Paul Kent At Centre Of Fresh Scandal After Alleged Street Brawl

Paul Kent At Centre Of Fresh Scandal After Alleged Street Brawl

In this week’s edition of sports professionals behaving badly, controversial Daily Telegraph NRL journalist and host of Fox Sports’ NRL 360, Paul Kent, is in hot water (again) over a video posted to social media allegedly depicting him in a violent brawl outside Totti’s in Sydney’s Inner West.

The clip allegedly depicts Kent engaged in a confrontation with another man, being held back by numerous on-lookers.

Screenshot from video shared on Instagram

“It’s not worth it, Kenty,” many of the group shout.

Screenshot from video shared on Instagram

Kent eventually breaks free from their hold, making a break for the other man, who appears to throw the first punch.

Screenshot from video shared on Instagram

The battle heats up as the pair engage in a violent street brawl that ends with Kent being thrown head-first into the base of a tree.

Screenshot from video shared on Instagram

While Kent has yet to face charges for the alleged altercation, a 35-year-old man, believed to be the other man in the video, has been charged with affray. If found guilty of this serious offence, the man could face up to ten years imprisonment. 

A spokesperson for both the Daily Telegraph and Fox Sports told B&T that Kent had been stood down from his positions pending an immediate investigation into the clip.

NSW police were not called to the incident but have confirmed that they are investigating the video. 

It was just four months ago that Kent found himself in court for charges relating to domestic violence. He was found not guilty of allegations he choked and assaulted a woman known to him and cleared on all charges. 

This is just the latest in a long list of controversies that have rattled the NRL world over the last few weeks. Cronulla Sharks halfback Braydon Trindall has been barred from training and playing after he allegedly returned a positive roadside drug test along with a blood alcohol reading of 0.124 last Monday. 

Controversy has also swirled around South Sydney Rabbitohs star Latrell Mitchell recently after he copped a multi-match ban for two separate on-field incidents. The star was also handed a slap on the wrist a few weeks back when he dropped multiple f-bombs in a post-match interview with Triple M

The latest string of controversies once again calls into question brand security surrounding sports sponsorship. Brands endorse a player or team with the hope that they will represent it with the utmost integrity, but with scandals like this arising more and more frequently, how can brands trust their investment?

Mark Forbes, Director of Reputation at Icon Agency, recently told B&T that a major scandal can erase the marketing and brand benefits of a high-profile sports sponsorship. “A media and social media pile-on can cause customer, stakeholder and internal reputational damage and impact sales. This is especially true of ‘purpose-driven’ companies which have adopted brand values such as condemning racism and supporting diversity,” he said.

There is no way for brands to truly predict which athletes or teams to align with. Sure, avoiding renowned bad boys or girls of the sport is a no-go, but who would have predicted the nation’s hero Sam Kerr would be involved in a racism scandal? Due diligence is essential before investment, but the reality is that sometimes, these things will still come up, and it is up to brands to ensure they are dealing with it in a timely and appropriate manner.

“When scandals happen, it’s how you respond that counts. Appearing fair, considered and supportive can have brand benefits, too, and even if allegations are substantiated, reputations can survive by expressing remorse and promising remediation. That said, some behavioural lines should not be crossed; the challenge is identifying that point amid crisis,” Forbes said.




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