Sacked Bulldog John Asiata has taken to social media in an effort to both explain his vaccination stance and to thank those who have supported him during his exit from the league.
The 28-year-old's tenure in the league came to a close earlier this week when Canterbury terminated the forward's contract for the 2022 season.
In the wake of this, the former Bronco and Cowboy uploaded a post to his personal Instagram account stating that he was still steadfast in his decision to remain unvaccinated against Covid-19.
In the brief adjoining statement, Asiata wished to express that was at peace with his decision to opt-out of his duties with the Dogs and that he felt a sympathy for those that had been "coerced" to receive either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer jab.
Asiata also took the opportunity to thank both his inner circle and his God in the statement that read as such:
"Hey guys, We would like to thank everyone for the support being shown to myself and my family, we are truly grateful.
It has not been an easy time or decision but it is one I have full peace with. If you know me you know I will always stay true to my convictions and values. One of those values is freedom of choice and bodily autonomy for my family and I.
I love and respect anyone who has decided to take it out of their own free will, and I sympathise with anyone who has felt coerced and pressured to do it to keep food on the table for their families.
I love Rugby League and everything it has afforded me & if it’s in God’s will for me to continue that in future, he will open that door. God bless 🙏🏽"
While his first-grade career appears complete due to his convictions, Wide World of Sports reported on Wednesday that political aspirant and Southport Tigers owner Clive Palmer had expressed a desire to sign Asiata for the upcoming season.
Although a shift to the Super League could still be on the cards for his client, Asiata's manager, Chris Orr, confirmed that the Billionaire's advances were real.
"Clive is keen on John and it is an option we are exploring," he said.
"He wants John on board and he is a class player - he would do great in that competition."
Asiata has played 139 NRL games since joining the competition ahead of the 2014 season.
It is not yet known what type of fee Asisata could command from the Queensland Cup outfit.