Panthers offer apology to Inglis
The Penrith Panthers have apologised to South Sydney Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis after the centre was allegedly subjected to racial abuse during the side's 18-14 loss at Panthers Stadium on Saturday night.
Inglis left the field for a head injury assessment in the 47th minute following a tackle on Penrith's Waqa Blake and was ruled out for the remainder of the game.
The former Australian international received an array of boos from the crowd when he left the playing area, which later drew criticism from former representative teammate Josh Dugan on social media for the lack of respect shown to the State of Origin and Test star.
In a statement made on Sunday, Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher said the fan's behaviour was unacceptable.
"Panthers has been made aware of an allegation of racial abuse directed at South Sydney player Greg Inglis by a member of the crowd at Panthers Stadium yesterday," Fletcher said.
"I wish to make it clear our club does not tolerate this kind of behaviour in any form. We will work with the NRL to investigate the matter and any perpetrators will be swiftly dealt with.
"Our club apologises unreservedly to Greg Inglis for the upset caused by the alleged incident."
Panthers club boss Phil Gould took to Facebook, expressing sympathy for what Inglis had to go through.
After repeating Fletcher's statement, Gould said:
From my own perspective, I am disgusted by this behaviour. I cannot believe things like this still happen.
Rest assured, we will find those responsible and they will be held to account.
No one, including Greg Inglis, should ever be subjected to such abuse. Those responsible have no idea of the hurt these comments cause.
I'm sorry Greg, or anyone else, ever have to be subjected to such treatment. Our love goes out to Greg Inglis, his family, and all those people from different heritages, backgrounds and cultures who enjoy our game.
Please let this be the last time we here of incidents such as these. Phil Gould
Dugan, who raised the issue of fans booing injured players last week after North Queensland Cowboys jeered rookie Cronulla Sharks winger Sione Katoa after he suffered a broken jaw, posted on Twitter to show his support for Inglis.
Penrith player Josh Mansour also took to Twitter to denounce racism, saying that the multi-cultural aspect of the game was one that should be celebrated.
Meanwhile, Rabbitohs forward Sam Burgess can escape suspension with an early guilty plea for a grade one dangerous contact charge after being cited by the match review panel on Sunday.
Burgess launched at Panthers prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard's legs in the second minute of the game which drew a penalty at the time of the incident.
The club has until Monday morning to accept or fight the charge.