Nate Myles: Thanks for changing my mind

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Sometimes here at Ladies who League, I make a mistake. I’m only human and am as guilty as the next person at passing judgement and then holding a grudge.

Player behaviour is something which I am extremely passionate about. It disappoints me that the actions of a small minority often tarnish the sport that I love and that often, all the good that the rugby league does (think how we are currently the story in Australian sport when it comes to gender diversity and all of the community work our clubs do) is completely overshadowed by negative stories which sell newspapers.

For me, there is nothing more special than when a rugby league player changes my mind. It has happened on a number of occasions in the last couple of years. For example, when I met Josh Reynolds for the first time and was instantly impressed with his commitment to his hundreds of young, adoring fans. Another good example is Jake Friend – one of the only true redemption stories I know of in the NRL. To see Jake shining so brightly at the Roosters as part of their leadership team is a testament to him and how hard he has worked to change his image over the last couple of years.

On Sunday night, my mind was changed about another player. This is a player I have spoken out about before and he has not impressed me much. From defecating in a hotel lobby to perceived grubby tactics on the field, Nate Myles has never been one of my favourite players.

I would be lying if I said that Nate was now one of my favourite players, but I was truly touched after watching an interview with Nate and his beautiful wife Tessa James on Sunday Night.

For those of you who missed the story, Tessa James was an aspiring Australian actress who was diagnosed at a very young age with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma with which her father was also suffering. Tessa’s interview was brave and gut wrenching.  

As Tessa described her battle with the illness she detailed her chemotherapy treatment, how hard it was to lose her hair and how at times, she did not think that she would pull though. That the chemotherapy was so gruelling that there had to be another way.

There are thousands of people suffering in Australian society with diseases like Tessa and her story once again hits home how this can happen to absolutely anyone.

Nate was present at many points throughout the interview. Throughout the interview, Tessa had Nate by her side and I was touched at how enamoured Nate was with his wife’ battle and her bravery, describing her as tougher than a footballer. Nate has been with Tessa every step of the way through her treatment and in a code which is often accused of poor behaviour in respect to women, these are the sort of stories we need to be sharing.

I see Nate Myles in a new light following Sunday night. I see him as a caring and devoted husband who absolutely adores his beautiful wife. It was refreshing to see and I only hope that more of our NRL players follow Nate’s example when it comes to their devotion to their families and friends.

The positive news is that Tessa is now cancer free and looking towards the future.

I wish her and Nate all the very best of luck in their future together.

Thanks Nate for changing my mind.

Love,

Ladies who League xxx