opinion

Erin Molan: The toughest woman in the NRL.

Oh no.

She’s bloody done it.

Erin Molan, the Channel Nine sports reporter and former host of The NRL Footy Show, has gone right ahead and ruined rugby league.

One hundred and twenty four years the sport has been played!

Adopted by 70 nations, from Wales to Papua New Guinea, France to Australia, 37-year-old Molan came in with her well-researched facts and incomparable work ethic and ruined it. 

Just ask some guy on social media who is so proud and sure of his opinion that he’s used an alias – Munted_Vans.

Erin Molan’s call to action on The NRL Footy Show. Post continues below. 

Video by Channel Nine

Ray Hadley quoted him this morning on his 2GB radio show, as unsure as any of us about what his username actually means.

“You deserve to die for ruining rugby league,” Mr. Munted posted. But he wasn’t done.

“Die you maggot bitch. I hope someone poisons you. Your husband should be pushing you in front of a car out of embarrassment.”

The only reason Mamamia has chosen to republish the words of Mr. Munted is because we are aware Molan has already heard them. This will not be a shock to her.

How, precisely, Molan is meant to have single-handedly destroyed rugby league remains unclear.

But we keep hearing the word “feud”.

You see, women love feuds. They start them wherever they go. Whenever Molan walks into a room she points at someone and yells, “OI YOU! FEEL LIKE A FEUD?” and someone eventually obliges.

At the moment, it’s the Immortal, the untouchable, one of the best rugby league players in living memory, Andrew Johns.

According to entirely unsubstantiated tabloid reports, Molan and Johns have had a falling out.

The Daily Telegraph’s Phil Rothfield says that Johns has experienced a personality clash with Molan, and refuses to work with her.

Johns has denied it. And it didn’t make the slightest difference. The damage was already done.

ADVERTISEMENT

Then came the comments like Mr Munted.

On Wednesday, Molan appeared on 101.7 WSFM’s Jonesy and Amanda, in sunglasses that covered her sleep-deprived eyes.

“I am so sorry, I haven’t put my contacts in this morning. I had a rough night. I didn’t sleep very well…” she began.

Amanda Keller replied, “I get emotional with this Erin, I don’t understand why people give you a hard time,” as her voice gently cracked.

“It pisses me off. And I think it’s because you are so professional and you are so good at your job, that I think that men don’t like you being good at what they still see as their world. I admire the pants off you or the eyeballs off you and I just think you are the most professional female and it’s threatened everybody.

“I just think in a few years time people will look back — same as the Adam Goodes thing — and think what did we do to her?” Keller said.

An off-handed remark about a wet tissue made it clear that Molan was crying. This is a woman who is not okay.

Her only crime, it would seem, is daring to exist in a man’s world.

Molan began in community television before moving to Sydney in 2010 to work for the Nine Network.

It was 2012 when she joined The NRL Footy Show, alongside an all-male panel, Paul Vautin, Darryl Brohman and Beau Ryan.

Now – I know what Mr. Munted is thinking.

“NRL is played by boys and Erin Molan is a GIRL. I don’t want it, lady.”

Thank you for your input Mr. Munted but there are some core facts you appear to be missing.

The first, is that almost 50 per cent of rugby league fans are women. More than 40 per cent of the game’s financial members are female. In 2013, 140,000 Australian women and girls were connected with rugby league, either as administrators, players, employees, coaches, club members or volunteers.

I dare say – that without women, rugby league, the game Mr. Munted loves so much, would fall to pieces.

How to deal with online bullying, on Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues below. 

So, within that context, Molan earned herself a seat on The NRL Footy Show. 

Not everyone had to like her. That’s the price anyone pays for being on television. But, when Molan joined the panel as a co-host, you couldn’t argue that she was not, by a long shot, the most prepared, professional and potentially knowledgeable on that entire show.

In 2017, she hosted Nine’s coverage of the 2017 Fast6 Netball World Series. Isn’t it funny how when she was commentating women’s sport no one had a problem?

ADVERTISEMENT

One of the biggest criticisms waged at Molan, has been the fact she has never played rugby league. How could she offer expertise on a sport she can’t even play?

Well. She’d never played professional netball either. But no one was too bothered when she stuck to women’s sport. It’s thinking she can hold her own among men that’s the real problem.

In 2018, Molan made history, when she became the first female solo host of The NRL Footy Show and The Sunday Footy Show.

There was just one problem. And it had nothing to do with the fact she had a couple of ovaries and a severe lack of penis.

The NRL Footy Show ratings were going down the toilet. It’s what scientists call correlation. Not causation.

A number of factors, including the start of Thursday night football, and being pushed to a later timeslot, meant the audience began to dwindle even more.

She’d smashed through the glass ceiling just to make it to the glass cliff. And falling off it was inevitable.

After 24 years, The NRL Footy Show was axed in October last year, with Molan as its host.

The AFL Footy Show was dumped a few months later. Weird how a (male) host was never blamed for that one.

But Molan didn’t stop there! She wasn’t done ruining rugby league – for no other reason than to personally upset Mr. Munted.

That’s when the Johns saga comes in.

There’s something about Molan taking over from Paul Vautin and Johns being upset. Allegedly, that’s the reason 45-year-old Johns has disappeared from his usual commentary spot during the Friday night coverage.

And just like that, she ruined everything.

Mr. Munted isn’t the only person on social media who has some thoughts about Molan.

She’s ruined everything. She knows nothing about footy (which would be nothing short of a miracle after working in Rugby League for more than seven years). A few people are inquiring about who she must be sleeping with in order to keep her job, while others think she’s a “know-it-all” (which is weird given she doesn’t know anything about Rugby League).

And Molan has done what she always does.

She’s gotten herself out of bed, and she’s gone to work.

It’s Grand Final week. Probably one of the biggest weeks of the year for Molan. And among death threats, threats to her family, name-calling too vile to be repeated here, and news article accusing her of having disrupted the entire code, she’s held her head up high, and got on with the job.

I don’t know about you, but that’s tougher than anything I’ve ever seen on a football field.

00:00 / ???