Let's Talk: Wheelchair bound NRL player to sue over injury

You might remember back in 2014 when a tackle left NRL player Alex McKinnon in a wheelchair?

Well, now the former NRL star is planning on suing over the devastating injury.

Not only does he plan on suing the NRL, he is also reportedly planning on suing Jordan McLean – the player who tackled him.


The multi-million dollar lawsuit has been confirmed by the Daily Telegraph, and the NRL – who received a legal letter from McKinnon’s legal team last week.

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You might be wondering why McKinnon is suing after all this time?

It turns out after the injury he received $750,000 from his club and $1.5 million from fundraisers, but it’s estimated he’ll need $20 million over his lifetime to live as normal a life as he can.

McKinnon actually hinted at taking legal action against McLean in his 2015 book Unbroken.

“If you do something illegal while driving a car and render somebody for the rest of their life in a wheelchair, you pay the consequences,” he wrote.

If you’re not much of a sports fan, the reason everyone is talking about this is because it’s unprecedented in the NRL.

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While you’d expect it after a crash as McKinnon wrote about, in sport it’s not very common at all.

Former NRL player Jimmy Smith told Sky Sports Radio this morning that the issue could be damaging for rugby league as a sport.

“It’s had a huge impact on Alex McKinnon’s life and it’s going to have a significant impact on the life of Jordan McLean as he prepares for season 2017. The point to take out of that is he is preparing for season 2017 and Alex McKinnon is in a wheelchair and that’s the thing you can’t get away from,” he said.

“It does do damage to the game of rugby league because in my mind there wasn’t a real intent from Jordan McLean. It’s a dangerous sport and it’s a little bit like the Phillip Hughes incident — it’s one of those freakish accidents that can happen.

“But in saying that this is a guy who’s confined to a wheelchair that has to live the rest of his life like that.

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“There were two other players in the tackle as well, so how do you take that into consideration?”

It’s definitely a tricky situation and it’s sure to split your mind in two. A lot of people are feeling for both McKinnon, and McLean – who has had to live with the guilt of what his tackle caused.

What do you think about this? Is it fair for Alex McKinnon to sue the NRL and Jordan McLean? Or is the risk of injury just part of the sport?