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Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Kicking domestic abuse into touch during the Six Nations

I’d like to commend the Wales rugby team for getting involved in the latest initiative around domestic abuse and highlighting the very real and negative consequences that can stem from our national game. Members of our Six Nations squad faced a press conference yesterday to talk about how big a problem violence in the home can become, during the championship.

It is important that sports stars give their backing to issues like this, as often the perpetrators of the abuse would no doubt look up to and perhaps take notice of a message of intolerance from Welsh rugby players, more so anyway, than others, such as the police, charities or politcians. Let’s hope it goes some way towards tackling the problem.


  1. Isn't it ironic. The WRU highlight the increase in domestic abuse as result of too much booze on match days - but seem content to have Wales' largest brewers emblazoned across their players chests. If the WRU really wants to send a messsage that drink related domestic abuse will not be toleraterd then they'd ditch their main sponsor, surely?

    Maybe the Welsh Secretary should start a campaign?

  2. Sponsorship is always a thorny subject. But just because the WRU has Wales’ largest brewer as the sponsor of our national rugby team, I'm sure they're not intending it to be a signal for people to drink to excess and then become violent!

    BMA policy on alcohol consumption is not that people shouldn’t consume ANY alcohol at all, it’s all about moderation and evidence suggests that moderate alcohol consumption can have some health benefits.

    What concerns the BMA and doctors is the increasing trend of alcohol to be consumed by under age youngsters, and in health damaging and life threatening quantities by youngsters and adults alike. While not wishing to be a killjoy - drinking to the point where someone’s behaviour becomes aggressive and out of control can never be right.

    Hopefully the young people of Wales, in aspiring to be like the heroes and top athletes of our Welsh rugby squad, will take home the message that alcohol at too young an age, and in excess at any age, will not lead to a place in the Welsh team!

  3. I'm afraid Dr Lewis, you miss the point. The brewer has notched-up record sales on the back of its high-profile link-up with the Welsh rugby side since 2004, which has included Grand Slams in 2005 and 2008.

    France has taken the positive step of banning all alchohol advertising on rugby/football shirts. What's so wrong in following their lead in Wales?

    One would have thought that the 'voice for doctors in Wales' would be willing to stand-up and say that, as a matter of principle, it is wrong for the Wales rugby team to carry alcohol advertising for all the reasons you've outlined.

    Come on BMA - sort it out. You seem to want to ban everything else, why not alcohol advertising?

  4. 'Anonymous', you make some interesting points here, although the BMA does not, as you point out, want to ban everything.

    Perhaps some of our members would like the chance to respond here...


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