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Cronulla Skipper Paul Gallen has met with the National Rugby League today and has accepted a $10,000 fine issued under the NRL Code of Conduct for a racial vilification issue.

In accepting the fine Paul said:

“Comments were made in the heat of the moment and I’m sorry for the pain that it has caused Mickey Paea, his family and my family.

“I sorted it out with Mickey straight after the game.

 “I’m not a racist but anyone who knows me knows that. I have many friends from various racial backgrounds and a brother-in-law from Papua New Guinea, needless to say this has affected my family deeply.

 “I need to work on my temperament at times and this is something that rams that home.

“I’ve already talked with Ricky Stuart about doing that and I want to show that I’m serious about making some changes.

 “All I can concentrate on now is proving to people that I can win back their support and that I can help the Sharks.

“The NRL has agreed to allow me to donate the money to charity.”

National Rugby League Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, today said that he supported Paul Gallen’s honesty in dealing with the issue:

“Anyone I’ve spoken to will tell you that Paul is not a racist but that can’t excuse what was said.

“Despite a number of people including Paul’s own player association trying to cloud the issue with an ill informed attack on our process Paul has today had the courage to stand up and show true leadership by facing up to a mistake.

“The Sharks captaincy is an issue for the club but Paul’s actions today certainly show someone who understands the steps leaders must be prepared to take.

“We won’t back away from the need to maintain a strong stance on racial vilification but it’s important that people recognise that Paul has today taken a strong stance of his own.”

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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