Stuart Bingham believes the fear of being sanctioned is preventing players from expressing their honest views on matters within snooker.
Bingham, who defeated Peter Ebdon 10-5 in Round One of the Betfred
World Championship on Monday, admits he can sympathize with Ronnie O'Sullivan - who accused the World Snooker board of “bullying” and “intimidating” behaviour, having being fined for multiple disciplinary breaches.
O'Sullivan had been refusing to fully cooperate in media interviews since he received a warning letter for criticising a referee and swearing at a photographer during a press conference at The Masters in January.
Bingham, the 2015 World Champion said: “I think it’s getting that way (where we can’t express ourselves). I was getting kicks and bounces out there and thinking that I can’t even mention them without getting fined.
“I try to be as honest as I can and say what I believe in, which most probably showed on the foul that I made yesterday.
“The people running the game are saying that there are no characters in the game, but there can’t be because we’re doing interviews with tape over our mouths.
“They’re running the game from a business point of view. We try to express our feelings and sometimes say the wrong thing – do you deserve a slap on the wrists? Most probably yes, but you shouldn’t really be fined.”
Nevertheless, world number three Bingham fully appreciates the authorities’ stance on the situation – acknowledging that discussing problems behind closed doors is more pragmatic than through the media.
“Looking at it both ways – if you’re trying to get a new table brand in and all the players are slagging the tables off, then nobody is going to want to do it,” he added.
“We’ve got a sheet to fill in and share our views that way, which is probably right instead of doing it through the media.
“That’s the way the game’s run and we’ve got to abide by the rules.”