After the NRL Integrity Unit was able to view the CCTV footage of Ben Barba's alleged incident involving his partner on Australia Day, CEO Todd Greenberg has reaffirmed he cannot see the sacked Cowboys fullback ever being allowed to play in the competition again.
Greenberg told reporters on Tuesday that Barba's deregistration would stand and it was unlikely the 2012 Dally M Medal winner would ever again be granted permission to play in the Telstra Premiership after the footage showed the North Queensland recruit was involved in a physical altercation.
"These decisions affect people's livelihoods. They're big moments and you want to make sure you get them right," he said.
"This is a guy that now loses his livelihood.
"I've had no contact with him and don't plan to. I've reached out to his family."
Barba runs out of options
Greenberg said the incident at the Townsville casino was being investigated by police.
"It was described to me in great detail," he said. "When we see violence, and particularly when we see violence against women, we will act and we will act in the strongest terms.
"That message, I thought, had been pretty clear over a significant period of time, but if it hadn't been before it is today.
“Our players have an enormous amount of education and training, they deliver unbelievable things on the field but they have responsibilities off the field and when they make bad decisions, they make mistakes or they break the law they put their livelihood and their career on the line.
"We're going to get tougher and stronger on players that do the wrong thing because we cannot afford the damage it does to our game. We've had some difficulties over this off-season but by and large you look at our playing group and they are doing some spectacular things in our community.
"The game has been damaged significantly over this period of time but rugby league has the ability to shine and to do that we need our players doing everything they can off the field as well as on the field.
"We'll treat every case on its merits but where there is violence and against women it sits at the top of the pile."
Greenberg said Barba needed to find a new career.
"I'm not going to call for (a worldwide ban) but there's no place for him. It's time for Ben Barba to find a new vocation," he said.
"I'm a parent of two kids, I have a daughter myself so I take a huge responsibility with some of the decisions we take.
"Our players come from a long way behind, some of our players do, probably more than other sports. That's why we do a lot of education and training and we put resources and money and time into helping our young footballers and athletes.
"The majority of them take that opportunity and they thrive. Where players don't take that opportunity or don’t learn and make mistakes, they find themselves out of the game. People’s livelihoods are at risk here and I can’t give a deeper warning to our players than to think carefully before you make a poor decision.
"We're living in a complex world with social media and phone cameras. That's no excuse or reason, it's part of the landscape we work in.
“If you are going to earn an income through rugby league and you are going to play in the NRL it is a great privilege but understand the risks that come with that. If you don’t want to associate with those risks, find another job.
"We're not asking you to play, it's an absolute privilege so if you want to enjoy the benefits that come with being an NRL player stand up to the responsibilities that go with it."
Meanwhile, the NRL Integrity Unit has found that no players have a case to answer after a video was circulated on social media which claimed to show footage of players engaged in antisocial behaviour.
CCTV confirms Barba altercation