Racist letter dubs rugby league players "gorillas"
BROTHERS Football Club is being accused of racism after someone claiming to be from the club sent a letter to the Goodna Eagles captain dubbing the team "gorillas" and insinuating that they couldn't read.
Goodna Eagles captain Ramon Filipine has revealed the contents of the letter he received before the 2016 grand final last month calling his team "gorillas" offering them "a big bunch of bananas".
The letter, addressed to Filipine and signed from "B O'Reilly", is allegedly from Goodna's rival team Brothers.
"Just a note (that's if you can read). How do you think your team of gorillas can beat us Sunday?," it reads.
"Goodna are cheaters always have been.
"Don't worry when you lose on Sunday your team won't go away empty handed. I'll be bringing along a big bunch of bananas for your team."
The two clubs clashed in an epic Ipswich Rugby League grand final on September 10, with Goodna winning 30-18.
The Goodna captain took to social media over the weekend to share the contents of the letter, which he said he has kept secret until the "dust settled" post-season.
"I'd like to share something I've kept secret since the week leading into our grand final," he said.
"Before the grand final I got hate mail from Brothers Ipswich. Seriously? Hate mail to put me off? Calling my team a bunch of gorillas and that I was a joke.
"The funny thing is that it's an older person's hand writing.
"This is why I play for Goodna (because) we represent diversity and adversity on and off the field and just like the grand final. We always come out on top."
Filipine also responded to the letter with action, delivering a box of bananas to Brothers Leagues Club.
The box is addressed to "Brother O'Riley" (sic) "From: Goodna Gorillas 2016 IRL Premiers" and has a drawing of a gorilla holding the IRL trophy.
"If any Brother's players or supporters aren't happy with the box of bananas I dropped off at your clubhouse, then bring them back to me in person," Filipine said.
"Just as I delivered them in person."
Brothers Football Club president Mark Hennelly vehemently denied the accusation, saying no one from his club knew who "B O'Reilly" was.
"He doesn't exist. It's just some unknown spineless person causing drama," he said.
"As a club we do not encourage, support or condone that sort of action. We have a large number of players who are Polynesian and Aboriginal.
"We know nothing about it. We play by the rules on and off the field.
"It's just somebody trying to cause bad blood. It's not us."
Mr Hennelly said he would be contacting Filipine personally regarding the matter.
The IRL is reportedly planning to conduct an investigation in to the origins of the letter.