Rugby league great Phil Gould has weighed in on the sex tape scandal that has rocked the Parramatta Eels, saying players need to treat their lives in the league as though it were a 'reality show'.
The NRL Integrity Unit is investigating after footage of a Parramatta Eels player having sex with a woman in a bathroom stall was circulated on social media.
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The video was filmed over the door of the bathroom stall, and is not believed to have been captured with the consent of either party involved.
Gould said that while the player would have questions to ask about their conduct, he was equally frustrated by the actions of the person who filmed and shared the video.
Speaking on his Six Tackles with Gus podcast, Gould said players needed to be smarter, but was fiercely critical of the person who filmed the act.
"Who in their right mind climbs up on the toilet to intervene in what people are doing inside the toilet, I don't know," Gould said.
"This will be fought on two lines. One's the player doing that and is that the way the game is to be portrayed.
"But why does someone film it without their knowing and then distribute it amongst the media?
"They (the Integrity Unit) are going to look at whether or not this behaviour is what is expected of an NRL professional footballer, as against what is privacy and where does privacy stop."
Continuing, Gould said the need for players to be constantly vigilant about their surroundings and the risks posed by their on-field fame were hammered home each and every season.
The former Penrith Panthers heavyweight, who was involved in the fallout of the Tyrone May sex tape scandal back in 2019, said there was more interest in the off-field conduct of players than their efforts on it.
"Don't take me down the role model line because I think that's a different sort of argument. But I think players need to be extremely careful, extremely careful," he said.
"And if they haven't read the team leaves and they can't see the landscape of what the public are willing to do to them or what they media will then do to them if they get that information, they've just got to be extremely careful, about their own private lives even.
"There will be privacy issues around this and there will be privacy issues down the track as to where this stops and to what sort of access people have into their private lives.
"But at the moment, it's a reality show.
"So this will be blown up and it's another black eye for the game; whether it deserves it or not, I don't know."
NRL Integrity Unit investigating Eels sex tape leak
On Wednesday, the Eels released a statement confirming the club and the NRL Integrity Unit are investigating.
“We understand that those on the video have been illegally filmed without consent and that an attempt has been made to distribute the video to media outlets and on social media platforms,” the statement read.
“The Club has informed the NRL integrity unit and is taking the matter very seriously, particularly given the potential invasion of privacy of those involved."
Speaking on The Big Sports Breakfast on Wednesday morning, Daily Telegraph writer Dean Ritchie provided more details.
“The video is going around, I received it last night,” Ritchie said.
“It is a difficult one. It does look like a first grade player who is very well known. But we can’t prove that yet.
“It looked like a sex act in a toilet. But until we know more. If we can determine the identity and if it is the player himself.
"There is more questions than answers.”
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