NRL to sanction Haas, MP calls for life ban
The NRL is preparing to suspend and fine NSW Origin star Payne Haas for his foul-mouthed tirade at police - but Police Minister David Elliott believes he should never play rugby league again.
An NRL Integrity Unit investigation is set to suspend the Broncos forward for the opening rounds of the upcoming NRL season and fine him $20,000 after he pleaded guilty on Thursday morning to intimidating police.
Haas received a two-year good behaviour bond after court transcripts revealed he threatened a female officer and dared police to taser him during the drunken incident in Tweed Heads on January 16.
Haas, who has represented Australia and played four games for the NSW Blues, told a female officer: "Cause you're a woman you think I won't touch ya."
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo yesterday said: "There's no excuse for Payne's conduct. It's fair to suggest he'll be facing sanctions."
The case has raised the ire of many, including Mr Elliott who said he was confident the NRL would deal with Haas in an appropriate manner, but declared it was his personal view Haas should be sacked.
"My personal view - given that he blatantly threatened violence against a woman and also because he has form - is that they should rid the game of him," he told The Saturday Telegraph
"I'm very confident Peter V'landys will deal with him in an appropriate manner.
"It's a bad image for this behaviour to be condoned - the magistrate penalty was disappointing to say the least. It wasn't a case of him telling a copper to get stuffed; he verbally abused two police officers, one of whom was a woman.
"The last time this happened, he claimed he was converting to Islam and would not be drinking any more and then goes and gets drunk. It really goes to his credibility."
Mr Elliott, said he had been in contact with the NRL about the matter, with Mr Abdo waiting for the Integrity Unit to finalise its report before announcing any sanctions against Brisbane's player of the year for the past two seasons.
Meanwhile, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has condemned a one-time NRL adviser's comments, who pointed to cultural differences to excuse a player's attack on police.
"I think she's had a shocker," Fuller told 2GB yesterday. "You'd have to be living under a rock not to know that policing in NSW … is very different to anywhere else in the world. That's a shocker of a comment to make."
After personally phoning Mr Abdo yesterday, NRL gender adviser Catharine Lumby told The Saturday Telegraph that she stood by her comments.
"I'm not saying all police are racist and I'm not saying it's OK to abuse police officers,'' Lumby said.
"I stand by the fact that having worked for the NRL I have had the privilege of having a lot of contact with Indigenous and pasifika players, and, in the broader context of understanding why some communities end up in conflict with police, we need a broader conversation in Australia about why there has been generational trauma and a history of conflict between those communities and authorities."
Ms Lumby said it was in her view that Haas' apology to police was sufficient, but could understand why the NRL will opt to further penalise the 21-year-old.
Originally published as NRL to sanction Haas, MP calls for life ban