Cronulla forward Toby Rudolf has received a formal warning from the NRL after comments he made in a post-game interview on Sunday.
Speaking to The Matty Johns Show after his side’s 32-18 win against the Dragons, Rudolf said he would celebrate by drinking “1000 beers” and then he would “Go to Northies, try and pull something – anything will do.”
— NRL (@NRL) March 16, 2021
NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo spoke to AAP on Tuesday morning, labelling the comments disappointing and inappropriate.
“I was very disappointed with Toby’s comments, they were inappropriate and should not have been said” Abdo said.
“We are going to issue Toby with a formal warning and I know the club are going to counsel him so there is not a repeat.
“Respect for women is one of the foundations of our society and our players, as role models, need to be leaders in this area.”
Sharks chief executive Dino Mezzatesta also spoke to the forward after the interview went viral on social media.
Rudolf’s comments come among a crackdown from the NRL regarding respect and equality after a host of off field incidents over recent years involving violence against women.
Manly playmaker Daly Cherry-Evans slammed the NRL’s warning handed to Rudolf, whilst applauding the Sharks star for “speaking his mind”.
“We want fan interaction, we want engagement in the game, we want people to love our sport. But we don’t want someone to be themselves,” Cherry-Evans, a director with the NRLPA, told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“That’s who he is, whether you like it or not, and he was encouraged to be himself with the questions that were asked … so what is a player meant to do?
“Good on him for speaking his mind and being himself. It’s a shame that there’s been repercussions for something that I think for a lot of people would be only looked at as just very light-hearted humour.”
ARL boss Peter V’landys supported Abdo’s action, echoing the reasons behind the warning.
“The way Andrew handled it was 100 percent correct,” V’landys told The Herald.
“The way it has been handled from our part is exactly what should happen. To be fair to him he was joking, but it wasn’t an appropriate joke.
“Our thing is – and we will not move from it – you have to respect women … and it’s just not respectful.”