NRL bans spectators over Inglis abuse
The NRL has issued an indefinite ban on two spectators who allegedly racially abused South Sydney Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis after the round two match against Penrith at Panthers Stadium.
The NRL says the two spectators have been banned from attending NRL events until it is proven they have rehabilitated themselves by addressing their behaviour in an apology and completing an approved cultural training and education.
Last Monday the two individuals were issued breach notices for their actions during the Saturday March 17 games.
Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council chair Linda Burney believes education is the best way to deal with cases of racial abuse.
"Naturally I am appalled at what happened to Greg, especially given my immense respect for him as an Indigenous leader and his status as one of the best Indigenous players of all time," she said.
"But the NRL has taken the right approach by allowing the persons responsible to return to rugby league only after they have undergone appropriate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural training and have issued an apology to Greg and Indigenous community leaders for their comments.
"The best way to stop a repetition of this type of behaviour is through education," Burney said.
"I am also pleased that senior Indigenous leaders from the game will help decide whether the person responsible is ready to return to games.”
The Rabbitohs issued a statement thanking the NRL and Panthers, in particular CEO Brian Fletcher and executive general manager Phil Gould, for their prompt, efficient, and appropriate handling of the incident.
“We want to thank the team at the NRL, Brian and Phil for the way they have dealt with a particularly difficult situation for Greg as well as the game itself," Rabbitohs general manager of football Shane Richardson said.
“They have kept Greg and our club up-to-date on the investigation and the process the whole way through, which gave Greg and us confidence, knowing the issue was being handled appropriately and as a priority.
“We agree with the notices that have been handed to the people involved and we hope that this is the next step in stamping out these kinds of incidents at sporting events and in society.”