A crotch-grabbing incident that happened during a Six Nations ruby match between England and Wales may result in English rugby star Joe Marler being suspended.
29-year-old Marler was caught on camera grabbing Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones’ crotch during a heated moment on the field last Saturday.
The incident was widely shared on social media.
England prop Joe Marler caught on camera grabbing Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones' GENITALS during on-field melee in Six Nations clash at Twickenham..
Hang on thats just not cricket! pic.twitter.com/dNfvQa2GxF
— D.N.S. (@DubaiNameShame) March 8, 2020
Some viewed it as as just a light-hearted moment between two friendly competitors…
— Bob Fleming (@BobCough) March 9, 2020
— Paul Winter (@Podgepaul) March 7, 2020
There are now two types of people in the world – those who laughed at this @JoeMarler incident, and those who think he should be arrested.
I'm in the first category.
Those in the second are f*cking exhausting. pic.twitter.com/DEHmkTkQ5a
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 8, 2020
Others saw it as a textbook definition of sexual misconduct…
If a man grabbed another man's crotch in the workplace, he'd be seen as a scumbag. Similarly if a woman done it to another. But of course because its hilarious English icon Joe Marler, it's funny. Fucking clowns
— David Mc (@exputex4life) March 9, 2020
— Pete Jeffrey (@petejeffrey) March 8, 2020
People reacting to Joe Marler grabbing Alun Wyn Jones by the balls like it's just a bit of craic are part of the reason why men don't report sexual assualt. I don't care what the circumstance, its never OK to grab someone by the genitals. Why is that so hard to understand?
— Rachel O'Neill (@ronronzo) March 7, 2020
Of course, the only person whose opinion really matters is Jones himself, since he’s the one who was grabbed.
When asked about the incident, the 34-year-old father of two didn’t seem very happy about the whole thing, telling a reporter “Hopefully, World Rugby will have a look at it.”
Jones went on to say that a lot of people saw the footage and have been supportive of him, but he expressed doubt over whether Marler would face any consequences.
? Alun Wyn Jones on the Marler incident pic.twitter.com/YleT7Cw1VL
— BBC Sport Wales (@BBCSportWales) March 7, 2020
For his part, Marler is calling the whole thing “bollocks.” In a since-deleted tweet written in response to the backlash he’s been receiving, he wrote: “Bollocks. Complete bollocks.”
Shortly after writing the tweet, however, Marler deactivated his account.
Officials from Six Nations have determined Marler did, in fact, infringe upon Law 9.27 which prohibits “anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship.” The rule includes “grabbing, twisting or squeezing the genitals.”
A disciplinary hearing is scheduled for later today. Marler could face suspension from anywhere between 12 weeks to four years for his behavior.