about
as bad a publicity piece as you can get. The story went on to
claim that Mason was “thrown out” of the North Bondi RSL Club when “a
group he was with refused to be quiet for the Ode of Remembrance”.

Read Jeff Wall’s full story on the site here.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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