Manly star Josh Aloiai has slammed media personality Paul Kent for his take on a players’ push for post-retirement healthcare and mocked the NRL360 host for his one-game NRL career.
The ongoing collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations between players and the NRL is set to spill into the 2023 season, with player welfare post-retirement one of the sticking points.
The Rugby League Players Association is calling for a Medical Support Fund to provide support to NRL players who are retired or are transitioning.
NRL players excluded from workers compensation legislation which leaves them vulnerable to expensive surgeries and treatments once their club commitments have finished.
Kent slammed those requests earlier this month in a column where he wrote: ‘NRL players fill their eyes with dollar signs’.
Paul Kent has slammed player demands in CBA negotiations as greedy, including the calls for a post-retirement healthcare model
Sea Eagles player Josh Aloiai ridiculed Kent on social media over his claims, pointing to his one-game NRL career with Parramatta
Now Aloiai, who was one of the Manly players who refused to wear the Pride jersey in 2022, has fired back at Kent on social media and pointed out his one first grade match for Parramatta at halfback in 1989.
‘He managed to stay injury free in his one NRL game career,’ Aloiai posted with the eyes emoji designed to draw attention and a set of clapping hands.
He then posted a screenshot of Kent talking about post-retirement healthcare.
‘I don’t know of another union or company anywhere in the world where you are still responsible for people’s healthcare long after you’ve left the company. If there’s one around, show me — I don’t know where it is, I haven’t heard of it,’ Kent wrote in his recent column for The Daily Telegraph.
‘The reason you’re not paid as well is that’s part of why you’re paid now. It’s because of that risk and that danger factor in the game.’
Aloiai then responded to those claims, saying: ‘Because not many other company’s [sic] leave you with life long impairments long after you leave that job.’
He then concluded the post by taking Paul Kent with an equals sign and a clown emoji.
The social media post that Josh Aloiai put up in response to Kent’s column about the CBA negotiations
Aloiai was also one of the Manly players that stood down from the Pride match against the Sydney Roosters in 2022
Former Parramatta star Jarryd Hayne, who is currently awaiting a third trial in March over the alleged sexual assault of a woman, also shared the story with a series of laughing emojis.
Several NRL players liked the comments by Aloiai that had been shared on Instagram, including Manly teammate Jason Saab and Cronulla Sharks star Ronaldo Mulitalo.
NRL fans had mixed reactions to Aloiai’s post.
‘Maybe they should talk to a bricklayer or concreter that has been in the game for 15-20 years … see how they’re holding up,’ one fan replied.
‘NRL should be responsible for covering any injuries caused by playing the game, these players have short careers so for life after footy they need to support players. Look at many of the other contact sports like the NFL who is also going through some scrutiny due to life after the game,’ replied another.
Jarryd Hayne both liked and shared the post by Aloiai attacking Paul Kent. He is currently awaiting trial for sexual assault
RLPA boss Clint Newton wants the post-retirement healthcare system because NRL players are excluded from workplace compensation
In his column, Kent had called on NRL players to stop being greedy and said post-retirement healthcare was ‘unrealistic’ and that players were compensated already for the danger in the game.
‘I just think it’s outrageous to be really honest,’ he said.
‘I think part of the reason they’re so well rewarded now is so they can do that themselves, set up their own future.
‘It is unrealistic. What players have got to understand is part of the reason they are paid so well now is because of that risk that they take.
‘That’s why every boxer gets in the ring knowing there’s going to be health concerns. But they do it because they back themselves to some day make the money out of it to make it all worthwhile.
‘If these guys don’t want to play NRL and put up with the collisions and the force, and they just want to play rugby league like they, go and play in the bush.
‘Go and play somewhere else where the collisions aren’t as violent. You won’t be paid as well.’