NRL boss Peter V’landys has slammed the Sydney academic who claims to be the game’s ‘gender adviser’ – saying not only does she not represent the game’s ‘values’ , but she has no official role with rugby league.
Catharine Lumby told Seven’s Sunrise she was ‘hitting her head against a wall’ trying to change the code’s toxic culture after a Parramatta Eels player was filmed having sex in a toilet stall – and she’d never met or spoken to V’landys since he took over as chairman in October 2019.
But V’landys hit back hard at the professor of media from Macquarie University, branding her an ‘attention seeker’ who does not speak for the game in any way.
NRL boss Peter V’landys (pictured) has slammed the league’s ‘gender advisor’ as an ‘attention seeker’
‘All committees she was on have been disbanded. She just seeks attention… she is not a spokesperson, she doesn’t represent us,’ he told
‘She criticised me for not contacting her, why do I need to contact her? She has no role with us.
‘I have no time for her. Her values do not agree with ours.’
However, Lumby told Sydney Morning Herald she’d not been informed her role with the league had come to an end.
She said she has worked on a pro-bono basis as the NRL’s gender adviser for the last 15 years, and wanted to sit down with league leadership, even just to hand over her role.
NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo was ‘less than impressed’ when he called her on Thursday with her concerns about her comments.
Lumby said it was fine if V’landys and his executives didn’t want her in the job – but someone should be.
A high-profile rugby league player is at the centre of a newly leaked sex tape, which the Parramatta Eels claim was filmed without his consent (pictured, an image from the video)
Lumby on Thursday morning said it often felt like she was ‘hitting her head against the wall’ trying to change the culture among NRL players.
‘I don’t see the same level of commitment I once saw. I am really reconsidering my position,’ she told Sunrise.
Her comments came after video emerged on Wednesday allegedly showing a Parramatta Eels player having sex with a woman in a public toilet cubicle.
The footage, which was filmed over the toilet door by a bystander, only lasts for five seconds. The player allegedly involved said he did not consent to the filming.
Lumby said she would likely speak to NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo about the issue, but had never met V’Landys – the chairman of the Australian Rugby League Commission.
‘I was pretty impressed before with the leadership but I wonder whether they are really committed to this,’ Lumby said.
‘It is interesting because we are going through a reckoning, a cultural reckoning on the issue of sexual assault and harassment of women.’
Catharine Lumby on Thursday morning said it often felt like she was ‘hitting her head against the wall’ trying to change the culture among NRL players
Lumby said the previous ARLC chairman Peter Beattie listened more to her concerns.
‘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,’ she said.
Lumby said while an NRL player having sex in a public toilet wasn’t ‘great’, it was not illegal.
‘Distributing material without people’s consent is what concerns me here,’ she said.
The Parramatta Eels on Wednesday confirmed the video involved one of its players.
‘We understand that those on the video have been illegally filmed by another person without consent and that an attempt has been made to distribute the video to media outlet and on social media platforms,’ the club said.
Pictured: ARLC chairman Peter V’landys. Lumby said she doesn’t ‘see the same level of commitment’ to changing the NRL’s culture from the sport’s top executives
The club said it contacted the NRL Integrity Unit, who are investigating.
Both the Eels and the NRL Integrity Unit are taking the matter ‘very seriously’ as the video is a ‘potential invasion of privacy of those involved’.
There were two other men in the bathroom when the player was having sex with the blonde woman, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The woman involved was topless during the act.