SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 03: Joel Thompson of the Sea Eagles runs the ball during the round 20 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Newcastle Knights at Lottoland on August 03, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)
Manly’s Joel Thompson is set to take a pay cut to help with the NRL’s survival in the midst of the season’s suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The RLPA will meet with the NRL in the coming days to discuss the possibility of pay cuts league wide.
Thompson said he would do whatever it takes to help ensure the NRL’s survival.
“Money is important for my family but if I must take a cut to save the game then that is just the reality,” Thompson told The Daily Telegraph.
“That is the position the NRL is in and we just have to accept that. It is unfortunate but that is the way it is.
“We want to keep this beautiful game alive, and I know that as players we will do whatever we can to do that.
“I wasn’t raised with money everywhere. I was raised from humble beginnings.
“We all need to work through this together. It is not a time to divide in any way.
“I’ve seen all the clubs uniting on Twitter and offering help and that is what it is all about.
“This (virus) and the impact is not just in league, it is right through the community.
“People are losing their jobs, which is just heartbreaking.”
Aside from football, Thompson devotes a lot of time to his business ‘The Mindset Project’, where he helps schools and communities with mental health issues.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Thompson has had to put a hold on his business because of the face-to-face interaction side of it.
Despite being unable to interact face-to-face, Thompson is still encouraging all to reach out to him to talk about their mental health during this difficult time.
“There are people out there who are really suffering,” he said. “There is going to be a mental battle as well.
“If people need a chat, they can get in contact with me and I can send out some resources to support them.
“I’ve had people reach out to me already, which I want them to. That is what it is all about. We are all here to help each other. We all have to play our part.”
Thompson is also cautious of the virus outbreak and the effects that could happen to all, especially loved ones.
“My nan and a lot of my family have different health issues, so it is a worrying time,” he said.
“I’ve been in contact with them to make sure they are looking after themselves, especially in Aboriginal communities. There are already some health challenges there.
“But we will get through this, especially if we stick together.”