26 May, 2015. 14:34
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | Contact
The NRL has announced that all players and officials are on notice after the police issued an official warning to discourage footballers for consorting with convicted criminals.
“We are aware that majority of our fan base is made up of unsavoury characters. Please avoid celebrating alongside fans in the grandstand after a try. This would be considered ‘consorting’ with criminals,” said a spokesperson for the NRL.
This announcement comes as a photo posted by NRL star Junior Paulo on his Instagram account allegedly showed him, James Segeyaro and Corey Norman dining with accused members of an outlaw motorcycle club last Friday night, according to Fairfax Media.
NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said all NRL players and officials must choose their friends and associates wisely and take the police warnings seriously.
“This reflects poorly on the players involved and is a bad look for the game,” Greenberg said in a statement.
“I would also warn them to not get too close to the fans after and before matches”
“We know most of our fans are pretty feral, and no doubt every time our players are signing autographs, they are dealing with both alleged and convicted criminals,”
“The penalties for ignoring a warning are severe and we fully support the police in the action they have taken.”
“Most of our players have grown up in low socio-economic areas and would be familiar with criminals from their childhood. I’d avoid heading home at all costs as well,”
“Essentially, just have nothing to do with the people that support you and your club. Its fair enough to assume most of them are criminals,”
Under section 93x of the Crimes Act 1900, a person can be charged with consorting if they habitually consort with convicted offenders. This includes post-try celebrations.
To be classified as ‘habitually consorting’, a person must consort with at least two convicted criminals, and consort with each convicted offender on at least two occasions.
The maximum penalty for consorting is three years in prison.