Home Rugby James Haskell Laments Danny Cipriani’s ‘Trial By Social Media’

James Haskell Laments Danny Cipriani’s ‘Trial By Social Media’

James Haskell has bemoaned the “trial by social media” inflicted on Danny Cipriani after his former Wasps and England team-mate’s conviction over a nightclub incident on a pre-season tour.

After more than five hours, a disciplinary hearing convened by England’s governing Rugby Football Union decided on Wednesday to uphold a charge against Cipriani of conduct prejudicial to the game but, significantly, took no further action against the 30-year-old playmaker.

Cipriani, now with English Premiership side Gloucester, had been fined £2,000 ($2,500) and ordered to pay £250 by a court last Thursday following the incident that took place on the southwest club’s pre-season tour of the Channel Island of Jersey on August 15.

Many observers felt Cipriani risked being punished three times for the same incident after Gloucester fined him £2,000 and order he completed 10 hours of community work.

Cirpriani’s case, like that of England cricketer Ben Stokes who was found not guilty of a charge of affray last week following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September, generated plenty of social media comment.

 ‘Throw him under the bus’ –

But England flanker Haskell, now with Premiership side Northampton, said much of the talk on various forums was worthless.

“It’s a case of trial by social media and the problem of that is that everyone is ill-informed and knows nothing,” he insisted.

“Ben Stokes was a great example — people were ready to throw him under the bus and it’s the same with Danny.”

Haskell added: “People love to hate him but I know him as a good, hard-working guy and it’s time to move on. I don’t judge him and I don’t think anybody should.

“It was time to move on an hour after the court case, but a few ex-players and coaches threw him under the bus for easy headlines.

“It’s best to move on as there is a lot more to life than Danny Cipriani. I have spoken to him and he’s good. It’s unfortunate that when you have a profile, everything is times one million.”

Haskell, however, said a high-profile sportsman such as Cipriani should not have put himself in a position where there was a risk of a confrontation outside the Royal Yacht Hotel in St Helier.

“We now live in a world of stitch-up, we live in the world of the easy win, we live in the world that everyone’s a paparazzi, everyone’s recording everything,” explained Haskell. “You’ve got to be whiter than white and don’t put yourself in those positions.

“I’m a nobody, so God knows what actual famous people have to think about.”

jdg/cw (Additional editing by Sean McMahon)

About Sean McMahon

Sean is Head of Pundit Arena Rugby. Contact him on Twitter here: