Beetson plays down Gallen slur - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Beetson plays down Gallen slur

02/06/2009 07:21:06 PM Comments (0)

Rugby league Immortal and Indigenous team of the century member Arthur Beetson believes the furore surrounding the racial slur which cost Paul Gallen the Cronulla captaincy was blown out of proportion.

Beetson, who began his new role as assistant coach at the Sydney Roosters on Tuesday, said he was a firm believer in things being said on the field to be left exactly there.

Gallen on Monday night resigned as Sharks skipper after accepting a $10,000 fine and apologising to Mickey Paea for allegedly calling the St George Illawarra forward a "black c..." during their round 11 clash at Toyota Stadium.

"I grew up with a lot of racism, I'm not saying it's right, but I know when I played I had a lot of blokes from ethnic backgrounds that were called wogs and what have you," said Beetson, who played 221 games of first grade rugby league as well as 14 Tests for Australia.

"It was tit for tat, it was fair game - I think they (modern players) carry on a bit too - why don't they get on with the game.

"It's something that never ever worried me ... it's water off a duck's back with me but the modern players are a little bit thin-skinned."

Beetson refused to lay the blame for escalating the incident with Paea - a player Beetson lured to the Roosters when he was a recruitment officer with the club - with Paea having failed to make an official complaint during the match or after it.

Gallen was instead convicted on the back of audio and visual evidence.

"I know he's a good kid Mickey Paea because I brought him to the Roosters ... to his credit he left it on the field, but unfortunately through the microphones today it surfaced," Beetson said.

The Sharks on Tuesday began to move on from the drama with Trent Barrett replacing Gallen as skipper for the clash with the Warriors at Toyota Stadium on Saturday.

Barrett led the side in their drought-breaking win over Parramatta last weekend with Gallen sidelined due to State of Origin commitments.

And his elevation to the job on a fulltime basis is one made out of necessity with few other captaincy options available for the embattled club.

Of the 13 players named in the starting line-up against the Warriors, only four others outside Barrett and Gallen have played more than 40 NRL matches.

Meanwhile the results of Reni Maitua's B-sample following his positive A-sample reading for a performance enhancing drug are not expected to be made public until at least next week.

The Sharks forward was suspended indefinitely by the NRL after returning a positive reading for Clenbuterol following a random drug test last month.

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