Footy player attacked with racist slur
RUGBY LEAGUE: South Grafton Rebels new recruit Luke French was subjected to racist slurs as he left the field during a Group 2 Rugby League clash on the North Coast of New South Wales.
The brother of Parramatta Eels winger Bevan French joined the club three weeks ago as a star signing in the centres.
French was sent from the field for striking another player in the latter stages of the 34 to 18 loss to Orara Valley Axemen at Coramba Sports Ground on Sunday. He came close to being involved in another physical altercation with members of the crowd after being verbally abused while walking off the field.
A South Grafton club official said French was racially vilified by a member of the crowd, as well as having a can thrown at him.
"There were people in the crowd who abused him, one person said 'get in the shed you useless black c**t'," the official said.
French escaped the Group 2 judiciary without suspension after he lodged an early guilty plea and had his striking charge downgraded to a Grade 2.
It is understood Orara Valley coach Col Speed approached French and the Rebels support staff after the game to apologise for the crowd's behaviour.
An eye-witness said the incident was just a standard footy fight that escalated when Orara Valley's centre Cain Bunt came running in as the third man.
Bunt was also sin-binned following the incident, and almost got involved when French started toward the members of the crowd, but was crash tackled and held down by his own trainer Anthony Davey to keep him out of trouble.
French admitted he was disappointed in his actions during the striking incident, and said it was a result of frustrations boiling over.
"It was not my best day," French said. "It is just frustrating on how we can go from being a top side to unwinding in two different halves (two weeks in a row).
"Then I was cheap shotted (sic) in the tackle but I don't think the referee saw that."
French escaped without suspension after his previous clean record at the judiciary was taken into account.
The racist outburst from the crowd is the second in as many years at the Coramba complex after Coffs Harbour Comets player Liam Kelly-Wynne was targeted last season.
In that incident Kelly-Wynne was referred to as a "monkey" by a member of the crowd.
Group 2 officials said they had not had any official report made by either club on the incident.
Who will win the 2018 Group 2 Rugby League title?
This poll ended on 09 July 2018.
South Grafton Rebels
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Macksville Sea Eagles
Orara Valley Axemen
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