An 18-year-old Australian has personally apologised to Ben Barba for a racist post on the Brisbane Broncos star’s Instagram account.
The man called Barba to apologise and express his remorse at his actions.
“I appreciate that people can make mistakes and I accept the apology offered,” Barba said.
“I was once a teenager and made mistakes. I believe as long as this young man receives some education on racial abuse and the effects it has, he can learn from the incident.
“I certainly don’t want him lost from our game.”
The NRL determined the man, who is a Rugby League player himself, will not participate in any Rugby League activities until he has completed an NRL-approved cultural awareness program, and met with the ARL Indigenous Council and Indigenous Elders and satisfied them that he understands the ramifications of his actions and is remorseful for his conduct.
NRL Chief Operating Officer, Jim Doyle, said: “We take these matters very seriously and will continue to act strongly on any form of racial abuse in our game. Rugby League is an inclusive sport and vilification will not be tolerated. It is important we continue to educate everyone that this sort of behaviour is unacceptable, both in Rugby League and in society in general.”