It appears that bounties are not just for the NFL and the New Orleans Saints anymore. The Martinez Raptors, who are coached by Wesley Van Tonder and his son, have been acussed of using bounties to reward rugby players who injury their opponents. The real kicker on this story is that the Martinez Raptors happen to be an under-14 squad.
“One of the players hit our player hard which we thought was fine and he turned to his coach and said, ‘How was that coach? Is that good enough for the money?’” said president of Lamorinda Rugby, Tony McKenzie.
I honestly think the world is probably coming to an end with this news. You have coaches offering bounties in an UNDER-14 RUGBY LEAGUE?! I know some people are messed up in the head, but this is just absurd. Offering kids money to hurt other kids is just a horrible message to send.
In secondary news, the coach threatened the Martinez Raptors to keep quiet about the bounties or else. Or else is a pretty big threat to kids that age. Their imaginations tend to take over.
But a player on the Raptors’ under-14 team and his father came forward to say it’s true — that the Van Tonders offered that boy and his teammates money for hits that would knock Lamorinda players out of the game.
“And the father was particularly upset that once the investigation began that apparently there had been a meeting of some sort telling the kids, ‘Don’t say anything about it or else,’ and ‘or else’ was kind of left open,” said Eason.
I believe that the Van Tonders should probably be subject to public shaming. Encouraging kids to injure opponents and then force the kids to remain silent. That is just awful.